October Is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared the month of October “Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month” and the organization is taking steps to educate the public in the best possible ways to care for their eyes through the safe use and care of contact lenses. With Halloween coming at the end of the month, colored contact lenses have become a popular new trend to add to one’s costume, but they should only be administered through an eyecare professional, Prevent Blindness said.

45 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA states that contact lenses are not over-the-counter (OTC) devices and companies that sell them as such are misbranding the device and violating Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations by selling contact lenses without having a valid prescription.

Prevent Blindness recommends several tips for contact lens care such as to always visit an eye doctor to be fitted for contact lenses before use with doctor supervision. They also remind users to always keep their hands clean before eye contact. Hygiene is of utmost importance dealing with your eyes—never share or use cracked or old lenses.

“Contact lenses can be a great alternative to eyeglasses for many, but we must do our part to make sure we are using and caring for them safely,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “A visit to an eyecare professional must always be the first step before using any contact lenses, even for those that are only decorative.”

For more information on contact lens and/or Halloween eye safety, call (800) 331-2020 or go to Prevent Blindness.