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American Optometric Association

Circle Lens Statement by the American Optometric Association

Although anime or “Circle Lenses” have been around for a while, thanks to Lady Gaga they are surging in popularity right now. But remember that only FDA approved contact lenses prescribed by an eye doctor are considered safe to wear. By law, lenses cannot be sold without a valid contact lens prescription.

If you have any questions about the safety of your lenses, please contact us.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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The American Optometric Association (AOA) Statement Regarding Circle Contact Lenses

Patient safety and access to adequate eye care is always our concern. With the growing interest in “circle lenses,” colored plano and prescription contact lenses imported primarily from Asia, the AOA is once again working to inform consumers of the risk of these illegal lenses. And, last month, AOA staff led one of the largest meetings of federal officials concerned about the illegal sale of these and other decorative contact lenses, convened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“With the FDA’s focus of ‘Protecting and Promoting Health,’ the recent gathering served as an outstanding platform to brainstorm with FDA officials,” states Joe E. Ellis, O.D. President of the American Optometric Association. “We found that FDA officials were shocked, as well as dismayed, by how easy these lenses can be obtained, and how aggressively adolescents and young adults are targeted.”

The AOA is responding to numerous requests for information and interviews from media outlets across the country. “We are working with the consumer media to encourage people to visit an eye care professional and get a proper prescription. A beauty fad is not worth causing problems with your sight,” adds Dr. Ellis.

Consumers should not use any contact lenses, whether they are circle lenses, or otherwise, without a proper examination and prescription by an eye care professional. Risks associated with the improper use of decorative contact lenses include conjunctivitis, corneal swelling, eye infection, allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit and/or improper lens care. Additional problems may result in a reduction of visual acuity, diminished contrast sensitivity, or reduced peripheral vision and other general eye and vision impairments. Optometrists are encouraged to report any violations of the sale of contact lenses, or any adverse health consequences, to AOA’s Washington office.

Opticians, Optometrists, and Ophthalmologists, Oh My!

People are often confused by the eye care field and do not know the difference between the three O’s: Opticians, Optometrists, and Ophthalmologists.

Well, to put it simply:

Opticians are experts in frames and lenses. The sell and repair glasses. In some states they can also fit contact lenses.

Optometrists are doctors that are vision specialists. They deal with the function and health of the eyes. They can prescribe glasses and contacts and can treat eye disease with medication.

Ophthalmologists are doctors that are concerned primarily with the eyes and diseases of the eyes, which they can treat with medicine and surgery. They can also prescribe glasses and contacts.

The American Optometric Association has long known about the confusion between the 3 O’s and has recently produced a wonderful video about our profession:

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This video discusses how Optometrists provide a wide range of care, including:

* Detect and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders, lid disorders, and infections such as conjunctivitis.
* Prescribe medication to treat eye diseases.
* Evaluate and treat vision conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia, amblyopia, binocular vision problems.
* Perform minor surgical procedures such as removing foreign objects from the eye.
* Provide pre- and post-operative care, especially for glaucoma, laser, refractive, and cataract patients.
* In some instances, perform laser, refractive or glaucoma surgeries.

The video also shows how Doctors of optometry are on the forefront of advanced research into the development of new treatments for eye diseases and disorders.

* The research dollars awarded by the government through the National Eye Institute to optometrists has quadrupled in less than 10 years.
* Optometric researchers are using these funds to advance solutions in areas such as glaucoma, vision therapy and preschoolers’ access to vision care.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.


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