Prevent Blindness Names October Contact Lens Safety Month

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CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness has declared October Contact Lens Safety Month. The aim of Contact Lens Safety Month is to educate the public on the best ways to care for their eyes through the safe use and care of contact lenses. According to Prevent Blindness, the CDC says an estimated 45 million people in the United States use contact lenses, and serious eye infections that can lead to blindness affect up to one out of every 500 contact lenses users a year.



40-90 percent of contact lens wearers do not properly follow the care instructions for their lenses, says Prevent Blindness. Many are unaware that the FDA regulates contact lenses and certain contact lens care products as medical devices, classifying them as not OTC devices. And, according to a survey from the American Academy of Optometry, 11 percent of consumers have worn decorative, non-corrective contact lenses. Of those, 53 percent purchased them illegally without a prescription.

Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness said, “Because contact lenses are medical devices, the first step for anyone interested in purchasing contact lenses should be making an appointment with an eyecare professional. If it’s determined that contact lenses are right for the patient, a prescription is required for purchase for all types of contact lenses, even the decorative ones.”

Prevent Blindness strongly recommends contact lens wearers contact an eye doctor if they experience:

- Unexplained eye discomfort or pain

- Redness of the eye

- Watering eyes

- Vision change

For more information on contact lens safety, call (800) 331-2020 or visit