Profession supports CDC contact lens education effort

  • March 27, 2014

NEW YORK – In response to past outbreaks of Fusarium and Acanthamoeba in contact lens wearers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a website designed to promote healthy contact lens wear, according to a speaker here at the Global Contact Lens Forum held prior to Vision Expo East.

Joseph Barr, OD, chairman of the Contact Lens Institute (CLI), told attendees that the CLI, a nonprofit organization supported by major contact lens manufacturers, provided a grant to fund this CDC initiative, Healthy Contact Lens Wear and Care.

“In the last year, expert working groups were organized and partnerships with professional associations were developed to put together objective information on contact lens care and compliance,” Barr said.

“The vision of this group is to ensure proper hygiene and adherence to contact lens wear recommendations so the benefits of contact lens wear can be accomplished with health,” he said. “The CDC has done a lot of studies on Acanthamoeba and contact lens wear. They would like to prevent these infections.”

The activities of this group are supported by the American Academy of Optometry, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association, Contact Lens Society of America and the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, according to the website.

Forum speaker Michael A. Ward, MMS, FAAO, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, is also involved with the efforts behind this educational website.

“We’ve been producing a new handout for patients to discuss topics such as infection and lens care,” Ward said. “People can sign up for automatic email updates from the website.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS

Disclosures: Barr is chairman of the Contact Lens Institute. Ward is a consultant for Alcon and Bausch + Lomb.

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