Contact Lens Care & Compliance
Work Group and Website Promote Proper Lens Wear
BY MICHAEL A. WARD, MMSC, FAAO
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled a work group of experts in eye health and infectious disease. Members from academia and private practice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CDC, and industry (Table 1) meet via monthly conference calls to promote healthy lens wear. The CDC also developed a website to disseminate healthy lens wear and care information. Information from and about the group is at www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/cdc-at-work.html.
CONTACT LENS WORK GROUP MEMBERS
Robin Chalmers, OD, FAAO–CLAY Study Group • Jennifer Cope, MD, MPH–CDC • Gary Esterow–Vistakon • Joe Shovlin, OD, FAAO–Northeastern Eye Institute • Tim Steinemann, MD–Case Western Reserve University • Michelle Tarver, MD, PhD–FDA • Jeff Walline, OD, PhD–The Ohio State University • Michael Ward, MMSc, FAAO, FCLSA–Emory University • Rick Weisbarth, OD, FAAO–Alcon Laboratories
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO): Research, Regulatory, and External Scientific Relations Committee • American Academy of Optometry (AAOpt): Section on Cornea, Contact Lens and Refractive Technologies • American Optometric Association (AOA): Contact Lens and Cornea Section • Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists (CLAO): Scientific Program • Contact Lens Society of America (CLSA) • National Academy of Opticianry (NAO) • The Contact Lens Institute (CLI)
The Program’s Vision
The program’s vision emphasizes “proper hygiene and adherence to contact lens wear and care recommendations, resulting in reduced eye infections and complications among contact lens wearers.”
The Program’s Mission
Its mission is “to maximize the benefits of contact lens wear and increase awareness of behaviors and risk factors that can affect the eye health of contact lens wearers in the United States through clear and consistent recommendations about proper wear, care, and maintenance of contact lenses”
Amanda MacGurn, MPH, of the CDC is the Contact Lens Work Group’s leader/facilitator. She has assembled a small and impressive group from the three Os and industry. She is challenged with facilitating the group’s agreement on common language to promote best practices for contact lens wear and care.
Although not completely developed, the website currently focuses on consumers and addresses basic facts and benefits of contact lens wear as well as associated risks. The site includes wear and care recommendations that cover a variety of topics. Sidebar topics include infectious and non-infectious complications, with warnings to seek care if experiencing certain symptoms. Demographic-directed infographic posters, podcasts, and social media are all being created and made available for distribution to contact lens providers and consumers. All recommendations are supported by science and will be accompanied by references. A five-day contact lens health campaign will be launched in November 2014 to target audiences. The CDC will work with partner organizations to disseminate messages about healthy contact lens wear and care. Stay tuned for more information on this campaign in coming months. CLS
Mr. Ward is an instructor in ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and Director, Emory Contact Lens Service. He is also a consultant or advisor to Alcon and B+L. You can reach him at email@example.com.