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Are Online Coloured Contact Lenses Safe for My Eyes?

Recently the optometrists at Foresight Eyecare have noticed a surge in inappropriate contact lens fits from online purchases. New contact lens websites that have recently come up present “new” contact lenses seem like new technology. When the doctors assessed these “new” lenses, they are in fact lenses that were popular from 1980’s and 1990’s technology e.g. methafilcon A, polymacon. This contact lens generation has insufficient oxygen permeability for more than 10 hours of wear time, and even lower wear time for higher prescriptions.

The contact lens edge design is also crucial for eye health, as a lens that fits tightly or decentres and makes contact with inappropriate parts of the eye can cause damage to the cornea or other parts of the eye. The lens fit is crucial for clear vision, and to avoid discomfort and micro-abrasions to the eye that can lead to eye infection or inflammation, and in extreme cases, certain infections can lead to ulcers and blindness. In July 2016, the Government of Canada started to regulate decorative contact lenses (also known as cosmetic or coloured contact lenses). They are considered Class 2 medical devices, and in order to sell these contact lenses, distributors need to provide assurance that the contact lens imported into Canada have procedures in place to protect the public should a problem with a medical device be identified.

When you receive a contact lens fitting through an optometrist or licensed contact lens fitter, the contact lens is selected based on measurements of your eyes, and discussing how you would wear the lenses before making recommendations on best lens design, material, and modality for you. Then when you receive your contact lenses, follow-up is done to ensure that they have been properly manufactured and fit properly.

 

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

www.albertahealthservices.ca

www.collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan