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PANEL URGES PERSPECTIVE ON DISPOSABLE CONTACT LENS STUDIES

 PANEL URGES PERSPECTIVE ON DISPOSABLE CONTACT LENS STUDIES
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A panel of eye care experts convened by the Contact Lens Council concluded today that while new studies to be published in the Nov. 15 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology provide new and potentially informative data about disposable contact lenses, they lack crucial data and information and could be misconstrued. "The data is not conclusive, and the actual risk of corneal ulcers associated with disposable contact lenses is extremely low," the doctors said.
 Except to recognize "that a majority of contact lens wearers enjoy the visual benefits of contact lens use without adverse effects," the studies focused upon relative risk between lens types and not on the actual risk of a disposable contact lens wearer developing a corneal ulcer. Based upon the total sum of the best available data and information, the actual risk of corneal ulcers associated with disposable contact lenses is extremely low. The authors themselves mentioned the need for larger studies to be more conclusive.
 The studies also do not provide data and information on behavioral characteristics, such as lens wear time and lens care, which could explain the studies' findings.
 The studies do not address how many consecutive nights extended wear users or disposable lens users in the studies wore their lenses before removal for cleaning and disinfecting or disposal. Information on consecutive overnight wear is significant because it is known that there is an incremental increased risk of corneal ulcers for each additional night contact lenses are worn. Accordingly, the difference in the relative risks noted in the studies between extended wear and disposable wear could be explained by different wear times.
 Information on lens care is important because it is known that many individuals remove and reuse disposable lenses. Disposable contact lenses, like all other lens types, must be carefully cleaned and disinfected each time they are removed if they are to be re- inserted.
 "Successful contact lens wear is a two-way street between the patient and the doctor," said Dr. Peter Donshik, M.D., director of Ophthalmology at the University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center and president of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists. "If you choose to wear disposable contacts, you need to follow the manufacturers' instructions and the prescribed wear and care regimen with regular follow-up visits with your doctor."
 He also emphasized that it is essential that contact lens wearers who experience any sign of irritation or discomfort should immediately remove the lenses and contact their eye care practitioner.
 Participants on the panel included: Donshik; William Mathers, M.D., department of ophthalmology, University of Iowa; Melvin Freeman, M.D., of Seattle; James Key, M.D., of Houston; Zoraida Fiol- Silva, M.D., of Philadelphia; and James Atwood, M.D., of Sacramento, Calif.
 The Contact Lens Council is devoted to promoting the safe use of contact lenses and serves as an educational resource on vision correction. The CLC is sponsored by Alcon Laboratories, Allergan Optical, Bausch & Lomb, CIBA Vision Corporation, Pilkington Barnes Hind, Vistakon, Wesley-Jessen and the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association. The American Optometric Association, Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists and the Contact Lens Society of America serve as advisers to the CLC.
 -0- 11/12/92
 /CONTACT: John Kiker, 202-342-7048 or, after hours, 202-544-8582, or Laura Tomasetti, 202-342-7038 or, after hours, 202-333-0043, both for the Contact Lens Council/ CO: Contact Lens Council ST: District of Columbia IN: MTC SU:


TW -- DC015 -- 0279 11/12/92 14:46 EST
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Date:Nov 12, 1992
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