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Unread 01-14-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
Holierthanthou
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FDA banning circle lenses?

I'm surprised there's not a thread about this yet. (At least, i think not...) but the FDA has banned circle lenses or something? My parents went to get me a pair of red ones for christmas through an eye doctor and they said the FDA won't allow them to sell then any more. Does anyone know why that is? I'm worried I won't be able to convince my mom to let me order them online with this... So if someone can also help me find a way to explain to her that my eyes will be fine, that'd be great.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 11:18 PM   #2
vervv
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Circle lenses are (for the most part) not made in the US, which is the main reason. If the lens is a low-quality, knock-off lens then you risk damage to your eyes through malfunction of the lens or infection of the eye. Because the FDA cannot regulate the factories producing the lenses overseas, they cannot ensure the quality and are therefore not approved.

Another reason is that, when misused, they can damage the eye (but this is common with all lenses). Its easy to misuse them because they are easily bought without a prescription, meaning people without the proper training were sticking foreign objects in their eyes with no idea on how to take care of themselves. Circle lenses in general have a higher injury rate because they are larger and can "choke out" your eyes by not permitting enough oxygen to get in. Because they are larger, they also tend to irritate your eyes more, especially if you happen to have an astigmatism.

I work at one of the top Ophthalmology clinics in my area (NW Ohio) during the summer alongside some very amazing doctors. They have taught me much about eye health, and so I share a few tips with you. 1) Buy from a reputable seller. Pinkyparadise.com is a good choice. 2) Don't overwear them/sleep in them. This is basic contact lens use, but people do dumb things and wear their lenses every day. Like I said, due to the size, everyday use of circle lenses can cause damage. Most of the horror stories you read are because the person wore them too frequently. 3) When you get them, soak them for 48 hours in solution. The reason for this is that cheap colored contacts sometimes have the color come out of the lenses. The dye can burn eyes, but by soaking them you can see if the paint comes off or not. Pinkyparadise.com is well-known for having high quality lenses.

TL-DR: FDA banned circle lenses because they can be low-quality, dangerous, and accessible without a prescription which means a bunch of people didn't know what they were doing and messed their eyes up. Treat lenses like medical equipment and buy from a good seller and you should be fine (as long as you don't have a moderate to severe astigmatism).

Last edited by vervv : 01-14-2013 at 11:21 PM.
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Unread 01-14-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
AshofRebirth
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Circle lenses are fine honestly. They aren't low-quality, if you buy them from the right place. They are just as dangerous as regular contacts. Actually. The circle lenses I buy are 10 times more comfortable than my regular contacts. I have not seen one case of circle lenses leading to injury that came from something that wasn't misuse.. You can do that with any regular contacts.
This is kind of old news. The reason it's not FDA approved is because most circle lenses come from overseas and therefore, well, can't be regulated by OUR FDA. But the countries that it comes from has their on "FDA" that approves their lenses.

Tl;dr: America is super paranoid. Make sure you get your eyes checked out by an eye doctor and then ask for a prescription. Take that prescription and go order circle lenses online. You won't be able to get them any other way.
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Unread 01-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #4
Holierthanthou
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Okay... The main reason i asked is that they had a brochure for circle lenses when my mom first went, and when she came back a few weeks later they said they couldn't sell them anymore o-o is there a way to order the lenses online through an eye doctor? My mom said she won't let me get them unless its through an eye doctor...
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Unread 01-15-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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As others have said, the FDA won't allow circle lenses to be sold in the USA is because they're made overseas. The FDA hasn't banned them, per se, but they have not approved them for sale in the States. Your eye doctor may have gotten circle lenses from their lens source, but they were not compliant with the FDA regulations, that may be why there was a brochure for them before.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to purchase circle lenses through an eye doctor, as since the lenses are not US FDA approved, the eye doctor can get in trouble for selling them.
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Unread 01-16-2013, 11:14 PM   #6
novaraven1
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if all you need are red lenses there are places in the US that legally sell them. They are a thicker type of lens (sometimes called hard lenses since all contacts used to be like this before softer and disposable lenses came along) usually called Theatrical Contact Lenses and usually much more expensive than circle lenses. 60$ a pair is a normal price range depending on whether you need a prescription added or not. They can cost as much as 400$ for the hand painted ones. They also are a higher quality for being entirely opaque in their designs (they have no colour blending effects, they cover your real eye colour completely)

coastalcontacts.com is a US seller that comes to mind and they will ask for your eye doctors info before selling to you, but they usually only carry them during halloween time. They sell crazy lenses and better quality ones too.

The manufacturer for theatrical lenses that I really like is Marietta Vision. They also always ask to contact your optometrist for your info first if you order directly from their website. There is a number there your optometrist can call for more info on their products.
http://www.mariettacontactlens.com/

I think if you talk to your optometrist and explain that you are looking to buy theatrical quality lenses for occasional use only they will be able to help you out a little better. Asking for circle lenses is the wrong way to go.

This in no way stops you personally from buying circle lenses from overseas sellers though. That is not illegal at all, just know that you're taking responsibility for your vision into your own hands when you do that.

also note that almost all contact lenses sold in the US are actually manufactured in Malaysia or other overseas countries. They don't make their own lenses here anymore, they just have quality control on them when they get here.
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Last edited by novaraven1 : 01-16-2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
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Geo contact lenses are approved now.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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I read that when circle lenses are not approved it just means that the company didn't pay US FDA to make some tests because they are over expensive, and this is why many brands are approved in Europe but not in the land of scam: USA
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Unread 08-25-2013, 01:17 AM   #9
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here's a list of FDA approved lenses:
http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/devicesatfda/index.cfm?start_search=1&Search_Term=LPM|LPL|MVN&s ort=approvaldatedesc&PAGENUM=10
you might have to download the excel csv and use the find tool
but it looks like this site only sells FDA approved brands: http://www.contactlensxchange.com/
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Unread 08-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #10
JustACostume
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I just went to get my eyes checked out and my doctor told me majority of colored lens companies are getting rid of all their stock since they can cause problems to your eyes.I don't know if this is true for all companies but you may want to check with your doctor if you get colored lenses from them.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
ShimaGenki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vervv View Post
TL-DR: FDA banned circle lenses because they can be low-quality, dangerous, and accessible without a prescription which means a bunch of people didn't know what they were doing and messed their eyes up. Treat lenses like medical equipment and buy from a good seller and you should be fine (as long as you don't have a moderate to severe astigmatism).
Pretty much sums it up. You can get circle lenses if you want, but the FDA doesn't approve them to be safe. I have heard stories about some companies/sellers that have sold low-quality contacts, but if you stick to reputable sources (such as PinkyParadise) there's no reason to worry.

I've never heard of prescription contacts being bad quality. That being said, I've never attempted to order contacts online because I have insurance that covers part of the payment, so why bother? At worst, I've opened a new package where a contact was way too thin and I had to toss it. But anyway.

As someone who's been wearing contacts since I was... I think twelve? I can't even remember--it's really scary that people will buy contacts without knowing first thing how to handle them. It's real basic stuff: wash your hands before applying, if it hurts take it out, remember to take them out at night, etc. The thing with circle lenses is because of the coloring, less oxygen can get to your eyes, and in the long run can be pretty dangerous. Long story short, it can cause blindness.

Not to diss on circle lenses as they're so lovely, but you just need to ask a health care professional before using contacts (just like any other health thing but don't get me started) to advocate for your own safety.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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I was told by a company rep that does independent testing on products that many products on the market that contain black pigment also typically has a high lead count. While we were talking about nail appliques he also mention that costume contact lenses with black may (note: MAY) contain a high lead count especially if made in China.
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Unread 08-25-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikazuki View Post
I was told by a company rep that does independent testing on products that many products on the market that contain black pigment also typically has a high lead count. While we were talking about nail appliques he also mention that costume contact lenses with black may (note: MAY) contain a high lead count especially if made in China.
And this is why people should be careful when buying anything like cosmetics to contact lenses from a country that is known to bend rules to make a profit even if it means hurting their own people e.g. lead paints on many items including baby toys or melamine in baby formula. There are a lot of products that are fine to use e.g. clothes, wigs, accessories etc., but for things that go into the eyes or can be absorbed through the skin, it is a good idea to go with a source that has a more stringent set of rules for its products that will not endanger the public to make a buck.
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Unread 08-27-2013, 03:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holierthanthou View Post
Okay... The main reason i asked is that they had a brochure for circle lenses when my mom first went, and when she came back a few weeks later they said they couldn't sell them anymore o-o is there a way to order the lenses online through an eye doctor? My mom said she won't let me get them unless its through an eye doctor...
my mom is also set on having my circle lenses approved by an eye doctor, but since you can't really buy them through an eye doctor (or at least not here, you can't), i order mine off pinkyparadise or honeycolor, and then make an appointment with my eye doctor so i can put them in and have them examined by my eye doctor so she can ensure that they fit properly and that they're safe to wear.

it's kind of a hassle but i do it for every single pair i buy (i have 4 or 5 pairs now). imo it's worth the extra time at the doctor's!
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Unread 08-27-2013, 03:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by novaraven1 View Post
if all you need are red lenses there are places in the US that legally sell them. They are a thicker type of lens (sometimes called hard lenses since all contacts used to be like this before softer and disposable lenses came along) usually called Theatrical Contact Lenses and usually much more expensive than circle lenses. 60$ a pair is a normal price range depending on whether you need a prescription added or not. They can cost as much as 400$ for the hand painted ones. They also are a higher quality for being entirely opaque in their designs (they have no colour blending effects, they cover your real eye colour completely)
The lenses that we use as well as other companies in the US that hand paint are slightly thicker, but are NOT hard lenses. They are soft yearly lenses.
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