Statement from the AOA Supporting CDC Outreach and Education of Contact Lens Wearers

Date: August 20, 2015

What: In advance of the second annual Contact Lens Health Week, to be observed August 24-28, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today published a new report in its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that found nearly all contact lens wearers in a national survey report risky eye care behaviors that can lead to eye infections. The report also found that one-third of contact lens wearers sought care for potentially preventable eye problems. The American Optometric Association (AOA) is one of several national organizations joining with the CDC in promoting its campaign for contact lens and eye health, which was developed in collaboration with doctors, public health experts, eye care industry, and regulatory partners.

Who: Steven A. Loomis, O.D., President, American Optometric Association

"The American Optometric Association applauds the work of the CDC regarding today's release of a report on risky eye care behaviors of contact lens wearers.

Our top priority is the advocacy of patient health and safety. The CDC report correctly identifies behaviors that optometrists have long known to be problematic for patients. It is imperative that contact lens patients receive annual care from their optometrist to ensure that these medical devices are performing optimally. Patients who receive timely professional care are also likely to be made aware of the dangers of improper contact lens care including poor hygiene, over-wear of their contacts, and delayed replacement of their contacts. As patients sometimes obtain their contacts from sources other than their doctor, they can forget the pivotal importance of professional care.

The AOA and its members believe that contact lenses, as medical devices are very safe and effective when prescribed professionally and cared for properly. We strongly support the CDC in this important public outreach."

For more information:  To read about the AOA's partnership with the CDC, click here. Optometrists can learn more about Contact Lens Health Week here.

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit