Eye for an eye? Understanding the Contact Lens Rule

December 10, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Did you know there are rules on the things you stick in your eye? 

No, it's not your finger. Contact lenses.

Doctors in Great Britain discovered the cause of a 42-year-old woman's eyelid droop. It turns out that the contact lens she thought fell out 28 years earlier had actually been up in her eyelid for all those years.  


You can't make people take care of their eyes, but the government can — and did — set regulations on contact lenses. 

The Contact Lens Rule, created in 2004, requires eye care providers to give patients a copy of their prescription at no cost so the consumer could shop around for contacts. Now, the FTC is considering changes to the rule that would require doctors to get patients to sign acknowledgments that they received their prescriptions to ensure the prescribers are actually doing it.   

The proposed rule change is currently open to public comment, so it's not clear how long it will take to pass, but hopefully less than 28 years.

In the meantime, you have the right to ask for a copy of the prescription. And remember, you can get new contacts but you only get one set of eyes, so take care of them.