Appreciating that the gift of sight is precious, State Delegate Chris Peace introduced legislation to protect and advance the delivery of vision care services in Virginia. Local area doctors of optometry brought to the Delegate’s attention concern that illegal sale of cosmetic contact lenses by beauty parlors and flea markets were causing sight threatening eye infections, corneal abrasions, and corneal ulcers. The unsuspecting consumer wanting to change the color of their eyes did not realize that even cosmetic contacts require an eye doctor to determine the proper fit and type of contact lens, in addition to providing training on proper contact lens care. Cosmetic contact lenses sold by untrained professionals has caused an increase in these sight threatening problems. Delegate Peace’s sight preservation bill also includes a provision so that doctors of optometry may provide patients with the newest technological advancements in treating eye disease. As an example, in the near future, it is expected that the FDA will approve a contact lens which includes medication in the special type of contact lenses to treat ocular allergies.
The legislation recently passed the Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 99-0, and is now awaiting consideration by the State Senate.