Thank you, Madam Chair.
We'd like to thank the committee for giving us the opportunity to participate in the support of Bill C-313, which will reclassify cosmetic contact lenses as class II medical devices. We'd also like to thank Member of Parliament Patricia Davidson for bringing this bill forward.
The Opticians Association of Canada is a non-profit organization, representing approximately 6,000 opticians, with the objective and purpose of representing the common interest of dispensing opticians in Canada and of promoting and increasing, in the public interest, the delivery of the highest quality of products and services provided by our members.
The Opticians Association of Canada appears today before the House committee in support of the private member's bill, C-313, An Act to amend the Food and Drugs Act. The OAC concerns itself greatly with the eye health and welfare of Canadians. We consider ourselves part of the model of collaborative eye health. To this end, we speak today to this committee of the dangers associated with wearing non-corrective cosmetic contact lenses and the need to regulate this potentially dangerous product.
Although non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses appear to be innocuous and amusing, they carry the same risk factors as a prescription contact lens when the individual is not properly fitted and educated on contact lens wear and maintenance. There is also the need for the wearer to understand the importance of the monitoring of ocular health by a licensed eye care professional. We intend here today to show the importance and relevance of properly fitted contact lenses by an eye care professional.
Contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all, and there is a whole range of ocular problems associated with improperly fitted lenses. Based on many cases reported by eye care professionals, severe eye complications have been reported with as little as one wearing of these lenses. Consumers need to know there is a great deal of maturity, responsibility, and awareness required with contact lens wear, whether they are used for vision correction or not. Beyond any doubt, improper use of non-prescription cosmetic contact lenses can be detrimental to your vision, and in some cases can result in permanent vision loss.
Cosmetic contact lenses can be fun and entertaining, provided they are procured through a regulated eye care professional, who will ensure your eyes stay healthy and protected.
Thank you. I'd like to defer to my colleague Janice Schmidt.