Monday, July 12, 2010

Re-addressing the Circle Lens Issue (hopefully for the last time)

Hello everyone, hopefully this will be the last time I'm going to write a novel about the whole circle lens issue. First off I want to apologize to "aaa" for not receiving your comment and then getting snippy about it -- I was just a bit offended that you would instantly accuse me of deleting it to "protect my views on the issue." Like I mentioned last time, I assure you, I take everyone's opinions into consideration and take the time to reply; whether or not I agree with them.

So, I found the comment in my Intense Debate Spam folder today; along with about 20 other comments. I am not sure exactly WHY Intense Debate marked those comments as spam, because there was nothing spammy about them. But anyway, I found your comment there and now I would like to take some time to address it.

aaa wrote:

"I'm afraid you are wrong about the article. The writer was actually right about its danger. Such contact lenses are huge in Asia and it has its share of controversy. When circle lenses broke into the market, people had to buy them online because shops don't sell them. They would try to get them from Korea, import over and sell to make money. People would just randomly buy without checking whether it would suit their eyes. It led to many problems."
  • I understand what you're saying; but this is "buyer beware." It is unfair for the media to be labeling circle lenses as "illegal." They are KFDA approved. Look at all the FDA approved products here that have caused harm to consumers. I have yet to hear a huge outcry about circle lenses. And, those people should have taken the proper steps BEFORE buying randomly. It is the consumers job to be educated about the use of contact lenses, and then do the proper research to find out legitimate sellers. If they chose not to check if circle lenses weren't suitable for their eyes or find a credible seller BEFOREHAND, then it is no one's fault but their own.

"Firstly, people were wearing lenses that didn't suit them without going through professional optician. It lead to eye irritation, eye infections, serious problems. Only when they seek help from their opticians, then they knew they were not suitable to wear it at all."

  • Like I mentioned above, they SHOULD have done this before venturing into the world of circle lenses. Consumers with common sense would have at least SOME knowledge about contact/circle lenses and have had appointments with an eye doctor. If they were suffering from eye irritation, eye infections, and other serious problems that they think is due to circle lenses, then common sense says that they should stop using them. If they didn't stop using them and incurred more damage to their eyes; again, it is their own fault.

"Secondly, due to the huge demand, there were so many fake lenses in the market packaged like real authentic ones. Their eyes started tearing like no tomorrow. Those fake lenses were not fit for human but were sold to make money."

  • I totally agree with you here. The danger of fake lenses is very real. However, there are many reliable and trustworthy sellers out there; you just need to do the proper research to find them. There are also precautionary measures such as anti-fake codes. I know they work because I tried inputting a code that was one character off the actual code (like O instead of 0), and it didn't go through. However, when I input the correct code, it went through.

Thirdly, the sellers who tried selling online could not provide proper advice on usage. None do they store the lenses in proper conditions. It lead to contamination and again, eye infection problems.

  • I have to disagree with you here. Majority of the circle lens sites I have been to had a detailed page explaining how to put in, take out, and store your circle lenses. If the consumer is educated in the proper use of REGULAR contact lenses, then it is the same with circle lenses. If they are not properly taking care of the circle lenses; it will lead to contamination, eye infection, and other problems. Again, that is the fault of the consumer. And as for the sellers not storing the lenses in proper conditions, please tell me, what were those improper conditions? The lenses are in tightly sealed glass vials. I understand if the lenses were fake, the way they were stored would be cause for concern. But if they are authentic, what could lead to contamination?

"All these surface when an increase in eye infection cases was found related to wearers of circle lenses and complaints made against those online sellers. That's when rules were tightened. With the current Youtube videos, it's likely to lead to a case of reckless consumer buying behaviour. It is better to be safe than sorry. Eye infection problems don't mean sore eyes for 3 days. There were cases where there was severe damage to the eye that the girl couldn't wear lenses for months and had almost lost her eyesight. Contamination lead to growing of worms."

  • Please let me know which sellers were getting complaints -- I feel that only THOSE sellers should have been penalized, not ALL sellers. I agree that rules should be tightened, but they shouldn't be enforced upon credible sellers. I also agree that youtube reviewers can be very persuasive; which can lead to reckless consumer buying. But again, if the consumer has common sense; they will do their research and gather their knowledge BEFOREHAND.
  • Also, please show me sources of actual documented cases where circle lenses were determined as the actual culprit of damaging the user's eyes. If you just say that "this girl nearly lost her eyesight and got worms," I am not too inclined to believe this -- I need to see some supporting information. I personally have read only ONE blogger's bad experience with circle lenses. And while I don't doubt her story, she was only ONE person, not ONE THOUSAND people. She may have bought from a bad seller, or not taken proper care of her lenses, or had an existing eye problem that was exascerbated by wearing circle lenses. You're making a broad statement here; first, you say "cases" but then you go on to talk about only ONE girl... where are your sources for this information?

"This is just part of it. The other part why they consider it dangerous is because poorly made lenses will lead to aging of cornea instead. That's why they had to be strict. To safeguard consumers."

  • I agree with you here, it is important to ensure the safety of consumers. But lenses from legitimate sellers or directly from the manufacturer of big-name brands (EOS, GEO, etc) are NOT poorly made. I own 5 pairs of circle lenses and they ALL are more comfortable and fit better than my regular perscription contacts. I had to stop wearing my actual perscription contacts because they moved around on my eye, made my eyes itchy/watery, and just weren't comfortable. However, I am perfectly fine while wearing circle lenses. Now I know that not everyone experience will be the same, but I honestly have not heard enough negative reviews about circle lenses to be put under the impression that they are poorly made or not as good as regular contact lenses.

aaa's second comment:
  • The video you sent me does not discuss the "dangerousness" of circle lenses to a convincing extent. It says "Prolonged wear can lead to infections" and "Incorrect fit can scratch the cornea." Are you telling me that there aren't these EXACT same risks with regular contacts? If the consumer is educated in the proper use and care of contact lenses; the risks are extremely lessened. Also, consumers can "play it safe" like the girl in the video did, and consult their eye doctor first. Apparently, they didn't tell her anything was wrong with circle lenses; why are they only starting NOW? Because American doctors are realizing that since we have no American circle lenses, Asian circle lenses are taking away from our economy and their business. Thus, ALL OF A SUDDEN, circle lenses are labeled as "dangerous."
I can't believe you deleted my comment with explanations of what exactly happened in Asia. So you just want people to agree with you while continuing with the risk of getting serious eye infections where permanent damages to the cornea could result?
  • I must disagree here, you did not explain to me EXACTLY what happened in Asia. Like NYT, you did not provide any credible sources. Are you an eye doctor? Have you had a negative experience with circle lenses? Do you personally know a significant amount of people who have had adverse reactions to circle lenses? I am not forcing anyone to agree with me. I am simply stating my opinion on the issue. Had I known your comment was in my spam inbox, I would have published it and replied a lot sooner. Again, I apologize for that.

Online sellers have no licenses to sell those lenses. That's why it's illegal and not safe. If you want worms growing in your eyes, please go ahead and try running the risk of buying online and getting fake lenses passed off as real ones. Go and live in your own world where you think you are right.

  • I understand your point here, but it has such a negative connotation to say that they are "illegal," and they certainly aren't ALL unsafe. Circle lenses are KFDA approved and again, consumers have all the chances to do their research and educate themselves before trying circle lenses.

So in conclusion,

I cannot stress this enough -- if something goes wrong with the consumer's circle lenses or they get some kind of eye irritation AND if they have done proper research & consulting beforehand; it is most likely due to THEIR misuse, not the SELLER. It is not fair for ALL sellers to be shut down just because the FDA has not done testing on circle lenses and just because of the supposed "cases" where people had negative effects from circle lenses. They should be directly addressing the unreliable sellers and questioning the consumers who had problems; not declaring ALL sellers and circle lenses "ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS."

And if the media is going to overreact to the whole issue and go on and on about how DANGEROUS circle lenses are; they should at least DO PROPER RESEARCH and PROVIDE US WITH SOLID SUPPORTING INFORMATION AND STATISTICS, RATHER THAN JUST SPECULATION. Circle lenses have been around FAR longer than since Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video came out -- they aren't JUST becoming popular and they aren't much different than regular contacts. That's irresponsible reporting to use her as a hook.

I would just like to say that I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me, but I would greatly like to see some concrete sources for your claims. I am not trying to get you to agree with me, nor am I discounting EVERYTHING you said. You have a lot of valid points but I also feel you have points that lack support and are too broad. For example, you say there are "so many" instances of circle lenses damaging eyes or being fake, etc. So what are the actual numbers? Who are the actual people? Who were the sellers? Where are the documented cases? Why aren't the reporters digging up this information; if it truly exists? I am quite curious to know where you have gotten all your information from.

If I'm still coming across as blunt and "thinking I'm right," it's only because I really feel that this issue is being reported VERY unfairly. I posted YOUR comment, video, AND the NYT article with MY opinion because I want people to be able to look at BOTH SIDES of the issue. It's not fair for reporters to only use "scare tactics" to shake up the America's view of Asian products without offering any supporting information.

Again, there are two sides to every story; and I wish for this post to be taken as a more rational and thought-out perspective on the issue, rather than all the other biased articles out there.

No comments :

Post a Comment

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to drop me a line and I'll get back to you asap :)