1 April 2017
During todays negotiations, the European Parliament has approved a ban that applies to wearing, selling and distributing all prescription glasses and their imitations. This regulation was approved by European Parliament member Martina Jameson, who was also involved in creating the final version of this law.
„I do not see anything controversial in banning glasses. In the twenty-first century, they are a very obsolete invention, and should no longer be supported in any case,“ said Jameson. It is widely speculated that the international lobby of contact lenses manufacturers is behind this ban, as they try to gain a competitive edge over more traditional eyewear producers on the market. At the forefront of those expressing support for this ban is leading online contact lens retailer Alensa.
Panel experts cited many reasons for the ban, primarily the dangers and health hazards of wearing glasses, especially while participating in sports activities. According to research made by the World Health Organization (WHO), athletes were at least 100 times more likely to sustain injuries while wearing eye glasses than their non-spectacled competitors, and the likelihood of serious eye injuries also increased exponentially.
The head of the traumatology department at General University Hospital in Dicksboro, County Kilkenny, Dr. Linda Dorkova says, „Wearing spectacles can actually result in serious injuries due to poor peripheral vision because glasses and goggles do not allow the full 180-degree field of vision necessary for safety. We see these accidents regularly among athletes, but the dangers are not limited to people. We recently saw injuries to a dog whose owner‘s glasses had broken and caused acute trauma on one of the legs of the dog.“
Prescription eye glasses also pose another problem that lead to their recent ban, and that is their ecological and environmental impact. Because eye glasses are made of a combination of materials, they are not able to be efficiently recycled. To properly dispose of a single pair of spectacles requires extremely costly and complicated disposal methods, and standard recycling containers are not suitable for objects containing combinations of plastic, glass, and even metal.
„This combination of materials is almost impossible to dispose of in an environmentally friendly manner,“ adds John Gutter, director of the municipal waste collection services department in Muff, County Donegal.
The EU ban does not include other protective eye glasses for industrial purposes, however, these have been renamed protective eye covers to avoid any confusion with common eye glasses for vision correction.
Professional athletes will, henceforth, be required to adapt to the ban to comply with EU regulations and to promote the healthy use of alternative vision-correction products among their fans. One player directly affected is Serbian professional tennis player Janko Tipsarevič, who is known for playing in specially designed prescription spectacles. "Well, this sucks,” Tipsarevič is quoted as saying at a press conference in Belgrade today. "I guess I’ll get used to it.“
The question remains of how eyeglasses as medical devices will be replaced. Monica White is an expert in the field of optometry and design and works for the Alensa company. According White, “This dilemma will ultimately be solved with the help of contact lenses.“ She continued to assert that contact lenses are the most health-appropriate and most environmentally friendly option on the market from a health and environmental point of view. Today’s contact lenses, says White, are environmentally biodegradable and are 90% recyclable, a market improvement over traditional spectacles.
Dr. Dorkova, among other eye-care professionals, suggests complying with the EU ban by switching to contact lenses. There is a wide variety of brands and models on the market, and you no longer need to leave your home to purchase your supply. Companies like Alensa offer online shopping for contact lenses, to help you save time and money while still complying with this new legislation. So if you want to be one step ahead, order your lenses now from Alensa because next time this message might be more than an April Fool's prank!