Optometric Professionals Team with Hollywood for Second Installment of Video Campaign

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Entertainment Industries Council brings industry-leading makeup artists and eye-care professionals together to create dramatic public service campaign targeting dangerous decorative contact lens use in teens and young adults

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Artists and technicians work closely with each other, the actors, and doctors to ensure proper fit, vision and safety. We wouldn’t put our actors’ health in danger, and the viewers who want to emulate these characters shouldn’t either

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) have teamed with entertainment industry-leading artists from the TV series American Horror Story on a first-of-its-kind Decorative Contact Lens Campaign to bring the dramatic realities of illegal and unsafe lens use to the forefront. The public service campaign, which has already reached tens-of-thousands, is now releasing its second production which will debut at the National Optometric Association (NOA) annual convention. Comprised primarily of minority Optometrists, NOA is focused on “Advancing the Visual Health of Minority Populations.” Spotlighting this production on the NOA platform further strengthens the support of eye care professionals and leaders who recognize the power of entertainment and media to convey this important health information to widespread audiences.

“Recent NOA efforts have focused on the Association’s desire to better educate populations who are at a higher risk of developing sight-threatening conditions, emphasizing the importance of early detection and timely treatment. Often patients in underserved minority communities are unaware of the dangers of wearing non-prescribed decorative contact lenses. In an effort to increase this awareness, the NOA is honored to preview the video on the horrors of engaging in such use at the opening reception of its Annual Convention,” said NOA President, Stephanie Johnson-Brown, O.D.

Often called “decorative,” “fashion,” or “cosplay” lenses, these contacts change the appearance of the eyes to give them a vampire, cat, white-out, or alternate color “look.” Used often in Hollywood characters from X-Men to American Horror Story, and reality shows like FaceOff, eye-changing lenses create certain character traits or appearances that, in some instances, become iconic and sought-after “looks” by fans. In reality, contact lenses can cause serious eye damage and even blindness if they’re not fitted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. If they aren’t cleaned and cared for properly, they can cause potentially vision-threatening infections. This is a message the entertainment industry, FDA and AOA are seeking to impart through the campaign.

“Artists and technicians work closely with each other, the actors, and doctors to ensure proper fit, vision and safety. We wouldn’t put our actors’ health in danger, and the viewers who want to emulate these characters shouldn’t either,” said technician Christien Tinsley, Tinsley Studios and Makeup Effects Designer for American Horror Story.

“We believe that this unique collaboration can be leveraged to improve and protect vision and we view the development of these PSA’s as positive return on these engagements,” commented TearLab Corporation’s President , Seph Jensen.

Featuring Emmy-nominated artists Cristina Patterson, American Horror Story makeup artist Eryn Krueger Mekash and special makeup effects designer Christien Tinsley, this edgy production uses expert guidance and captivating clips from the hit television series American Horror Story to bring the power and influence of entertainment to communicate these important health messages.

“All contact lenses, even cosmetic ones, are prescription devices by federal law. Get an eye exam, get a valid contact lens prescription and receive proper contact lens handling and care instructions from a licensed eye care professional. Only buy your lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription,” said Helene Clayton-Jeter, O.D., Health Programs Coordinator, U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

“This effort will stem a rising tide of contact lens related traumatic eye injury among youth and will generate measurable positive public health outcomes that have otherwise not been attainable,” Michael Dueñas, O.D., AOA’s Chief Public Health Officer stated.

“The entertainment industry has a unique opportunity to bridge a gap and reach teens and young adults through the characters and shows with which they identify and in the digital spaces where they spend their time,” commented Marie Gallo Dyak, Executive Vice President, Program Services & Government Relations, Entertainment Industries Council. “We are harnessing the power of media to change the attitudes and behaviors of these young people, and, hopefully, encourage them to lead healthier lives,” Dyak concluded.

To learn more, please visit contactART.org. To view the public service spots, log on to EICnetwork.tv.

About Entertainment Industries Council
EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders within the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to communicate about health and social issues. The organization is considered to be the chief pioneer of entertainment and journalism outreach and a premiere success story in the field of entertainment education. This mission relies on providing resource information to the creative community and culminates in recognition of the industry through the national television special PRISM Showcase which addresses accurate portrayals of substance use issues and mental health concerns. The organization also produces the SET Awards, honoring positive and non-stereotypical portrayals of science, engineering and technology.
For a complete list of health and social issues addressed by EIC and local projects please visit First Draft and EIC’s website at http://www.eiconline.org or the internet television network at EICnetwork.tv. The PRISM Awards web site is http://www.prismawards.com. The SET Awards web site is http://www.eicsetawards.com.

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