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Alabama Optometrists Scorn Adjustable-Focus Eyeglasses, Target European Manufacturer

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“These things were designed for third-world countries,” says former optometrist who’s now a state senator.

Alabama optometrists are speaking out against adjustable-focus eyeglasses – particularly those from European manufacturer Adlens – because of what they say are potentially harmful consequences that may arise as a result of “self-prescribing,” The Anniston Star writes.

“These things were designed for third-world countries where there are no doctors available, and no prescription glasses available,” Sen. Jim McClendon (R-Springville), a former optometrist, told the news outlet. “I think if you’re driving an ox-cart, and you’re nearsighted and you prescribe your own glasses, then that’s a whole different situation from driving on the interstate and prescribing your own glasses.”

The article says that McClendon is leading a fight against Adlens and adjustable eyewear, pushing a bill that regulates the sale of nonprescription-based, adjustable-focus eyeglasses within the state. The bill would still allow the sale of the eyeglasses if a doctor prescribed a pair. But Mark Gaines, an Alabama attorney and lobbyist for Adlens, says that optometrists are overreacting.

“We argue against that idea with the fact that over-the-counter reading glasses are still sold legally,” Gaines told the Star. “And to add, the optometrists have offered no real evidence to show that people would not be going to the eye doctor regularly like they should be. … They are trying to stamp out the market before it gets here. The optometrists are launching a first strike to prevent it, because they see this new technology and want to prevent it from coming here.”

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Read more at The Anniston Star

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