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Impact-Resistant Lenses: Questions and Answers Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff September 2010

Docket Number:
Issued by:
Guidance Issuing Office
Center for Devices and Radiological Health

Eyeglasses and sunglasses (eyewear) that are intended to affect the structure or function of the body or intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, are devices within the meaning of section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the act) (21 U.S.C. 321(h)). These devices are subject to applicable device regulations under Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations. Impact-resistant lenses reduce the number of eye injuries from eyeglasses and sunglasses. Glass lenses, plastic lenses, or laminated glass lenses can be made impact resistant by any method. However, lenses generally must be capable of withstanding the impact test described in 21 CFR 801.410.

This guidance answers questions for manufacturers, importers, and testing laboratories on such topics as test procedures, lens testing apparatus, record maintenance, and exemptions to testing. This guidance is a revision of “Impact-Resistant Lenses: Questions and Answers (FDA 87-4002),” issued September 1987. This guidance updates answers to questions that industry and consumers frequently ask FDA about impact-resistant lenses and FDA regulation of eyewear. The revision reflects the exemption of sunglasses from the Premarket Notification (510(k)) requirement effective February 19, 1998 (21 CFR 886.5850(b)). The revised document also includes a more detailed discussion about lens blanks, semi-finished, finished, and plano lenses, as well as import procedures. We use the terms "eyeglasses" and "spectacles" interchangeably in this document.

FDA's guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency's current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.

Submit Comments

You can submit online or written comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5))

If unable to submit comments online, please mail written comments to:

Dockets Management
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Rm 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

All written comments should be identified with this document's docket number: FDA-2007-D-0367.

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