From the daily archives: Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Increasingly popular cosmetic lenses can cause serious

eye damage if not properly fitted.

The California Board of Optometry is warning consumers about using decorative Halloween contact lenses without a prescription.

When not fitted properly or when purchased without a prescription from an eye care professional, costume contacts can damage the eye. Types of injuries associated with improper wear of decorative lenses range from painful irritation and redness to infection, scratched cornea, impaired vision, and, in severe cases, loss of eyesight.

“Costume lenses are especially popular among teens and young adults, who may not know the risks involved with unsanitary lenses, swapping of lenses, and not having contact lenses properly fitted,” said Board of Optometry Executive Officer Mona Maggio.

Blood red vampire eyes, ‘rave’ lenses that glow under a black light, and cat eyes are some of the popular lenses sold as accessories to Halloween costumes. However, decorative contact lenses, like all contact lenses, are considered medical devices and must be obtained with a prescription written by a licensed optometrist or an ophthalmologist.

Frequently, cosmetic contact lenses are sold in flea markets, novelty shops, Halloween costume stores, the Internet, and even gas stations without a prescription, but this is against the law.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, businesses that sell cosmetic contact lenses must verify that consumers have a prescription. Many people mistakenly believe that zero-powered cosmetic contact lenses cannot pose the same eye health risks as corrective prescription contact lenses, but they can.

Problems associated with contact lens wear may affect the eyelid, the conjunctiva, the various layers of the eye including the cornea, and even the tear film that covers the outer surface of the eye. There have been reported cases of serious corneal ulcers and infections associated with wear of cosmetic contact lenses. Corneal ulcers can progress rapidly, leading to internal ocular infection if left untreated. Uncontrolled infection can lead to corneal scarring and vision impairment. In extreme cases, this condition can result in blindness and eye loss.

Flea markets, novelty shops, or seedy Web sites are not good places to obtain lenses. Do not buy from any place that does not require a prescription.  It is the law and for your safety.  Remember, good hygiene and the use of proper lens care products make contact lens wear safe, enjoyable, and on those special occasions, even scary!


EL CENTRO, Calif. – October 26, 2010 – Recent visitors to ECRMC may have noticed the addition of pink into the Hospital. ECRMC is recognizing the 25th Anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by joining in the Pink Gloves movement and using only pink exam gloves.

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in full swing, ECRMC wants to take a moment to remind the Imperial Valley community of the importance of early detection and screening. Early detection can save many thousands of lives. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancers found because of symptoms tend to be larger and have likely spread beyond the breast. Those found during screening exams are more likely smaller and confined to the breast.

“Pink gloves are our reminder to the community that early detection and prevention is key,” said Peggy Lyons, Director of Imaging. “The mortality rate of breast cancer would decrease dramatically if all women receive regular screenings and mammograms after the age of 40.”

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. The disease takes the lives of approximately 40,000 women each year. Risk factors include age, genetics, obesity and family history. Women who exercise frequently, maintain healthy diets and see their doctors regularly tend to have lower diagnosis of breast cancer.

In addition to raising awareness, these pink gloves are helping provide free mammograms to women who cannot afford them. Medline, the pink glove manufacturer, is contributing $1 for every 1,000 Generation Pink gloves purchased to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). Over 130,000 free screenings have been provided since 2004 by the NBCF. By funding free mammograms for women who could otherwise not afford them and supporting research programs in leading facilities across the country, NBCF helps inspire the courage needed to win the battle against breast cancer.


El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC) is a licensed 165-bed general acute care facility located in El Centro, Calif. ECRMC is committed to providing the community with high quality healthcare as reflected in its mission statement: “To Provide Healthcare Excellence For The Imperial Valley.”

ECRMC is moving forward with the planning and development of the hospital expansion project that will replace the older portion of the hospital. In addition, the hospital is developing a new facility to meet the needs of the Imperial Valley and provide an advanced healthcare facility and service.

ECRMC has recently announced a collaboration with the Oncology and Hematology Center of Imperial Valley to create the El Centro Regional Medical Center Oncology and Hematology Center. Maintaining its commitment to medical technology advancement, the hospital has invested in the da Vinci Si HD Surgical System. The surgery system allows for safe and less intrusive procedures in various surgical fields, including urology, cardiology, obstetrics/gynecology and more.

Effective August 2010, ECRMC partnered with TeamHealth, one of the nation’s leading healthcare staffing organizations, to provide high quality emergency department management and staffing, elevating the hospital’s ER department.

About Generation Pink Gloves

The Generation Pink exam glove line from Medline includes a vinyl glove, a nitrile glove and the new Pink Pearl (nitrile glove with aloe). Medline is the leading provider of exam gloves in the U. S., including a complete line of latex and latex-free products featuring patented 3G and aloe technologies.

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The Registrar of Voters has issued 22,460 Vote by Mail Ballots and as of Friday Oct. 22, 2009 3,712 Voters had returned their voted ballots.

Tuesday:        October 26, 2010  Last Day to Request a Vote by Mail Ballot:

The mail ballot application found on the back of the Sample Ballot Booklet can be submitted by October 26, 2010, to request a Vote by Mail Ballot for the November 2, 2010 Statewide General Election.  Voters in Mail Precincts and Permanent Vote by Mail Voters do not need to apply; a ballot has automatically been mailed.

Reminder:      Returning a Vote by Mail Ballot

The Registrar is urging voters to return the ballot as soon it is voted it!  Sign the envelope, apply postage and mail it. The cost to mail the ballot is $0.61 cents.  Voted ballots must be in the hands of the County Election Official by 8:00 P. M. on November 2, 2010 Election Day.

Voters are reminded that if someone else is returning the ballot because the voter is unable due to illness or physical disability, only an authorized Agent who is a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister or a person residing in the same household may be designated on the back of envelope to return the ballot to the Registrar of Voters office or to deliver it on Election Day to a Polling Place.

Questions may be directed to the Registrar of Voters at 760-482-4226 or at 1-888-994-8663 or at .


U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Andrade Port of Entry in California prevented more than 256 pounds of marijuana and 30 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of more than $359,000 from entering the United States in two separate occasions over the weekend.

On Oct. 22, at approximately 2:37 p.m., 34-year-old male U.S. citizen from Roll, Ariz., driving a white 2001 Ford Windstar minivan applied for admission in to the U.S. and was referred for a secondary inspection. During the inspection a narcotics detector dog alerted to the vehicle. A more intensive inspection revealed a non-factory compartment in the floorboard of the vehicle concealing cocaine with an estimated street value of $242,861.

On Oct. 23, at approximately 5:39 p.m., a 47-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 1999 Ford F-350 pickup truck applied for admission in to the U.S. and was referred for a secondary inspection. During the inspection a narcotics detector dog alerted to the vehicle. A more intensive inspection revealed a non-factory compartment on the auxiliary fuel tank containing 33 plastic wrapped packages of marijuana with an estimated street value of $116,190.

“I am proud of the great work performed by these CBP officers,” said Port Director Ray Nagy. “The combination and of manpower and technology is very effective in stopping the flow of dangerous narcotics from entering our communities.”

In both incidents the narcotics and vehicles were seized by CBP and the drivers were arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for prosecution.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Thirty-three plastic wrapped packages of marijuana with an estimated street value of $116,190 was removed from a non-factory compartment on the auxiliary fuel tank of a white 1999 Ford F-350 pickup truck driven by a 47-year-old male Mexican. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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