News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

Study Highlights Behaviors of Online CL Purchasers

Internet contact lens purchasers typically don't follow their eyecare practitioner's recommendations, potentially placing them at greater risk for complications, according to a new study reported inthe January issue of Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association. The research was conducted by Joshua Fogel, PhD, and Chaya Zidile of Brooklyn College, New York, and included 151 students from the university who were contact lens wearers.

The findings indicate that lens wearers who purchase their contact lenses online or through a store (such as a whole-sale club or optical chain outlet) are less likely to adhere to healthy eyecare practices as recommended by their practitioner.

The study found that 86 percent of individuals who purchased their lenses from an eyecare practitioner received a yearly comprehensive examination. In comparison, only 76.5 percent of individuals who purchased their lenses via the Internet saw an eyecare practitioner on a routine basis. Also, 35 that the order matched their prescription.

One of the largest discrepancies found between in-office and out-of-office contact lens purchases was in the number of lens wearers who saw an eye doctor for a follow-up appointment to ensure the proper fit of their lenses. Fifty-seven percent of patients who purchased their lenses from an eyecare practitioner went in for a follow-up appointment, compared to only 29 percent of online purchasers.

New Base Curve for Acuvue Oasys
Vistakon has added a second base curve for its Acuvue Oasys with Hydraclear Plus. As of January, the Acuvue Oasys lens is now available with an 8.8mm base curve.
The power ranges for the 8.8mm base curve will be the same as those of the 8.4mm Acuvue Oasys: –12.00D to +8.00D for both diagnostic and prescription lenses.


Dakota Sciences and Art Optical Contact Lens, Inc. have entered into an exclusive agreement allowing Art Optical to manufacture and distribute the patented So2Clear Lens Technology throughout North America. The So2Clear Lens is a larger diameter GP lens that the company says has many specialty and mainstream applications. Art Optical will manufacture the lens exclusively in Bausch & Lomb's Boston XO2 material.

■ Two marketers of noncorrective cosmetic contact lenses have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated federal law by selling lenses without prescriptions. Under the proposed settlements, BeWild, Inc. and Pretty Eyes, LLC are prohibited from selling contact lenses without obtaining prescriptions or verifying the prescriptions directly from the prescribers, from failing to maintain records of prescriptions and verifications and from violating the Contact Lens Rule. BeWild was also prohibited from misrepresenting that contact lenses may be obtained without a prescription. Civil penalties were also ordered. These consent decrees do not constitute admission of guilt and are subject to court approval.

Essilor of America has created the Essilor Vision Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping people in need obtain access to vision care. The new foundation, based in Dallas, will concentrate its initial efforts on U.S. school children, working with schools in Tarrant County, Texas, to educate parents about the need for annual eye exams for children and working with other non-profit organizations such as Lions Clubs International to find ways to help families pay for eye exams and receive eyeglasses that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

■ The AOA Paraoptometric Section has added "ABCs of Optical Dispensing" to its series of education modules for paraoptometric professionals, provided through an education grant from Luxottica. The courses are available at

Ista Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has submitted a New Drug Application to the FDA for Xibrom QD (once daily). The company is seeking approval for Xibrom QD as a treatment for inflammation, pain and photophobia following cataract surgery. Xibrom currently has approval as a twice-daily NSAID for reducing pain and inflammation following cataract surgery.

Pearle Vision Foundation has announced funding for 20 scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each through the Dr. Stanley Pearle Scholarship Fund. Applicants must be full-time students pursuing graduate studies leading to a Doctor of Optometry degree. Applications are due by April 15th of each year. Visit and click on About Pearl, Charitable Organizations.

Optometry Giving Sight has committed to raising funds for projects that will provide eyecare services for at least 5 million people over the next three years and will train 700 new eyecare professionals who will provide long-term, affordable services in 102 new vision centers and optical workshops in South Africa, East Africa and Sri Lanka as part of the "Giving Sight to Africa" project.

"Although buying contact lenses online can be more cost-effective and convenient, we strongly urge patients to understand that there are risks involved to wearing contact lenses," said Dr. Louise Sclafani, chair of the American Optometric Association's Contact Lens and Cornea Section. "Because of this, it's necessary that patients visit their eye doctor on a regular basis and communicate any recent visual changes and discomfort experienced as a result of contact lens wear."

WaveTouch Names New CEO
WaveTouch Technologies announced several personnel changes, including the appointment of John J. Ferro as its new CEO.
"I am delighted to be joining WaveTouch Technologies at such an exciting time," Mr. Ferro said. "Our WaveTouch lenses, made for each individual patient from aberrometry measurements taken in their practitioner's office are currently in beta testing, with market rollout in the very near future."
Kevin F. Bligh, one of the founders of WaveTouch Technologies, was appointed Executive Vice President, with primary responsibilities in the areas of Business Development, Sales and Marketing. Sandra Zuccaro-Keyes, NCLC-AC, was named Executive Director of Professional Services, and Gary A. Klein, OD, is now a Clinical Research Consultant to WTT. He is in private practice in San Diego, Calif., and specialized in the early clinical development of wavefront optics.

CooperVision Launches "Adopt a Patient"

■ A new program is giving optometry students nationwide the opportunity to gain handson, contact-lens-fitting experience in their communities fitting patients who are in need of contact lenses but unable to afford them.

The new CooperVision, Inc., "Adopt A Patient" program allows primarily third- and fourth-year optometry students to fit patients in any of CooperVision's contact lenses, free of charge. CooperVision will also provide the patients with a complimentary one-year supply of the prescribed contact lenses. The company expects to invest approximately $200,000 in support of the "Adopt A Patient" program.

Programs are currently active or in development at the New England College of Optometry, Northeastern State University College of Optometry, Pacific University College of Optometry and the Southern California College of Optometry. Each participating school will individually determine all exam fees, fitting fees and follow-up care.

"The CooperVision 'Adopt A Patient' program gives my students access to learning opportunities they may not otherwise experience in contact lens clinic on campus," said Bill Edmondson, OD, FAAO, chief of contact lens services, Oklahoma College of Optometry at Northeastern State University.

For more information about the "Adopt A Patient" program, or to order contact lenses for the program, please contact Mark André, FAAO, at

Paragon Awarded Fourth CRT Patent

Paragon Vision Sciences, Inc. was recently awarded its fourth United States patent for the company's Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). This newest patent issued is for methods of fitting Paragon CRT lenses for overnight corneal reshaping. According to Paragon, this patent complements previous patents for the CRT lens design itself and the methods of design and manufacturing.

Paragon also announced that 2007 was a record year for its overnight corneal reshaping product. The company reports that the strong double-digit growth was prominent not only in the United States but also worldwide as patient referrals and consumer awareness increased significantly in 2007. Practitioner awareness and confidence in the safety of the modality was also extended throughout the year as only nine adverse events have been reported over a period of nearly six years since FDA approval, with only two adverse events reported in the most recent 24 months.

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"We are extremely proud of our safety record in the field of overnight corneal reshaping and continue to make significant strides in driving practitioner education and patient compliance," said Bill Meyers, Paragon Vision Sciences VP Science and Technology.

New Eye Health Podcasts Available
The Vision Care Institute, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson Company, now offers a free monthly podcast to eyecare professionals available through or subscribed to through iTunes. The podcasts feature interviews with leading eyecare professionals on topics related to eye health. The first podcast, "Improving Compliance through Communication," includes interviews with Walt West, OD, FAAO, and J. Paige Pantall, COA, ABOC, NCLEC. Future topics include "Higher Order Aberrations and Vision Correction," with Lou Catania, OD, FAAO, DSc (Hons), and "Managing Presbyopic Patients with Contact Lenses," with David Kirschen, OD, PhD. The podcasts are available in English, French and Spanish.