News Spectrum

NEWS spectrum

BCLA Award Applications and Nominations Welcome

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is now accepting applications and nominations for a series of research awards that it bestows annually for exceptional work in the field of contact lens science. All submissions must be received by the closing date of Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.

The BCLA Medal Award goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to contact lenses. Any BCLA member may nominate a person for the medal, which is awarded during the annual BCLA Clinical Conference. Nominations are now due for the 2015 Medal Award.

The £8000 Dallos Award funds a yearlong project considered likely to advance understanding on a topic related to contact lenses and/or the anterior eye. Submissions for the 2015 Dallos Award are now being accepted.

The BCLA Da Vinci Award recognizes work by those who are not established contact lens researchers; specifically, applicants should not have published more than five papers related to the field of contact lenses and/or the anterior eye. Staff members within the lens-related manufacture and supply industry are also eligible for this £1000 award. Submissions are now open for the 2014 Da Vinci award.

Finally, the BCLA invites postgraduates in the field of contact lenses and/or the anterior eye to present the annual Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture. Nominees must have completed a PhD, a post-doctoral degree or MSc in the United Kingdom within the last five years and continued with their research either in private practice, hospital practice, or academia. Nominations for the 2015 Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture are now being accepted.

For more, contact BCLA communications consultant Nicky Collinson at

Alden Optical Expands NovaKone Online Program, Astera Parameters

Alden Optical recently expanded the On Demand resources available on the company’s website. Now available is an On Demand streaming video of the 2013 Global Specialty Lens Symposium NovaKone workshop, which featured NovaKone case reviews by Susan Resnick, OD, FAAO; Bruce Baldwin, OD, PhD, FAAO; and Clark Chang, OD, FAAO. Alden says that the workshop explored the real-world performance of this custom soft lens for keratoconus and provided excellent fitting insights. This video can be viewed at

Alden Optical also recently expanded the parameter range of its Astera Multifocal Toric to include a third Add Profile design. The new ADD profile addresses higher demands for near correction and also allows Alden to refine its fitting recommendation for all three Astera Add Profiles for improved precision with near vision correction, according to the company. Specifically, Add Profile 1 is now recommended to +1.50D, Profile 2 from +1.75D to +2.25D, and Profile 3 is for Add requirements of +2.50D or greater.

Global Dry Eye Awareness Campaign Launches

Dry eye awareness got a boost with the launch of a year-long social global campaign dubbed Blink Around the World. Eye health professionals around the world are supporting the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) in combatting dry eye with a new song and a corresponding online campaign to globally publicize the benefits of blinking.

According to TFOS, the initiative is intended to disseminate basic information about blinking as an easy and natural activity that can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of dry eye. Blinking flushes the eye with fresh tears, re-moisturizes the surface of the eye, and removes irritants.

A coalition of scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical industry representatives, and patients are collaborating on the campaign. Italian pop singer Sabrina partnered with TFOS to create the new music single, “Blink Around the World,” which can be purchased on or via iTunes. Proceeds from the sale of the track will benefit the TFOS educational mission.

Those interested in participating should contact Amy Grant Sullivan at or visit the campaign website at

EYE SIGHT TEST WITH GOOGLE GLASS has commissioned RustyBrick, a New York-based web service firm specializing in customized online technology, to develop an innovative app for Google Glass. Slated for release to the general public as early as 2014, Google Glass is a pair of eyeglasses that feature a computer situated above the right eye.

The app, EZexam, is designed to test visual acuity. says that while the Snellen Chart is a more popular eye exam, EZexam uses the Tumbling E Chart to test users’ vision. In EZexam, individual Es appear on each screen, asking the user to state whether the E is pointing up, down, left, or right to advance to the next level. After all of the levels have been completed, users receive a score of their visual acuity.

The app leverages the Google Apps Mirror API, along with voice controls, to test eyesight. It can test vision only in the right eye, as the Google Glass display is currently available only in the right eye. states that EZexam is not meant to replace a regular eye exam, but it may help patients pass the time in the waiting room. Google Glass users can try out EZexam by visiting eye-exam.html and clicking “connect to glass” a the top right of the page.

Transitions Accepting Scholarship Contest Entries

Students currently enrolled in vision care studies can now enter to win the 2013 Students of Vision Scholarship, a program supported by the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund. This year’s Share Your Impact theme encourages students to explain how they will use their professional expertise to make a difference in the lives of others.

Transitions Optical will accept submissions through the Share Your Impact tab on the Transitions Lenses: Healthy Sight Professionals Facebook page ( The deadline for entries is Nov. 30, 2013.

Entries can be submitted in the form of a video recording, photograph or poster, drawing, painting or illustration, or a short essay. The top finalists will be chosen based upon their creativity and their ability to communicate how they have used, or will use, their professional expertise to make a difference, and the impact that they believe it will bring to the lives of others.

The finalists will receive a $100 cash prize and a voucher for a pair of Transitions adaptive lenses. The grand prize-winners will receive $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to the Transitions Optical headquarters in Tampa, Fla. for a day of education and leadership training from industry experts. All winners will be selected by a team of judges at Transitions Optical and will be announced by Jan. 31, 2014.

Euclid and Wenzhou Medical University Promote OK
Euclid Systems Corporation announced the signing of a cooperation agreement with Wenzhou Medical University Eye Hospital in Zhejiang, P.R. China. Through this cooperative agreement, Euclid will support and assist the University in several areas, including the training of new optometrists and ophthalmologists in the fitting and use of orthokeratology lenses, as well as study the advantages of orthokeratology for the prevention of myopia progression and for treatment for highly myopic patients. Wenzhou University will support Euclid by presenting at ophthalmology meetings and conferences, by being a resource for prescribing doctors throughout China, and by promoting the health benefits and care standards for orthokeratology. Additionally the University will work with Euclid to open an Ortho-K Trial Center on the hospital grounds as a model for prescribing doctors in China.

INDUSTRY BRIEFS will add $25 to any contribution made to the World Sight Day Challenge (WSDC) by practices listed in its free Practitioner Directory. The added donation that practitioners generate by participating in this promotion is enough to provide five people with eye exams and glasses through Optometry Giving Sight-funded programs. To qualify for this $25 promotion, practices must be listed in the Practitioner Directory. Practices that don’t already have listings are encouraged to sign up for free before contributing to the WSDC, to make a bigger impact with their donation. Only donations made through’s Online Contribution Form before Oct. 31 apply.

■ The 53rd Annual Heart of America Contact Lens Society Contact Lens and Primary Care Congress will be held Feb. 14 to 16, 2014 at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The Heart of America Contact Lens Society (HOACLS) was founded nearly 50 years ago to provide post-graduate education in the theory and application of contact lenses. Each congress provides a wide variety of workshops, symposia, and courses to offer new learning opportunities for optometrists and paraoptometrics. Those interested in attending the event can contact Dr. Ron Fiegel at (316) 729-8900 or by email at Other meeting and registration information is available online at

Prevent Blindness America (PBA) is launching “Living Well with Low Vision,” a new online resource for seniors and their caregivers. This new site at, designed for viewers who have differing levels of vision loss, provides an extensive compilation of services, publications, and resource directories as well as an up-to-the-minute blog with news and features of interest for people living with age-related eye disease and significant visual impairment.

Ophthalix Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutic products for ophthalmic disorders, announced that the European Patent Office issued a Certificate of Grant of Patent for European Patent No. 1778239, titled “Adenosine A3 receptor agonists for the treatment of dry eye disorders including Sjögren’s syndrome.” This patent was granted to Ophthalix’s parent and majority stockholder, Can-Fite Bio- Pharma Ltd., and relates to Ophthalix’s drug candidate CF101. The company is currently developing CF101 for ophthalmic indications, including dry eye syndrome (Phase III), glaucoma (Phase II), and uveitis (initiating Phase II).

■ The 10th Assottica Conference will be held Nov. 10 and 11, 2013 in Rome and will be dedicated to the presentation of the data collected during the educational campaign “Contact Lenses: here we inform you.” Started in October 2012, this campaign involved more than 800 contact lens practitioners and had a response of more than 2,800 potential wearers to the questionnaire. The results will be presented during the Assottica Conference. Assottica says that the campaign’s outcome provides useful insights and inspiring ideas to be discussed during the plenary session on Sunday and the workshops on Monday that will be presented by speakers and researchers from all over the world. Assottica is the Association that represents the main contact lens companies on the Italian market.