Academies to Collaborate on Education
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry have announced a joint initiative to work together to better prepare and support their members in delivering the highest quality eye care. The two organizations are continuing education leaders for ophthalmology and optometry, respectively. They are engaging with each other in an effort to foster a mutual approach to serving a growing population of patients in the United States who are expected to require eye health services in the near future.
This effort marks the first-ever large-scale, organized effort within the optometry and ophthalmology professions in support of joint educational initiatives. The two academies’ leaders said they believe that truly effective collaborative care requires coordination of education and standards of care between the professions of optometry and ophthalmology, which together cover the full spectrum of eyecare services.
The two organizations anticipate that working together will better position them to help their respective members to efficiently manage the rapidly growing demand for eye care, which is due to the many chronic eye diseases that are increasing in frequency in the United States as a result of the aging Baby Boomer population. They also expect healthcare reform to result in a significant increase in the number of Americans seeking eye care.
The academies are jointly informing their respective memberships to ensure that their members are aware of this collaborative strategic effort. In addition, it will give members an opportunity to provide feedback to the organizations as they begin to create educational opportunities. The organizations anticipate that these programs will be developed over the next 12 to 18 months, with a formal launch in 2015.
ABB Optical Group Expands Custom Soft Lens Portfolio
ABB Optical Group is offering its customers two new custom soft contact lens product lines. Customers can now order the full line of Synerg-Eyes hybrid contact lens products as well as Bio-Colors lenses from Orion Vision Group through the ABB Optical Group specialty contact lens department.
BioColors are available in any prescription in sphere powers of ±20.00D in 0.25D steps and cylinder powers up to 6.00D with axes in 1º steps around the clock. Sixteen tint colors can be combined with a choice of starburst and/or limbal ring elements.
BioColors are manufactured in methafilcon (55% water), polymacon (38% water), and Definitive (efrofilcon 74% water silicone hydrogel, Contamac) materials.
ABB Optical Group recommends that customers purchase the BioColors lens fitting set for warranty exchange privileges.
To learn more about the new custom soft lenses or to place your order for a trial set, contact ABB Optical Group’s Specialty Contact Lens Consultation Team at (800) 772–3911 and choose option 4.
Those attending the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas from Jan. 23 to 26, 2014 are welcome to stop by Booth #322 to learn more about the company’s complete custom soft contact lens product offerings.
Prevent Blindness Launches Glaucoma Learning Center
According to the 2013 “Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States,” report, glaucoma and disorders of the optic nerve annually cost $5.8 billion, with an annual per-person treatment cost of $2,170.
Because January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness is providing several free resources to help educate the public on the second leading cause of blindness (behind cataracts). Free information on risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options are available from its Glaucoma Learning Center at www.preventblindness.org/glaucoma-learningcenter, via mail, or by calling (800) 331-2020.
Prevent Blindness also has recently put together free fact sheets to help answer common questions about health insurance, Medicare coverage for glaucoma, the Affordable Care Act, and eye care. Visit www.preventblindness.org/health-insurance-and-your-eyes.
|AOAExcel Offers ODs Customized Financial Lending|
AOAExcel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Optometric Association, has recently partnered with Healthcare Professional Funding (HPF) to offer financial solutions for optometrists looking to advance their practice. Whether purchasing equipment, acquiring an eyecare practice, or building one from the ground-up, HPF can provide options to help practitioners manage the financial requirements of a successful practice. HPF has more than three decades of experience in healthcare financing and offers 100% financing for the entire project with competitive fixed rates, fast approvals, and no hidden fees. Visit www.ExcelOD.com/practice-finance or call (855) 944-2265.
What’s New in CLS for 2014
Contact Lens Spectrum is introducing three new departments in 2014 that we believe will offer information of interest and value to our readers.
In this month’s issue, we are introducing The Scleral Lens Vault department, written by Gregory W. DeNaeyer, OD, FAAO, who is the clinical director for Arena Eye Surgeons in Columbus, Ohio. With scleral lenses gaining in popularity for both irregular/diseased and for more normal corneas, this column, which will appear every other month and will alternate with Pediatric and Teen CL Care, will provide information on this rapidly expanding lens category.
A department debuting next month titled Is This the New Norm? will be co-written by Mile Brujic, OD, and David L. Kading, OD, FAAO. Dr. Brujic is a partner of Premier Vision Group in northwest Ohio. Dr. Kading is in practice in Seattle and is an adjunct faculty member at Pacific University.
This column will consider whether new trends are becoming standards of care, and the reasons why practitioners may or may not want to adopt new and emerging eyecare technologies.
Later in the first quarter of 2014, we will introduce a new department titled Industry Focus. Written by Editor-in-Chief Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum, each column of this department, which will appear every other month and will alternate with Is This the New Norm?, will profile a different company in the eyecare industry. Topics will include company history and direction, new and future product development, and where the company envisions the field heading in the future.
In addition to our new departments, we’ve also had some changes among our regular columnists for 2014.
As mentioned previously, Dr. Brujic and Dr. Kading are joining our board of columnists on the Is This the New Norm? department. Dr. Kading will also contribute to the Contact Lens Design & Materials department.
Jessica Mathew, OD, PhD, FAAO, a research assistant professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry, will be contributing to the Contact Lens Practice Pearls department.
Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO, associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Optometry, will be returning this year as a columnist for the Pediatric and Teen CL Care department.
We also welcome S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, who will contribute to our Research Review department. Dr. Eiden is president and medical director of North Suburban Vision Consultants, president and medical director of the National Keratoconus Institute, and co-founder of Eye-Vis Eye and Vision Research Institute.
Finally, Luciano Bastos, the director and clinical instructor of specialty contact lenses at the Instituto de Olhos Dr. Saul Bastos (IOSB), and director and specialty lens consultant of Ultralentes, a small laboratory specializing in GP and scleral lens designs in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, will contribute to our Online Photo Diagnosis department.
We extend our heartfelt thanks and best wishes to columnists who are not returning for 2014, including Mary Lou French, OD, MEd, FAAO; and Loretta B. Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, MS, FAAO.
■ Safilens is launching its Open 30 monthly silicone hydrogel contact lens based on the company’s patented Fusion Technology in the German market at this month’s Opti 2014 in Munich from Jan. 10 to 12. The company says that this lens, along with the accompanying Open System for lens care, respects the physiology of the eye and offer lens wear with minimal side effects.
■ In collaboration with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), four ophthalmologists are beginning a large 1,000-patient multi-center study to assess the overall prevalence of dry eye disease (DED). Patients who suffer from a wide variety of eye complications presenting daily in NHS clinics will be the primary target group of this study. Tear osmolarity testing using TearLab’s Osmolarity System will be incorporated as a diagnostic measure to detect the presence of DED. The study will be conducted under ethical controls adopted by the National Institute of Health Research in the United Kingdom and will allow U.K. ophthalmologists to view DED in their own patient base.
■ To help eyecare professionals encourage their patients to make eye health a priority, All-AboutVision.com has released the 2014 Checklist for an Eye-Healthy New Year. The checklist, which can be downloaded and personalized, is available to practitioners for free at www.allaboutvision.com/ecp/seasonal-checklist.htm. It lists 12 tips to help patients improve their vision and eye health. Once downloaded, practitioners can add their practice contact information and print or email out as many copies as they would like.
■ With support from Optos, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has turned a discussion from the “Diabetes Summit” at Optomety’s Meeting 2013 into a free digital supplement titled “Optometrists Form Front Line in Battling Diabetes.” Topics covered include in-office testing for hemoglobin levels, the need for dilated eye exams and clear communication, how optometrists can better educate patients about their condition, and more. The digital supplement is available on the AOA website at www.aoa.org/optometrists/tools-andresources/diabetes-and-eye-health.
■ A new optical event called “100% Optical” will launch in the United Kingdom on Feb. 16, 2014 at ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London. 100% Optical is exclusively backed by the U.K.’s biggest membership organization, The Association of Optometrists (AOP/20,000 members), who will help create one of the most exciting and in-depth CET seminar programs ever seen at a European event, according to 100% Optical organizers. 100% Optical reports more than 5,000 registrations for the event. Visit www.100percentoptical.com.
■ The American Optometric Association (AOA) recently launched its “See Clearly, America” public education campaign to highlight how doctors of optometry (ODs) possess the education, skills, and training to provide quality eye care and help meet America’s rising eyecare needs. As part of the campaign, the AOA determined that Americans were not aware of the extensive clinical training and education that ODs have received. For example, people are surprised to learn that ODs have as much professional training in eye care and treatment as dentists have in oral care. The “See Clearly, America” campaign’s website at www.americaseyedoctors.com provides information about ODs and ways to get involved.