A report released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than 85% of adolescent contact lens wearers report habits that increase eye infection risk. The habits that increased the risk of eye infection in adolescents included sleeping or napping while wearing contact lenses (30% of adolescents), not visiting an eyecare practitioner once a year (44%), and swimming while wearing contact lenses (27%).

The report also indicated that 81% of young adults aged 18 to 24, and 87% of adults aged 25 and older, have habits that increase their chance of eye infection that could threaten their vision. The most frequently reported risky habits among both young adults and adults include not replacing lenses as often as prescribed (52% of young adults and 45% of adults); additionally, about 41% of young adults and 42% of adults do not replace lens cases on a regular basis, and 33% of both groups sleep while wearing contact lenses.


Johnson & Johnson Vision (J&J Vision) announced a definitive agreement to acquire TearScience, Inc., a medical device manufacturer dedicated to evaluating meibomian gland health and treating meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). According to J&J Vision, the acquisition of TearScience will provide strategic value, further expanding its leading portfolio of products in eye health.

TearScience received FDA clearance for an office-based approach to image meibomian glands and to treat MGD and has sales in the United States and major markets globally.

J&J Vision will acquire TearScience through its surgical vision operating company, Abbott Medical Optics Inc.; financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. The closing is subject to antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions. Following the expected closing, sales will be reported in the Medical Devices segment, under Vision Care.


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Visionary Optics has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its complete line of scleral contact lenses (Jupiter, Europa, and Elara lenses).

Visionary Optics’ scleral lenses for daily wear are indicated for the management of multiple ocular conditions, such as degenerations that lead to an irregular corneal shape (keratoconus, keratoglobus, pellucid marginal degeneration, Salzmann’s nodular degeneration), dystrophies (Cogan’s dystrophy, granular corneal dystrophy, lattice corneal dystrophy), post-surgery (corneal transplant, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis [LASIK], radial keratotomy), and corneal scarring from infection or trauma. They are also indicated for therapeutic management of ocular surface disease including dry eye (ocular manifestations of graft-versus-host disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, dry eye syndrome), limbal stem cell deficiency (Stevens-Johnson syndrome, chemical and thermal burns, radiation, filamentary keratitis), epidermal ocular disorders, disorders of the skin (atopy, ectodermal dysplasia), neurotrophic keratitis (herpes simplex, herpes zoster, familial dysautonomia), and corneal exposure (anatomic, paralytic) that might benefit from the presence of an expanded tear reservoir and protection against an adverse environment.


The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its other partners to promote Contact Lens Health Week during the week of Aug. 21 through Aug. 25. This year’s campaign theme was “Healthy Habits Mean Healthy Eyes.” These organizations are encouraging youth to start healthy habits early to help ensure a lifetime of healthy vision.

The CDC hosted a Twitter Chat on Aug. 22, 2017. The twitter handle @CDCgov co-hosted an hour-long chat with @NBCNewsHealth using the hashtag #HealthyContactsChat.

For more information on Contact Lens Health Week and other resources about healthy contact lens wear and care throughout the year, visit .


Bausch + Lomb (B+L) has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the therapeutic use of its Boston XO and Boston XO2 materials in treating several ocular surface diseases. These GP materials are used in a broad spectrum of custom specialty lenses and are also indicated for daily wear for the correction of refractive ametropia and the management of irregular corneal conditions.

The expanded indication enables scleral lenses manufactured with the Boston XO and Boston XO2 GP materials to be utilized in the treatment of certain ocular surface conditions, including dry eye disease as well as limbal stem cell deficiencies, skin disorders with ocular surface manifestations, neurotrophic keratitis, and corneal exposure that may benefit from the presence of an expanded tear reservoir and the saline-hydrated environment inherent in a scleral lens design.


Kate Sickler has joined Alden Optical, a part of Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products (SVP), as a fitting consultant where she will leverage her expertise in fitting custom and specialty lenses. She will support practitioners by providing assistance on the intricacies of fitting Alden’s custom contact lenses, especially Zenlens and Zen RC scleral lenses.

With nearly two decades of specialty lens fitting experience in commercial and private practice, Ms. Sickler is a Fellow of the Contact Lens Society of America, a National Contact Lens Examiner Master, and is certified by the American Board of Opticianry.


Shire plc announced that the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for lifitegrast, submitted on Aug. 7, 2017, has been validated by the United Kingdom as the Reference Member State involved in the Decentralized Procedure (DCP). The lifitegrast MAA was submitted via the DCP to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Greece.

Shire’s MAA for lifitegrast is supported by five clinical trials with more than 2,500 patients. In these studies, the signs of dry eye disease were measured using corneal staining, and the symptoms were measured by using patient reported eye dryness score (EDS).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved lifitegrast under the brand name Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) 5% for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in July 2016.


Optometry Giving Sight is once again inviting all those who value good vision to support its major fundraising campaign for the year, the World Sight Day Challenge. The Challenge will run throughout October, with World Sight Day being celebrated on Oct. 12. This year’s initiative kicked off on Aug. 1.

As part of its support for Our Children’s Vision, Optometry Giving Sight will fund projects that give sight and hope to more than 1 million children in 2017. For the past 10 years, thousands of optometrists, their staff, patients, students, and colleagues in industry have taken the World Sight Day Challenge by making a tax-deductible donation and/or by raising funds in their practice, school, or company.

To donate or to pledge your participation by selecting one of the Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Award levels, visit or call (303) 526-0430.


ABB Optical Group recently announced that Steve Heft has joined the company as senior vice president of operations. In his new position, he will provide strategic and tactical direction for ABB Optical Group’s distribution centers. He will streamline operations for enhanced profitability, productivity, and efficiency, according to the company. Focused on a customer-centric approach, ABB Optical says that Mr. Heft will align all aspects of operations to deliver a best-in-class customer experience.

Mr. Heft has more than 20 years of experience in supply chain and operational leadership. Prior to joining ABB Optical Group, he directed procurement, distribution, manufacturing, engineering, quality, and design organizations in Europe, Latin America, and North America. He will be based in the company’s office in Coral Springs, FL.


Waldo, a direct-to-consumer provider of daily disposable contact lenses in the United Kingdom, began shipping product on Aug. 1. The company was founded by Harvard University graduate Ashleigh Hinde.

To start, customers can submit their prescription and sign up for a free one-month trial (30 daily disposable lenses for each eye); the only cost will be £2.95 for shipping. Then, for £24 a month for 60 lenses, Waldo will send lenses every 30 days as needed. Customers have the ability to cancel their subscription anytime by logging into their profile.

Waldo’s contact lenses block at least 95% UVB and 70% UVA radiation. The daily disposable lenses are available in powers from –12.00D to +4.00D in an 8.5mm base curve.

Waldo has partnered with an internationally recognized and certified supplier that employs a fully automated manufacturing process in a class 100 sterile environment. According to Waldo, the manufacturer uses an Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) system to make sure that the lenses are perfect, which eliminates human bias and error in the inspection of the lenses. Waldo contact lenses have received a CE certification mark, and the company follows the ISO 13485 manufacturing standard.

Waldo has an in-house optometrist who is available online to answer questions, but the company also has a customer services team who can find customers a local eyecare practitioner and book appointments for them. Currently, Waldo lenses are only available online. Waldo is currently developing an app and plans to open pop-up stores where customers will be able to see an eyecare practitioner face-to-face and buy lenses. The company will initially operate only in the United Kingdom, but has plans to expand internationally.


The 2nd annual International Forum for Scleral Lens Research (IFSLR) symposium will be held in Houston on Dec. 4, 2017. The primary focus of the meeting will be scleral contact lenses; it represents the only meeting of its kind to deal with scleral lens research and its application to clinical practice.

IFSLR is a group of researchers, clinicians, and industry partners interested in advancing and improving scleral contact lenses. The one-day symposium will present a unique and interactive format—approximately half of the available time is dedicated to an open discussion in which all attendees may participate. The meeting focuses on specific issues in which the presenters clarify what evidence is available or needed.

Each focus area (such as vision from improved optics, hypoxia, solutions, etc.) starts with an initial address by a keynote speaker, followed by up to four presenters providing expert statements; all speakers are acknowledged experts with a publishing and/or clinical record. In addition, a number of distinguished scleral lens practitioners are invited to serve as a VIP (Very Important Panelist); they will participate in the ensuing discussion and can assist in answering questions raised by attendees.

Dr. Jan Bergmanson, the founding course master, and the advisory board are currently in the final stages of planning. For more information, visit .


A new evidence-based myopia “calculator” developed by the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) will help support clinicians in communicating and educating patients in managing myopia appropriately. The free web-based tool runs on a range of electronic devices and merges individual patient information with different optical and pharmacological treatment options to illustrate the impact on the future level of myopia.

The tool allows practitioners to input patient age and level of refractive error when beginning therapy as well as to select a treatment option. It then demonstrates the effect of the treatment on myopia progression and how it is likely to progress without treatment.

The calculator has been developed as part of the myopia management program being implemented by Brien Holden Vision Institute. You can access the calculator at .


Kate Gifford, BAppSc(Optom)Hons, GCOT, will hold events in Birmingham, Manchester, and London as part of a series of roadshows organized by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA).

The series of evening meetings, titled “Fitting Kids – The Facts and Future of Myopia Control,” will give eyecare practitioners the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how to run a successful children’s contact lens clinic.

Topics discussed will include contact lens myopia control (e.g., lens designs and outcomes), the myopia control imperative, unanswered questions, clinical cases, and a future picture of myopia control.

Meanwhile, Paul Gifford, PhD, will present a lecture titled “The Science and Innovation of Myopia Control.” The presentation will cover the currently available methods for controlling progression of myopia, the evidence supporting their use in practice, and understanding the clinical imperative to do so.

The first evening meeting will be held at the Manchester Museum on Sep. 26. Subsequent meetings will be held in Birmingham at the Think Tank Museum on Sep. 27 and at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Wembley, London on Sep. 29. All meetings will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The meetings are free to BCLA members; cost for non-members will be £25.


Timothy J. Bowden, FADO (Hons) CL, FFDO, died suddenly in July at the age of 65. He was a well-respected contact lens optician who had specialized in contact lens fitting and aftercare for more than 30 years, having started in optics more than 40 years ago. Until recently, he was a visiting lecturer in the contact lens department of City and Islington College in London, and he was a contact lens examiner for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians at the time of his passing.

He is well known for Contact Lenses: The Story, a book that details how contact lenses developed and the pioneers who invented them. The research for the book spawned the Contact Lens Collection at the BOA Museum in London, co-founded with Andrew Gasson, which is the only actively administered specialist contact lens collection open to the public in the world. It also spawned a project to erect commemorative plaques to honor contact lens pioneers both in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

He held a variety of posts within U.K. optical professional organizations, and he wrote various articles on contact lens history and on the habits and opinions of lens wearers. In 2012, he was presented with the Otto Wichterle Gold Medal for his services to the contact lens industry by the Czech Contact Lens Society. He also was honorary treasurer of the International Society of Contact Lens Specialists, editor of Ophthalmic Antiques, a national committee member of Optometry Giving Sight and a contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) Contact Lens Course (ICLC).


  • SpecialEyes, LLC launched a new and improved website ( ) that is designed to provide a better user experience for eyecare practitioners. Among the enhancements are simplified navigation, mobile optimization, and expanded functionality, making it easier to research and order custom soft contact lenses, according to the company. A new tools and resources page compiles fitting guides, calculators, case studies, webinars, and other useful content in one place. In addition to ensuring that all web pages are mobile-responsive, SpecialEyes has optimized its online Arc Length Calculator and Over-Refraction Calculator for mobile devices. Eyecare practitioners can now attach topography results and other files when placing an initial order via the Arc Length Calculator by using the upload feature on the order-review page. SpecialEyes also upgraded its chat functionality, enabling users to upload documents and images in the chat window, obtain a transcript of each chat session, and rate the chat services.
  • Australian contact lens researcher and author, Emeritus Professor Nathan Efron, AC, has been awarded the Ruben Medal “for outstanding contributions to contact lens research.” The Ruben Medal is awarded every two years by the International Society for Contact Lens Research. The Society is capped at 100 members who are leaders in the field working in academia, research, clinical practice, and industry. Throughout his career, Professor Efron has undertaken extensive research in the field of contact lenses. He is an opinion leader and has published more than 900 scientific papers, clinical articles, and abstracts as well as eight books. Professor Efron has been invited to speak at more than 500 conferences in 42 countries throughout his career and has won a number of other international research awards and prizes.
  • Valley Contax announced that beginning in September 2017, it will offer the Tangible Hydra-PEG coating (Tangible Science) as an option for all of the company’s lenses manufactured in Contamac Optimum materials. Tangible Hydra-PEG is a hydrophilic coating that is bonded to the surface of the lens and lasts the life of the lens. It has been FDA cleared for use on the Contamac Extra and Extreme materials.
  • Alcon has announced that the U.S. Opti-Free multipurpose solution (MPS) packaging will now display a pink sticker to help consumers easily identify the number one doctor recommended brand of MPS, according to Alcon. The new sticker also highlights that Opti-Free products feature an exclusive MPS formula not found in private-label brands. Stickered products are sold at all major U.S. retailers nationwide beginning Aug. 27.
  • CooperVision, Inc. acquired Procornea Nederland BV, a manufacturer of special contact lenses based in Eerbeek, the Netherlands. The acquisition adds Procornea’s Dreamlite orthokeratology contact lenses to CooperVision’s offerings; these lenses are not available in the United States. Procornea will continue to operate as a complementary company for the time being and will maintain its offices and brands. Customers will continue to work with their current representatives. Ben Wanders, former CEO of Procornea, will continue to lead Oculentis, the intraocular lens-focused sister division, which was not part of the transaction and remains independent. The terms of the acquisition have not been announced.
  • Optovue announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the company’s epithelial thickness mapping software (epi-mapping) for quantitative measurements of the epithelial and stromal layers of the cornea. Epi-mapping is the first non-contact, quantitative method for corneal epithelial and stromal measurements. It is also the first and only FDA-cleared product indicated to provide corneal epithelial and stromal measurements that aid in the diagnosis, documentation, and management of ocular health and diseases in the adult population, according to the company. Optovue says that its new mapping software provides epithelial thickness information in a fast, non-contact, and easy exam. In addition, epi-mapping software complements other diagnostic tests by providing different information about ocular health, such as topography and tomography or topography-guided procedures including laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Epi-mapping is commercially available on the iVue and iFusion optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems.
  • Bio-Tissue, Inc., a business unit of TissueTech, Inc., announced a strategic agreement with Scope, an eye-care company offering ophthalmic products in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The companies will work together to bring Bio-Tissue’s Prokera biologic corneal bandage devices to the United Kingdom and Irish eyecare professionals market.