It is our tradition to provide an annual report in the January issue of Contact Lens Spectrum to summarize the events of the previous year in the field of contact lenses. We also select an “Event of the Year.” While always a major challenge, it is something that we think is a nice way to cap the prior year as we go into the New Year.
To help in the process, we solicit feedback from our readership, contributing editors, and key opinion leaders in the field. There were several suggestions this year. Considerations included the Federal Trade Commission’s workshop on its Contact Lens Rule that was held on Mar. 7, 2018 as well as the decision by Alphabet’s Verily and Alcon to halt their development of a glucose-monitoring smart contact lens. Other notable but unfortunate events included the passing of several contact lens giants—Thomas Anastor, Morton Greenspoon, OD; Frank Fontana, OD; Tim Koch, COT; and Perry Rosenthal, MD—who will be missed deeply by the community. Yet another nomination related to the fact that the controversial “staining grid” website (staininggrid.com ) became inactive and no longer maintained. Lastly, scleral lenses and their resurgence over the last 10 years was once again nominated.
While all of these things are indeed worthy, one particular initiative stands out this year such that we consider it to be the event of 2018. There is no doubt that myopia is considered an epidemic in most developed parts of the world, if not now a pandemic. There is also no doubt that myopia is a significant public health issue; individual patients not only experience blurring of vision, they are also at increased risk for other ocular complications and detriments in quality of life. In addition, there now appears to be sufficient evidence supporting both the mechanism and efficacy of several forms of myopia control, including utilizing contact lenses. In fact, the number of myopia-related meetings, partnerships, and initiatives that have been launched this year or are already scheduled for 2019 is an indication that the industry seems to agree with our assessment as well. For these reasons, the myopia initiative within the ophthalmic community is our Event of 2018.
Looking ahead, Contact Lens Spectrum has a tremendous lineup of timely and cutting-edge content planned for 2019. Thanks to all of our readership and supporters for a fabulous 2018, and we look forward to an even better year in 2019. Happy New Year!