The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), now in its 15th year, is seeking course submissions for our Jan. 20 to 23, 2021 meeting in Las Vegas. The GSLS Program Committee is seeking novel and innovative CE course submissions on all aspects of contact lenses—and in particular, but not exclusively, on specialty contact lenses. We certainly receive many submissions on hot topics, such as scleral contact lenses, but we encourage submitters to think broadly along these lines so that we are able to provide cutting-edge education on every aspect of contact lenses and the ocular surface. The course submission form can be found here, and we look forward to hearing from you!
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
This week’s Reader’s Commentary has a digital twist. In it, Contact Lens Spectrum Editor Dr. Jason Nichols moderated a discussion with Dr. Lyndon Jones, Dr. Karen Walsh, Dr. Philip Morgan, and Dr. Mark Willcox, who recently coauthored “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners,” an open-access paper that is currently available in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye.
New BCLA Webinar to Examine What Coronavirus Lockdown Means for Your Practice
Dr. Shehzad Naroo, editor of the British Contact Lens Associations’ journal Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (CLAE), will be joined by co-presenter Dr. Fabrizio Zeri for a webinar at 6.30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. GMT on May 19 titled “Contact lens practice in the time of COVID-19.”
The webinar will explain more about how COVID-19 can be transmitted, what precautions practitioners should take throughout the outbreak, what types of contact lens appointments should be considered an emergency, and what advice practitioners should give to contact lens patients concerned about the impact of coronavirus. To register or to find out more, visit www.bcla.org.uk.
CORE Launches COVIDEyeFacts.org Website
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo has launched a new website, COVIDEyeFacts.org, which consolidates research, information sheets, resources, and more about contact lenses and COVID-19. One of the resources available is a patient-friendly video that can be viewed at https://core.uwaterloo.ca/COVID-19.
Euclid Hosting Facebook Live Events
Euclid Systems Corporation will be hosting two Facebook Live events this coming week. Both events will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT on https://www.facebook.com/euclidsys; the Live will appear on the page, and no registration is necessary. “Rebounding from COVID-19 from an Optometrist CEO Perspective” will take place on April 21. During the session, Craig Norman and Joseph Boorady, OD, president and CEO of Euclid Systems Corporation, will consider the current challenges posed by COVID-19, including how COVID-19 has changed the way that Euclid does business and learnings from the company’s team in China.
“Home Alone: Remotely Managing Patients, Parents, Staff and Myself” will be held on April 23. During the session, Craig Norman will lead a discussion with Rob Gerowitz, OD, and Trevor Fosso, OD, about their strategies for remotely managing patients, parents, staff, and themselves during this disruptive period. Topics include patient compliance with existing treatments, informing patients about opportunities such as spare pairs, continuing communication with parents of prospective myopia management patients, and staff training during office closures.
Vision Expo Launches Virtual EYE2EYE Series
The Vision Expo launched the Virtual EYE2EYE Series, a complimentary series of virtual panels and interactive conversations inspired by Vision Expo’s EYE2EYE educational series. The first session, Coffee Talks - Keeping Your Business Going Through the COVID-19 Pandemic, was held on April 15. Additional sessions will take place on a weekly basis with a new topic every Wednesday (Coffee Talk, 12:15 p.m. ET) and Friday (Happy Hour, 4:15 p.m. ET). The series will feature several panels originally scheduled for Vision Expo East 2020 presented in adapted formats as well as conversations addressing current challenges in the vision community related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A full schedule of events can be found here: https://west.visionexpo.com/virtual-eye-2-eye.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 news and tips for eyecare providers, visit bit.ly/2WxiFbA.
And, you can now sign up to receive the weekly PentaVision COVID-19 News Roundup newsletter, a joint publication from Contact Lens Spectrum, Eyecare Business, and Optometric Management.
Katt Design Group to Introduce Myopia Management Lens System
The Katt Design Group is introducing its new MoonLens Modern Myopia Management Orthokeratology Lens System via a two-part educational webinar series to be conducted later this month.
The MoonLens Orthokeratology lens system features a novel lens design with a proprietary algorithm allowing micro-customization in 1-micron steps. It includes a fitting process using an online MoonLens calculator to select the initial lens parameters. According to the company, each lens is individually constructed with a high degree of customization to provide the specific size, shape, and effect based on patients’ age, refraction, topography, and visual needs. Developed by the Katt Design Group, MoonLens will be marketed and manufactured by Art Optical Contact Lens, Inc. in the United States and by Precision Technology Services & Cardinal Contact Lens in Canada.
Leo Lens Pharma Appoints Dan Myers CEO
Leo Lens Pharma (formerly dba as Leo Lens Technology Co., Inc.) appointed Dan Myers as CEO. Prior to joining Leo Lens, Mr. Myers was the co-founder and CEO of Alimera Sciences, where he continues to serve as chairman of the board of directors. Before founding Alimera, he was a founding employee of Novartis Ophthalmics (formerly Ciba Vision Ophthalmics) and served as its president from 1997 to 2003. Mr. Myers has more than 35 years of ophthalmic pharmaceutical experience, including more than 21 years in the role of president or CEO.
TearClear Appoints Robert J. Dempsey CEO
TearClear announced the appointment of Robert J. Dempsey as CEO. Mr. Dempsey, who has more than two decades of experience in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical industry, is expected to accelerate TearClear’s business and commercial strategy, including advancing the robust pipeline and leading the company’s efforts in bringing innovative products to market. Previously, he served as the Global Head of Ophthalmology at Shire, which was acquired by Takeda.
The announcement comes as TearClear is approaching the initial close of an up to $25 million Series B financing. This initial close has been led by Visionary Ventures, Bluestem Capital, and Flying L Partners.
NECO to Launch Live Online TV Broadcast, InsideVision
New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Sector Media Group are launching a new online YouTube series, “InsideVision”; the inaugural episode of the online broadcast aired on April 15. InsideVision is a live streaming talk show aimed at eyecare professionals and the vision care community worldwide. The program will be hosted by NECO president and CEO, Howard Purcell, OD, along with Erik Liljegren, co-founder and chief content oﬃcer at Sector Media Group, a point-of-care communications company serving the eyecare industry. InsideVision will air on a dedicated YouTube channel. Episodes will be recorded and will remain online for replay at any time.
Over the next several months, do you anticipate prescribing more daily disposables than you have in the last year?
This patient reported that his prosthetic soft contact lens was “life changing.” His history included corneal calcification and opacification with irregular astigmatism of the right eye.
We thank Dr. Barnett for this image and welcome photo submissions from our other readers! It is easy to submit a photo for consideration for publishing in Contact Lenses Today. Simply visit http://www.cltoday.com/upload/upload.aspx to upload your image. Please include a detailed explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title, and city/state/country.
S. Barry Eiden, OD
Making a Choice for Initial Contact Lens Design in Keratoconus
When faced with a new patient and a diagnosis of keratoconus, we all consider what option should be selected as an initial contact lens (CL) design. Multiple factors come into play; however, the primary goal is to provide optimized visual performance. A recent study was published that tested the hypothesis that various CL designs would have a differential impact on visual performance and optical quality in subjects who have advanced keratoconus but not in those who have early-to-moderate disease states.1
Spatial vision (logMAR acuity and contrast sensitivity), depth vision (stereoacuity), and optical quality (higher-order wavefront aberrations) were measured on 28 bilaterally mild-to-advanced keratoconus subjects (age: 20 to 28 years; 15 males, 13 females), novice to CL wear, and in 10 age-matched controls using well-established psychophysical and aberrometry techniques. All data were collected on keratoconus subjects with their spectacles and with conventional GP, Kerasoft (UltraVision), Rose K2 (Menicon), and scleral GP CLs in randomized order, at least a week apart from each other.
Analysis of results indicated that all outcome variables deteriorated with keratoconus severity and improved with CL wear relative to spectacles (p < 0.05). This improvement was smaller for Kerasoft CLs (p < 0.05) and higher but comparable for the other three CL designs (p = 0.3) across all disease severity. Visual functions and optical quality outcomes never reached control levels for any correction modality (p < 0.05).
The researchers concluded that visual performance and optical quality in keratoconus does not appear to improve commensurately with the sophistication of CL design across disease severity. Non-visual factors such as quality of CL fit, wearing comfort, and cost may therefore drive the choice of CLs dispensed in keratoconus more compared to the performance efficacy of these lenses.
Those of us who manage large numbers of keratoconus patients realize that decision-making with regard to CL design selection is multifactorial. Factors such as vision quality, comfort, handling (application/removal), care, environmental influences, etc., all are important. However, our primary mission is to improve patients’ vision and to provide them with the highest quality of vision possible while balancing all of the other factors. This study suggests that, at least for rigid contact lens designs tested (corneal GP and scleral GP), visual performance did not vary regardless of the severity of the disease. The soft lens tested did improve visual performance over spectacles, but not quite to the degree of the rigid designs. This should not come as a surprise to us. The key element here is that we should have multiple options in our “keratoconus contact lens toolbox,” and we need to consider the array of factors that would impact our design selection.
1. Kumar P, Bandela PK, Bharadwaj SR. Do visual performance and optical quality vary across different contact lens correction modalities in keratoconus? Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2020 Mar 29. [Epub ahead of print]
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE
Katherine Mastrota, MS, OD
COVID-19, Optometry, and the Pneumo Pro
Aligning with other large facilities and private practices across New York State and the nation, our offices are open to accommodate optometric, medical, and dental emergencies only. Strict infection control policy and practices for patients and providers are in place from the moment that patients enter the facility, throughout their examination, and up to dismissal from the building. As part of this heightened infection-protection vigilance, both practitioners and patients are face-masked.
I must admit that I have been irritatingly hampered by the simple physics of lens fogging precipitated by the use of the bi-directional mask barriers. On the patient side, spectacle-clad mask-wearing patient visual acuities can be errant, and phoropter lenses can become blurred. On the practitioner end, slit lamp oculars fog, and 90D/78D lenses become misted. But what can we do?
Thus far, I have consulted medical-surgical, dental, photography, motorcycle, and other sites; white papers; and domestic and foreign blogs to garner a remediation strategy for my lens-fog problem. My favorite, yet clinically untested, solution for practitioners lies in a directional breathing technique employed by flute musicians.1 Here is where the Pneumo Pro (an instrument to train the correct downward placement of the flutist’s air column) comes in. With practice, the examiner can direct humid, warm exhaled breath downward rather than succumbing to the untoward, troublesome effects of the natural, upward, lens-fogging under-mask air escape from the top of the facemask.
As we cannot fully anticipate the duration of our pandemic remediation procedures and can foresee an increasing number of patients on our schedules, this select breathing skill may be one to cultivate for our months of practice ahead. I will report back with my breathing observations.
Be safe. Flatten the curve.
1. Yuko E. How to Wear a Face Mask Without Fogging Up Your Face Mask. 2020 April 8. Available at https://lifehacker.com/how-to-wear-a-face-mask-without-fogging-up-your-glasses-1842750271. Accessed April 10, 2020.
Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) presents an unprecedented challenge to identify effective drugs for prevention and treatment. Given the rapid pace of scientific discovery and clinical data generated by the large number of people rapidly infected by SARS-CoV-2, clinicians need accurate evidence regarding effective medical treatments for this infection.
The authors noted that no proven effective therapies for this virus currently exist. The rapidly expanding knowledge regarding SARS-CoV-2 virology provides a significant number of potential drug targets. They determined that the most promising therapy is remdesivir. Remdesivir has potent in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2, but it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and currently is being tested in ongoing randomized trials. The authors also noted that oseltamivir has not been shown to have efficacy, and corticosteroids are currently not recommended. Current clinical evidence does not support stopping angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers in patients who have COVID-19.
The authors concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic represents the greatest global public health crisis of this generation and, potentially, since the pandemic influenza outbreak of 1918. The speed and volume of clinical trials launched to investigate potential therapies for COVID-19 highlight both the need and capability to produce high-quality evidence even in the middle of a pandemic. No therapies have been shown effective to date.
Sanders JM, Monogue ML, Jodlowski TZ, Cutrell JB. Pharmacologic Treatments for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review. JAMA. 2020 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]