This year is Contact Lens Spectrum’s 30th anniversary. It is so very hard to believe, and I have been honored to be editor of the journal since 2008. More importantly we want to thank you, including our contributing authors, readers and sponsors for your unending support over this time. Next month, we will be publishing lots of editorial content in honor of our anniversary, along with a few surprises. Look forward to this exciting September issue soon.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
ABB Optical Group and Paragon Vision Sciences Announce Optometry Student Challenge
Following the success of its inaugural University Education Challenge, ABB Optical Group, in partnership with Paragon Vision Sciences, announced a new program designed to support optometry students and foster the study of contact lenses. The Optometry Student Challenge will award travel grants of $1,500 each to three third-year students to attend the 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) January 19-22 in Las Vegas and present a scientific poster on a topic related to contact lenses.
Interested third-year students must register their intent to participate in the challenge by Wednesday, August 31 at ABBConcise.com/OptometryStudentChallenge. Registered students must then submit an abstract on their proposed poster topic by October 31 through the website.
Abstracts must focus on study projects or student-based case histories related to contact lenses. Topics can include, but are not limited to, contact lens applications for presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, lens care/solutions, and orthokeratology. Abstracts will be judged in two categories: case study report and research. Five finalists will be selected and notified by Tuesday, November 15.
The finalists will then be required to convert their abstracts into scientific posters for further judging. The posters must be submitted in digital, PDF format to ABB Optical Group no later than Monday, November 28. Only digital files will be accepted. Judges will select the top three posters by Friday, December 2.
The lead authors of the top three posters will be awarded travel grants of $1,500 each to attend the symposium and present their posters. The cost of their conference registration will be covered, as well. Additionally, the two runner-ups will receive honorable mention prizes of $250 each.
Papers and Posters GSLS 2017 Submission Deadline Is August 31
The Educational Program Committee of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium invites the submission of abstracts for the Free Paper Section and the Scientific Poster Competition. Papers and posters related to presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, orthokeratology and lens care topics are welcome.
The GSLS will be held January 19-22, 2017 at The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit www.GSLSymposium.com for more information. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2016.
Bausch + Lomb is helping students start the school year with great vision by providing programs for ECPs and patients. Many students will spend more and more time staring at digital devices (laptops, phones, etc.) once the school year begins which may cause them to blink up to 66% less, and result in dry contact lenses or blurry vision. B+L programs to help them prepare for the upcoming school year include:
Same-Day dispensing program that will allow ECPs to offer patients savings of up to $150 with the national and Bausch + Lomb Plus rebate on B+L Ultra and Biotrue ONEday contact lenses.
Biotrue multi-purpose solution and PeroxiClear hydrogen peroxide solution will be featured in several major retailer in-store promotions.
During this back-to-school time B+L is proud to once again support the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 3rd Annual Contact Lens Health Week (August 22-26, 2016). This week will kick off with a Twitter chat on Monday, August 22 at Noon ET. Join the conversation by following #OnePairTakeCare. The CDC has also developed a variety of materials to assist you in communicating and encouraging the healthy wear and care of contact lenses with your patients, which you can find at http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/contact-lens-health-week.html.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals Announces Changes to Executive Management Team
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. announced a series of leadership and organizational changes.
Christina Ackermann has been named Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Valeant, reporting directly to Joseph C. Papa. Ackermann is an experienced counselor with deep pharmaceutical industry experience. For the past 14 years, she has served in various legal roles at the Novartis group of companies, most recently as Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Alcon, where she was responsible for the Legal, Intellectual Property and Compliance functions.
Scott Hirsch has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Business Strategy and Communications. Hirsch is a seasoned investment professional with a deep knowledge of the specialty pharmaceutical industry. He joins Valeant from Citadel Investment Group, where he oversaw equity investments and risk management decisions within the Health Care sector at Surveyor Capital.
The company also announced changes and promotions that expand the roles of key senior leaders.
Dr. Ari Kellen will serve as EVP and Company Group Chairman, and will lead the Bausch & Lomb business.
Anne Whitaker will also serve as EVP and Company Group Chairman, leading our branded pharmaceuticals businesses, including Salix, Dermatology, Dendreon, Orapharma and Women's Health, as well as Canada and U.S. Market Access and Commercial Services.
Tom Appio will be promoted to EVP and Company Group Chairman, and will lead all of Valeant's markets outside the United States and Canada.
In addition, Papa has expanded the Executive Committee, adding leaders from several key business and functional areas of the company, all of whom will report directly to him. Several retirements and departures were also announced. For more details, click here.
When we talk to our patients about contact lenses (or don't talk to them) what are we assuming and what is important? Take 100 providers and we will probably all have different things that are important: from price, to replacement, to astigmatism for low cyl, to monovision, and on and on. What are the assumptions that we should be making and what should we ignore because of time? Let’s review one such topic for us to decide on: cleaning and caring for lenses. How do you review solutions with patients? Quick, go and grab a contact lens solution box. Read that box and see how to take care of the lenses. Is that what you thought it said? Without reviewing every solution that is on the market, let me generalize from a peroxide based solution. Place lenses in the basket, rinse each side of the lens for 5 seconds, fill the case, let soak for X number of hours, lenses are ready to use. Bingo, easy right? Did you notice that 5 second rinse? How much solution should a patient go through if they rinse the lenses for 10 seconds each? What do you feel is important? Is recommending your patient clean their lenses to that degree daily that important, and if it is, where does that place the price? Is right right, and do we push for it with our patients?
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO
Mixed Care and Compliance Messages
Patients learn about proper contact lens care and compliance from a number of sources. The doctor who prescribes their contact lenses is likely their first source of information; however, patients may also learn about contact lens care and compliance from family, friends, manufacturers (e.g., package inserts, websites), peer-reviewed literature, and government regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While many of these groups are reputable information sources, they sometimes provide discordant recommendations,1 which could lead to patient confusion.
This disagreement among sources is highlighted in a 2010 paper by Wu et al. on the topic.1 This study found that doctors, manufacturers, and the FDA provide a wide variety of recommendations for frequency of contact case replacement, methods for cleaning contact lenses cases, frequency of discarding solutions, and methods for cleaning contact lenses with care products.1 Some of these discrepancies likely stem from care products having different formulations while other discrepancies likely stem from new research developments or the lack of consensus among investigations.1
The lack of consensus among primary sources will likely continue in the future because of new products being developed and because of new scientific insights, and you should keep this in mind when performing patient education. Specifically, it may be worth educating your patients that there is disagreement among primary sources and that one should always follow product-specific recommendations because this practice usually leads to better treatment outcomes.1 You may also want to provide your patients with a product-specific handout that succinctly describes how to use their products.2 The handout should also highlight beneficial care steps that are not specifically covered by the product’s package insert, so your patients have an easy to follow and complete plan for caring for their contact lenses.
1. Wu Y, Carnt N, Willcox M, Stapleton F. Contact lens and lens storage case cleaning instructions: whose advice should we follow? Eye Contact Lens. 2010;36:68-72.
2. McMonnies CW. Improving patient education and attitudes toward compliance with instructions for contact lens use. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011 Oct;34(5):241-8.
Differentiating Keratoconus and Corneal Warpage by Analyzing Focal Change Patterns in Corneal Topography, Pachymetry, and Epithelial Thickness Maps
The purpose of this study was to differentiate between keratoconus and contact lens-related corneal warpage by combining focal change patterns in anterior corneal topography, pachymetry, and epithelial thickness maps.
Pachymetry and epithelial thickness maps of normal, keratoconus, and warpage, and forme fruste keratoconus (FFK) eyes were obtained from a Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Epithelial pattern standard deviation (PSD) was calculated and combined with two novel indices, the Warpage Index and the Anterior Ectasia Index, to differentiate between normal, keratoconus, and warpage eyes. The values of the three parameters were compared between groups.
The study included 22 normal, 31 keratoconic, 11 warpage, and 8 FFK eyes. The epithelial PSD was normal (< 0.041) for 100% normal eyes and abnormal (> 0.041) for 100% of keratoconic eyes, 81.8% of warpage eyes, and 87.5% of FFK eyes. The Anterior Ectasia Index of normal eyes (1.66 ± 0.74) was significantly lower than that for the keratoconus eyes (17.5 ± 7.17), the warpage eyes (2.98 ± 1.69), and the FFK eyes (6.95 ± 5.86). The Warpage Index was positive in all warpage eyes and negative for all keratoconic and FFK eyes except three wearing rigid gas-permeable contact lens.
The researchers concluded that the epithelial PSD can distinguish normal from keratoconus or warpage, but does not distinguish between these two conditions. The Anterior Ectasia Index is abnormal in keratoconus but not warpage. The Warpage Index is positive for warpage and negative for keratoconus, except in cases where keratoconus and warpage coexist. Together, the three parameters are strong tripartite discriminators of normal, keratoconus, and warpage.
Tang M, Li Y, Chamberlain W, Louie DJ, Schallhorn JM, Huang D. Differentiating Keratoconus and Corneal Warpage by Analyzing Focal Change Patterns in Corneal Topography, Pachymetry, and Epithelial Thickness Maps. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Jul 1;57(9):OCT544-9. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-18938.