Marketing your practice and contact lenses can occur in a variety of ways and they are vital to the successful growth of your practice. For instance, simple awareness is an often overlooked, highly effective means of marketing. Take for example the lapsed contact lens wearer who discontinued as they became presbyopic due to issues with comfort and pending visual changes. A simple “You know we have some great new options in contact lens technologies for presbyopes that are designed with both vision and comfort in mind” might be all that is needed to get a patient back to successful and happy contact lens wear. And, making a difference like this in one patient can lead to building your successes with others through simple word of mouth dialogue.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
B+L Specialty Vision Products Update
Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products recently sent an update which highlighted information on the management team and expanded sales and educational programs.
David Bland, the Director of Specialty Vision Products, which includes Alden Optical and Unilens, announced that the expanded leadership team includes:
Andrew White, senior sales manager
Claire Venezia, head of marketing
Bill Shelly, strategic business manager
Pat Murphy, technical services manager
Lynette Johns, OD, academic and educational consultant
Jason Jedlicka, OD, independent consultant
Charley Creighton and Tom Shone, senior consultants
The company has added five new sales representatives to the Specialty Vision Products team since January, and is adding to the consulting staff to support doctors in fitting scleral and other specialty lenses.
The business has sponsored several programs and resources through alliance with the Scleral Lens Education Society and is also sponsoring the Scleral Lens Track at Vision Expo West. Over 10 events are planned for the remainder of the year including webinars on post-graft contact lens fitting, and how to fit the irregular cornea.
King County Optometric Society (KCOS), Scleral Lens Society (SLS), and five CLMA labs are hosting the second annual Seattle Scleral Symposium. The symposium features four hours of scleral contact lens education from Muriel Schornack, OD, FAAO, SLS (Mayo Clinic). Featured labs are ABB, Custom Craft, Valley Contax, Visionary Optics, and X-Cel. The conference is both Washington state and NCLE validated for four credit hours. The symposium is on September 10, 2016 from 10am-3pm at the Group Health Capitol Hill Main Building in Seattle. Included are two hours of hands-on workshops utilizing modern technology to fit these lenses. Lunch and light snacks will be served. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date Change for 2017 GSLS! August 31 Last Day to Submit Abstracts!
The dates for the 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium have changed. The symposium will be held January 26-29, 2017; still at The Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There is still time to submit 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. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2016.
CooperVision Honored for Outstanding Environmental, Health and Safety Practices
CooperVision has been honored by the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA) with a series of prestigious environmental, health and safety awards in recognition of advancements in its Puerto Rico high volume production facility. Contact lenses manufactured at the site, including MyDay and Biofinity brands, are shipped to locations worldwide.
CooperVision was lauded in part for advances in its manufacturing processes, winning the Environmental Innovation Project of the Year Award. The company reported an initial reduction of 12.4% in alcohol use and a 55% decrease in water demand for manufacturing purposes in its Puerto Rico facility, with plans to add two additional manufacturing lines to the environmentally-sound process this year. CooperVision’s streamlined manufacturing process reduces landfill disposal, and has presented a company cost savings of $1 million in 2015, and is projected to save an additional $7.5 million in operating costs by the end of 2017.
During PRMA’s 2016 Environmental Summit and Occupational Health and Safety Summit, CooperVision received additional awards that included:
The Recycling Platinum Award, which is presented to an organization that exemplifies best practice standards in alternate energy and sustainability. The CooperVision site recycles over 90 percent of its manufacturing process materials.
The Best Practice Initiative Award, presented to the company that is involved in innovative safety initiatives with exceptional results or that had excelled in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) field.
The President’s Award, given to the company with employee injury rates that are 50-74% below the national average.
The company also won awards in Recycling, Waste Minimization, Water Conservation, Reuse and Reduction, Energy Conservation, and Minimization of Hazardous Waste or Substances categories.
Auven Therapeutics Completes Enrollment in Confirmatory Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Seciera
Auven Therapeutics, an international private equity company focused on accelerated development of breakthrough therapeutic drugs, announced it has completed patient enrollment in the Phase 3 confirmatory study of Seciera (OTX-101), a novel patented nanomicellar formulation of cyclosporine for the treatment of dry eye disease. The company is looking for top-line results by year end.
The multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, two-arm, Phase 3 confirmatory trial enrolled 747 patients with confirmed dry eye disease at 47 investigational sites in the U.S. The trial is designed to confirm the significant, clinically meaningful improvements in the signs of dry eye disease demonstrated in the previous Phase 2b/3 study. The primary efficacy endpoint is percent of patients with 10mm improvement in tear production (as measured by the Schirmer's test) compared to placebo. Secondary endpoints include significant reduction in signs of ocular surface inflammation, as measured by conjunctival and corneal staining.
Seciera is a novel nanoscale micelle formulation of cyclosporine utilizing patent-protected proprietary technology developed by Auven Therapeutics, in cooperation with other scientific collaborators, specifically to improve the ocular tissue penetration and tolerability of topical ophthalmic therapies. The micelles containing the active compound are composed entirely of inert materials and are on average less than 25 nanometers in diameter. Seciera is covered by patents until at least 2033. Unlike other ocular formulations of cyclosporine, Seciera is a clear, preservative-free, aqueous solution.
The American Optometric Foundation (AOF) announced the recipients of the 2016 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. Residency Awards.
George W. Mertz Contact Lens Resident: Elaine Chen, OD, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University
Sheldon Wechsler Contact Lens Resident: Michelle Man, OD, Illinois Eye Institute, Illinois College of Optometry
Terrance N. Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residents: Ann Morrison, OD, MS, The Ohio State University College of Optometry and Jameel Kanji, OD, MS, New England College of Optometry
These residency awards are envisioned as a means to support post-graduate, advanced training in optometric clinical care, education, and research methods specific to the fields of children’s vision and contact lenses. The 2016 award recipients are carefully chosen by peer review members from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies Section and the Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry Section. Each receives $2000 toward their graduate education and a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2016 Anaheim.
The AOF will recognize these exceptional residents at Academy 2016 Anaheim during the AOF Celebration Luncheon on Saturday, November 12, 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM. The AOF is once again thankful for the professional relationship between the Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Vogt Striae Professor Sergey Cusato, Jr., FIBTPLC, São Paulo, Brazil
This image shows one of the most important clinical signs in keratoconus evaluation, which are the Vogt striae in advanced keratoconus. Image was captured with a slit lamp with video system at a magnification 25X in direct illumination.
We thank Professor Cusato 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.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD, FAAO
Improving Compliance of Non-Native Speakers
The United States Census Bureau reported in a 2013 article that 60.6 million Americans speak a language other than English at home.1, 2 They also reported that over 20% of this subgroup does not speak English well or at all.1 The prevalence of non-native speakers will likely rise in the coming years, and this growing population will certainly have an impact on the United States’ health care system.2
Over my years of practice I have found it rewarding to work with non-native speakers. My favorite case involved a woman who was from South America. She spoke virtually no English at her first visit, and she had “count fingers vision” from high myopia that stemmed from bilateral posterior staphylomas. Her vision impairment was inhibiting her from learning English, and this language barrier was subsequently preventing her from finding employment. In conjunction with a skilled and trusted interpreter, I fitted her in specialty contact lenses and properly educated her on how to use her contact lenses. After that visit, she regained functional vision, quickly learned English, found employment, and became a full member of society.
All exams that involve a non-native speaker should be approached with a medically-oriented professional interpreter, if at all possible, because they have been trained in conveying the exact conversation, ethics, and medical terminology.2 The interpreter should sit behind the patient, so you can maintain direct eye contact with your patient; this will allow you to observe the patient’s non-verbal body language. You should also speak directly to the patient, slowly, and with non-jargon, so the interpreter can easily convey your message.2 Using trained interpreters has been found to only nominally affect exam costs, and they have also been found to increase patient compliance.2 Therefore, using an interpreter will not only allow you to provide ethically sound exams, but it will also allow you to provide medically sound eye care.2
1. Ryan C. Language Use in the United States: 2011. United States Census Bureau 2013; Accessed on August 15, 2016.
2. Wiener ES, Rivera MI. Bridging Language Barriers: How to Work With an Interpreter. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2004;5:92-101.
Today I’m doing things I never thought possible. I am fitting scleral contact lenses based more on what technology is telling me more than what my own eye is seeing. I would have never believed it possible when I started fitting scleral lenses 12 years ago. At this past last year’s Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), we had several posters highlighting the use of OCT technology to aid in our contact lens fitting, one of them put an observer up against his OCT. Check out the GSLS abstracts to learn more.
Having completed extra training and looking at thousands of contact lens fits, I consider myself a specialist. I have a practice devoted to specialty contact lenses, and yet I ask myself, is technology taking the special out of my specialty? By no means, it is allowing me to advance farther faster. I am now able to train my technicians, interns and fellow practitioners how to get an initial fit of the lenses, and then I am able to see the patient and add my special skills to the equation. But rather than seeing every single diagnostic on the patient’s eyes, I can have my team better help me get to a close endpoint, then I go in for the close. My follow-ups are much the same; I am able to more simply use my OCT technology to follow-up on what has happened to the fit of the lens over time. If you are not using OCT technology to aid in your scleral contact lens fitting, may I implore you to consider it? It adds a new kind of special to your specialty.
The Application of a Contact Lens Sensor in Detecting 24-Hour Intraocular Pressure-Related Patterns
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Recent studies suggest that intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuations, peaks, and rhythm are important factors in disease advancement. Yet, current glaucoma management remains hinged on single IOP measurements during clinic hours. To overcome this limitation, 24-hour IOP monitoring devices have been employed and include self-tonometry, permanent IOP, and temporary IOP monitoring. This review discusses each IOP measuring strategy and focuses on the recently FDA-approved contact lens sensor (CLS). The CLS records IOP-related ocular patterns for 24 hours continuously. Using the CLS, IOP-related parameters have been found to be associated with the rate of visual field progression in primary open-angle glaucoma, disease progression in primary angle-closure glaucoma, and various clinical variables in ocular hypertension. The CLS has been used to quantify blink rate and limbal strain and measure the circadian rhythm in a variety of disease states including normal-tension glaucoma and thyroid eye disease. The effects of various IOP-lowering interventions were also characterized using the CLS. CLS provides a unique, safe, and well-tolerated way to study IOP-related patterns in a wide range of disease states. IOP-related patterns may help identify patients most at risk for disease progression and assist with the development of tailored treatments.
Xu SC, Gauthier AC, Liu J. The Application of a Contact Lens Sensor in Detecting 24-Hour Intraocular Pressure-Related Patterns. J Ophthalmol. 2016;2016:4727423. doi: 10.1155/2016/4727423. Epub 2016 Jul 25.