I just returned from lecturing at the 36th annual Cornea, Contact Lens and Contemporary Vision Care Symposium in Houston, this past weekend. This meeting is the brainchild of a dear friend, Jan Bergmanson, OD, PhD; he has successfully chaired this meeting since its inception 36 years ago, and we would like to congratulate him on yet another great program! The meeting was filled with hot topics in cornea and contact lenses, including an entire morning session on myopia management from leading research and clinical experts. It will be interesting to see how the field continues to embrace myopia management in the year to come as new options become available to us.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
CooperVision’s Clariti 1 Day Toric Lenses Now Available in Around-The-Clock Axes
CooperVision announced expanded parameters for Clariti 1 day toric lenses; eyecare professionals now have access to around-the-clock axes in plano to –6.00D sphere powers with –0.75D, –1.25D, and –1.75D cylinder powers. Additional axes in the –2.25D cylinder power and plus powers are expected in Spring 2020.
Scientists Develop Technology to Wirelessly Charge Smart Contact Lenses
South Korean scientists have developed a technology to wirelessly charge smart contact lenses for continuous operation, a development that could open new horizons for wearables, according to the National Research Foundation (NRF), a state-run foundation in Seoul. A team of scientists led by Park Jang-ung, a materials science professor at Yonsei University in Seoul, used ultrafine printing methods to build a supercapacitor, rectifying circuits, and a light emitting diode inside a soft contact lens; a supercapacitor is capable of rapidly charging and discharging electronic devices and is a key part of very small wearables that cannot use internal batteries.
The NRF added that because the contact lens can be wirelessly charged, there is no need for a plug-in power port that can lead to safety issues and foreign objects getting inside the lens and affecting the circuitry. It said that tests have shown that there is no real increase in heat during the charging process, which is often a problem with wireless devices, and that the lens can be stored in normal contact lens solutions.
Newton Lee Wesley
Newton Lee Wesley passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 28 due to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Mr. Wesley and his family were among the many American-born citizens of Japanese heritage who were forcibly relocated from their homes on the West Coast and incarcerated during World War II in Minidoka, ID. After the war, they resettled in Chicago, where his father founded Wesley-Jessen The Plastic Contact Lens Company. After his schooling, Mr. Wesley started in sales at the company and then became manager of the research department until the company was sold in 1980. While at Wesley-Jessen, he helped develop a computerized method of fitting contact lenses and the company’s first soft lens. When Wesley-Jessen was sold in 1980 to Schering-Plough Corp., he became president of the Dr. Newton K. Wesley Foundation Fund, overseeing investments, scholarships, grants for vision research, and preservation of the history of the contact lens and Wesley-Jessen.
His middle name—which he used instead of Newton—was for Harry Lee Fording, a founder of what’s now the Pacific University College of Optometry. His father was educated there and, with a partner, bought the college in 1940 for $5,000, according to the Oregon Encyclopedia. When relocation began, his dad had to abandon the optometry college he’d purchased.
Mr. Wesley is survived by his wife, Victoria Granacki, son Matthew (Sara; grandchildren Lauren and Luke) Wesley; daughter Monica Wesley (Robert Westerholm); brother Roy Wesley (Mark Weber); brother Morgan (Jaida) Wesley; sister Shona Wesley; sister Justine (Austin) Altman; sister Jenna (Kevin) Williams; and brother Taylor (Viviana) Wesley; and brother and sister-in-law James and Marlene Granacki.
Richard John Wlodyga
Richard John Wlodyga passed away on Nov. 16 at the age of 93. Dr. Wlodyga was a pioneer and innovator of contact lens design that led to the development of the orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses that are used today. In the mid-1980s, he collaborated with Nick Stoyan to develop the first three-zone reverse geometry lens.
Earlier in his career, in the early 1960s, he was co-patent holder of the Astrocon lens, a unique cloverleaf design for contact lenses made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) prior to the development of GP materials. These are now displayed in the Contact Lens Museum curated at Pacific University. In 2005, he was given a Founders Award at the Global Orthokeratology Symposium in Chicago for his contributions to the development of modern ortho-k lens technology.
He practiced optometry for 42 years primarily at the Warren Optometric Clinic, which he founded in the 1960s. In addition, Dr. Wlodyga was a past president of the Michigan Optometric Association, the Warren Lion’s Club, and the National Eye Research Foundation (NERF).
He is survived by his wife Phyllis; children Janet (Roy) Early, Nancy (Stephen) Vella, Martha Schneider, Richard (Sally Sears) Wlodyga, and Mary (Michael) Frye; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Nicox Signs Agreement for Zerviate in South Korea
Nicox SA signed an exclusive license agreement with Samil Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd for the development and commercialization of Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24% in South Korea. The product is indicated for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.
Zerviate is approved for commercialization in the United States, with an expected commercial launch in 2020 by Eyevance Pharmaceuticals LLC. It is also licensed exclusively to Ocumension Therapeutics in the Chinese market.
Sight Sciences Appoints Erica Rogers to its Board of Directors
Sight Sciences, Inc. appointed Erica Rogers to its board of directors. Ms. Rogers, president and CEO of Silk Road Medical, is an experienced leader and entrepreneur in the medical device industry. She most recently led Silk Road Medical through U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, commercial scale-up, and initial public offering of its transcarotid artery revascularization (TCAR) devices for the treatment of carotid artery disease. Previously, she has held executive positions with Medicines360, Allux Medical, and Visiogen.
Ms. Rogers joins Sight Sciences’ board of directors with co-founder and CEO Paul Badawi, co-founder Dr. David Badawi, Staffan Encrantz of Allegro Investment Fund, Mack Hicks of Hicks Holdings, Carter Meyer of Scientific Health Development, and Valeska Schroeder of KCK Medical Technologies Group.
How often do you observe contact lens-related corneal infiltrates in your practice?
It is hard to believe that these deposits were formed on this two-week lens in just three days. However, the patient swore that it happened after only three days of wear. Needless to say, we switched her to daily disposables.
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SPECIALTY LENS SPACE
Karen DeLoss, OD
It Is All About the Chemistry
Specialty contact lenses require additional timing and training. The easy part was recommending a solution that was compatible with the GP material. However, recently it seems that things have become a bit more complicated—specifically, when practitioners prescribe or add surface coatings that may not be compatible with all care solutions.
For plasma-treated lenses, it is common to prescribe any or all types of GP-specific care systems. Many of these cleaners and disinfection products use surfactants that help remove common deposits such as lipids, proteins, and other forms of debris.1,2 Alcohol-based cleaners can help with both lens conditioning and disinfection, but they are contraindicated in special coatings permanently bonded to GP surfaces such as polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based coatings. The reason for this is that the alcohol will damage and destroy the coating, as it is designed to be inherently water-soluble (i.e., attracting water), which makes it alcohol-insoluble. The use of alcohol-based products will cause the polymer chain to collapse and, thus, render it incapable of attracting water, which is key to product performance.3 Overall, it is important to remind patients that not all disinfecting solutions are created equally. This information also serves as a quick chemistry lesson for practitioners.
1. Ensley R, Miller H. Good Chemistry: Are you up to date on pairing GP lenses and solutions? Rev Cornea Contact Lens. 2016 Feb 15. Available at https://www.reviewofcontactlenses.com/article/good-chemistry. Accessed Dec. 12, 2019.
2. Bennett ES, Wagner H. Gas-permeable lens care and patient education. In: Bennett ES, Henry VA, ed. Clinical Manual of Contact Lenses. 4th Ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2014:157-186.
3. Felkins B. Personal communication. 2019 Dec. 4.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
Trust Me, You Don’t Want to Miss This
Every year at this time, I write to invite you to the upcoming Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) (Jan. 22-25, 2020; www.gslsymposium.com). I am not sure that it does much good, however, as many of you bypass it anyway. In reality, with our readership as high as it is, most of you skim over this section, as you have already made up your mind as to whether or not you will attend. I am sorry, but I must attempt to convince you to attend.
The GSLS meeting is a major highlight of my year. It sets the stage and gets me prepared for what is to come. I get to hear about the latest and greatest things happening in terms of technology from our industry partners. Additionally, no meeting that I have ever attended does its vendor time like GSLS. Rather than forcing you into a time with a company that you would never dream of using, GSLS creates an atmosphere for vendors and attendees to verbally “partner” and to discuss how they can benefit our patients. I don’t feel the tug from the vendors. Rather, it seems that the vendors are legitimately looking for ways to partner with me and see whether their services or products might be helpful for what I am trying to accomplish. Should we decide to move forward with their help, a special relationship is established that seems mutual.
The education is also global. Attendees get to hear about experiences from around the world. Sure, there are things said from the podium that do not apply to me, but it is still interesting to hear how others are practicing. Other times, the words said relate to a patient I had seen the day before. The experience of being there is incredibly inspiring.
Most of all, I love being in a large room with people who are trying to accomplish the same thing as me—the use of a custom piece of plastic to completely alter patients’ lives. When we get together and share, reflect, and commiserate, a special bond is established. I realize that I do not know it all, I understand that there is an elusive better way of doing things, and I get to interact with a group of people who will always get together in January, share what they have learned, and help to make me better.
Prevalence of Ocular Surface Disease and Corneal Irregularity and Outcomes in Patients Using Therapeutic Scleral Lenses at a Tertiary Care Center
The purpose of this study was to describe indications for scleral contact lens (ScCL) evaluation, previous treatments, and outcomes of patients prescribed ScCLs at a tertiary referral center.
This retrospective study reviewed 133 patients evaluated for ScCLs between Jan. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2015 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Contact Lens Service. Patient demographics, ocular history, indications for evaluation, previous treatments, presence of punctate epithelial erosions, number of lenses ordered, follow-up visits, best-corrected visual acuity before ScCLs, and visual acuity with ScCLs were evaluated. Patients were categorized based on primary indication for ScCL evaluation as ocular surface disease (OSD) or corneal irregularity (CI). The primary outcome was visual acuity.
Visual acuity improved from 0.3 ± 0.4 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) at presentation to 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR with ScCLs in all eyes (n = 223, P = 0.0001), from 0.3 ± 0.5 logMAR to 0.1 ± 0.2 logMAR (n = 164, P = 0.001) in the OSD group, and from 0.5 ± 0.4 logMAR to 0.2 ± 0.2 logMAR (n = 59, P = 0.0001) in the CI group. Seventy percent of patients were evaluated for bilateral ScCL evaluation. Indication for ScCL evaluation was OSD in 71% (n = 95) of patients, with 20% having a secondary diagnosis of CI. Corneal irregularity was the primary diagnosis in 29% of patients (n = 38), with 50% having a secondary diagnosis of OSD.
The researchers determined that OSD was common in this tertiary referral patient population and was a primary or secondary indication for ScCL evaluation in 85.7% (n = 114) of patients evaluated for ScCLs. Scleral contact lenses improved visual outcomes in patients who have both primary diagnoses of CI and OSD.
Scanzera AC, Bontu S, Joslin CE, McMahon T, Rosenblatt M, Shorter E. Prevalence of Ocular Surface Disease and Corneal Irregularity and Outcomes in Patients Using Therapeutic Scleral Lenses at a Tertiary Care Center. Eye Contact Lens. 2019 Nov 29. [Epub ahead of print]