Although the year is winding down and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, I think it is important to remember that we have had a tremendous year in all aspects of contact lenses. We will be sure to fill you in on those important events and trends in our Annual Report for 2016 which will come to press in early January. As we reflect upon the great things of the past, I also encourage you to start thinking about your practice and contact lens resolutions for 2017. While 2016 was a great year for many, we all know that we can strive to do better in all aspects of what we do.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Ampleye Center-Near Multifocal Now Available
Since introducing their new 16.5mm scleral lens, Ampleye, earlier this year, Art Optical has continued to enhance the lens capabilities to meet the varied demands of specialty fitters. The latest Ampleye advanced design feature is a center near multifocal add option, providing scleral lens comfort and GP lens clarity for presbyopes. The standard center near multifocal zone of 2.00mm is adjustable from 1.00mm to 4.00mm in 0.50mm steps, and add powers can be specified from +1.00D to +3.50D in 0.25D steps.
Ampleye is fit diagnostically by corneal condition and sagittal depth with the aid of an efficient and affordable 9-lens trial set that can accommodate prolate and oblate corneas. When dealing with inherent scleral toricity, asymmetry, and other scleral irregularity, finite control of each lens segment is required to achieve optimal scleral landing and performance, therefore, the 4-zone lens design features independent zone adjustment options with the capability to increase or decrease the height of the outer 3 zones by up to 375um. The Central Vault Zone (CVZ) sag heights range from 3,800 to 5,600um.
A unique feature of Ampleye is the inherent toric haptic that more precisely matches the true shape of the human sclera for more predictable diagnostic fitting and increased first fit success, according to the company. Anterior cylinder is also available on Rx lenses using the toric haptic for rotational stability.
Ampleye lenses are featured in Optimum materials by Contamac. For additional information on Ampleye, visit www.artoptical.com/ampleye or call 1-800-253-9364.
The American Academy of Optometry announced the establishment of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award to honor the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO. This award will recognize an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. In particular, the award will acknowledge humanitarian efforts in the non-profit/not-for-profit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities.
The award, established by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Holden family estate, will be given annually beginning in 2017. Nominations should include two letters of nomination from Academy Fellows and a CV of the nominee. Nominations are due by April 1, 2017 to HelenV@aaoptom.org.
Watch the Live Fabrication of a GP Lens at the GSLS
The 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 26-29, 2017 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year the GSLS is co-locating with the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) annual meeting!
With the co-location of these two meetings, attendees will have several opportunities in the GSLS exhibit hall to watch the live fabrication of scleral, corneal, multifocal, and toric GP lenses from start to finish. For any practitioner who has not been able to see this process with their respective CLMA labs, this is a great chance to see how your specialty GP lenses are manufactured.
The GSLS is a must-attend meeting, brought to you by Contact Lens Spectrum, focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. The meeting includes insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
The team at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., that developed the 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal design, received an R&D 100 Award. The R&D 100 Awards, presented by R&D Magazine, recognize the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year, awarding excellence across a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, optics, high-energy physics, materials science, chemistry, and biotechnology. The design was chosen for the unique approach of optimizing an optical design based upon the natural variation that occurs in pupil size across age and refractive error.
Within Johnson & Johnson, the 1-Day Acuvue Moist Brand Multifocal team was also recognized with the Johnson Medal for Research & Development. The award is named after the late General Robert Wood Johnson, and is the most prestigious award given for research and development within J&J. Through the Johnson Medals award program, individuals are recognized for their innovative ideas that fuel the company’s growth and make a difference in the lives of patients and consumers. Johnson & Johnson represents 250 separate operating companies of which Vision Care is one and this year four projects from this family of companies was recognized with this award.
BioLineRx In-Licenses Novel Anti-Inflammatory Treatment for DES
BioLineRx Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, in-licensing and developing promising therapeutic candidates, has signed an exclusive, worldwide agreement with Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd., for the in-licensing of a novel anti-inflammatory treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). This project, to be named BL-1230, is the third project in-licensed under the framework of the Company's strategic collaboration with Novartis Pharma AG for the screening and development of novel drug candidates.
According to the company, BL-1230 is a potent and selective cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) agonist developed by Professor Raphael Mechoulam from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products at the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University. The involvement of CB2R in immune modulation is well established, and pre-clinical studies in three ocular inflammatory models have demonstrated that BL-1230 eye drops have significant anti-inflammatory activity, which attenuates the pathology and improves histological outcomes. In addition to DES, BioLineRx intends to explore the potential use of this compound in systemic inflammatory conditions.
In December 2014, BioLineRx and Novartis Pharma AG entered into a multi-year strategic collaboration to facilitate development and commercialization of Israeli-sourced drug candidates. The companies intend to co-develop a number of pre-clinical and early clinical therapeutic projects through clinical proof-of-concept. As part of the agreement, Novartis made an equity investment in BioLineRx of $10 million.
Reuter’s reports that Novartis confirmed in an email that it wasn't going to meet its goal to start trials of the autofocusing smart lens being developed in partnership with Alphabet Inc. (Google) that aim to address farsightedness. Initial testing was originally planned for 2016. It appears testing for the lens that will track a wearer's blood glucose levels is on hold as well. For more details, click here to read the Reuter’s story.
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators presented the prestigious IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards and IACLE Travel Award at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting. The Awards recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. Each winner receives a grant of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending a major international conference.
Thanks to sponsorship from CooperVision, three Educator of the Year Awards are presented, one for each of IACLE’s three global regions. This year’s winners were:
IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year 2016: Dr Jorge Giovanni Vargas, Universidad de La Salle, Facultad de Optometria, Colombia
IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year 2016: Dr Prema Chande, Lotus College of Optometry, Mumbai, India
IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year 2016: Professor James Wolffsohn, Aston University, Birmingham, UK
The IACLE Travel Award is a travel grant for an IACLE Educator Member starting out on his/her career who would not otherwise be able to attend a major international conference. The annual Award is funded by IACLE. This year’s recipient was: Eman Alzghoul, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.
Sightbox – Start-up Combines Vision Insurance and Online Retail
Vision care start-up, Sightbox, has raised $1.8 million to fund a new service for contact lens wearers. According to the company, the service combines aspects of vision insurance, online retail, and customer service for consumers while also generating new business for the more than 50,000 local optometry businesses across the U.S.
The company hopes to offer an alternative to established vision care plans by bundling eye exams with an annual supply of contact lenses and extending a payment plan to customers that allows them to pay over time.
Sightbox currently markets the annual membership service, $39 per month, to individual contact lens wearers. The company will also begin offering membership enrollment options through employers, with plans offered alongside other more traditional health and vision benefits. The company website, www.sightbox.com, has more information.
Have you seen an interesting case lately? Would you like to share it with your colleagues? An image from that case could appear in Contact Lenses Today in the coming weeks!
We welcome photo submissions from our 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.
The potential number of contact lens/care system combinations is daunting; I am reminded of this every time I visit my local grocery and department stores. To our patients, the large number of care system options may just seem like simple market competition. While this is partly true, many of our patients are likely not aware that the care system selected to be used in conjunction with their prescribed contact lenses can have an impact on their wearing experience and ocular surface.1, 2
2013 article by Tilia et al. highlights this point well. In their study they randomized symptomatic and asymptomatic contact lens wearers to a contact lens/care system combination that was previously found to be comfortable (best combination among 42 studies) or a combination what was previously found to be uncomfortable (worst combination among 42 studies).1 Overall, the authors found that contact lens/care system combinations had a significant impact in symptomatic subjects but not in asymptomatic subjects on comfort at insertion, end of day comfort, and symptoms frequency.1
While contact lens/care systems combinations may not have an apparent impact on all contact lens wearers, they may have an impact on some patients, especially symptomatic subjects.1, 2 Therefore, you should not only be prescribing contact lenses to your patients, but you should also be prescribing care systems and educating your patients on the importance of only using their prescribed solution(s).
1. Tilia D, Lazon de la Jara P, Peng N, Papas EB, Holden BA. Effect of lens and solution choice on the comfort of contact lens wearers. Optom Vis Sci 2013;90:411-418.
2. Andrasko G, Ryen K. Corneal staining and comfort observed with traditional and silicone hydrogel lenses and multipurpose solution combinations. Optometry 2008;79:444-454.
As we all near the end of the year, we begin to look back and realize how quickly things have passed. It seems like last month we were putting away holiday decorations, but we are about to get them out again.
Over the year, we have seen thousands of patients pass through our practices. If you’re like me, around 30%+ of them wear contact lenses. That is a pretty significant number of patients. Although specialty lens wearers account for a large percentage of this in many specialty clinics, patients wearing standard lenses still account for a lot of the patients we see. Many of these patients choose to just get what their insurance covers and elect to take a minimalistic approach to box orders. As such, they either call back part way through the year to make their final lens orders, go online to purchase their lenses, or are noncompliant with their lens wear until they see you again.
If you’re like me, tracking who these patients are seems to be a bother. Many of them pass through my hands and end up working with my team for their lens orders. However, the end of the year is always a busy time, but an important time for patients who may have flex spending accounts. If you have captured the patients in your office who have flex spending accounts, it may be a good idea to utilize your EHR to send them a reminder that they can use their end of the year savings to order the rest of their lenses.
If you have not captured them, consider using an online newsletter generator. Send out a newsletter to all your contact lens wearing patients that shares the importance of contact lens compliance and replacing their lenses regularly. Then share that you can take their order on the phone or through your website.
In whatever way that you do it, I find that helping to bring about better compliance for your patient will always yield you patients who have better health and better comfort.
Friction Measurements on Contact Lenses in a Physiologically Relevant Environment: Effect of Testing Conditions on Friction
The purpose of this study was to characterize the effect of lubricant composition and in vitro ageing on the coefficient of friction (CoF) of a wide range of commercially available soft contact lenses (SCLs).
The CoF of SCLs was characterized by means of microtribometry against a mucin-coated glass disk. One reusable (RU) silicone-hydrogel (SiHy) lens, senofilcon A, and two daily disposable (DD) lenses, etafilcon A (hydrogel) and nelfilcon A (hydrogel), were tested under different lubricant solutions, including a tear-like fluid (TLF) containing proteins and lipids. Five RU (balafilcon A [SiHy], comfilcon A [SiHy], etafilcon A [hydrogel], lotrafilcon B [SiHy], senofilcon A [SiHy]) and five DD (delefilcon A [SiHy], etafilcon A [hydrogel; two lens types], narafilcon A [SiHy], nelfilcon A [hydrogel]) lenses were tested before and after exposure to an in vitro ageing process, consisting of continuous immersion and withdrawal from TLF for 18 hours. The CoF in TLF was further compared to previously published data collected in a different lubricant.
After in vitro ageing, three RU (balafilcon A, etafilcon A, comfilcon A) and three DD (delefilcon A, etafilcon A, nelfilcon A) lenses displayed a significant increase in CoF (P < 0.05). Lenses that contained poly (vinyl pyrrolidone; PVP) showed unaltered CoF after ageing.
An in vitro methodology to simulate in vivo wearing of contact lenses has been proposed. The authors concluded that the results suggest that certain lens materials show increased CoF after ageing, with potential clinical implications. The results indicate that the presence of a persistent wetting agent is of advantage to maintain a low CoF after prolonged wearing.
Sterner O, Aeschlimann R, Zürcher S, Osborn Lorenz K, Kakkassery J, Spencer ND, Tosatti SG. Friction Measurements on Contact Lenses in a Physiologically Relevant Environment: Effect of Testing Conditions on Friction. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Oct 1;57(13):5383-5392. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19713.