Does it always seem like you are in a hurry, even when you are not? Clinical practice is indeed hectic, let alone life in general. Of course, a busy clinic schedule is necessary to pay the bills, and time spent with patients is impacted by the reason for the patients’ visit. However, our patients certainly do appreciate when we are able to slow down and nurture our relationship and interaction with them. I believe that this is particularly true when fitting new and specialty contact lens patients. And, over time, this likely relates to the overall success of these patients as contact lens wearers.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Dwight Akerman, OD, to Retire from Alcon
Effective Mar. 1, 2019, Dwight Akerman, OD, global head of professional affairs & business development of Alcon, a division of Novartis, will retire. Since January 2013, Akerman has served the vision care franchise as global head, professional affairs and business development.
Dr. Akerman joined Alcon from Ciba Vision as executive director of U.S. professional affairs in May 2011. Before joining Alcon, he held roles of increasing leadership with Ciba Vision, Wesley Jessen, and Novartis Pharma in medical marketing, professional affairs, clinical research, and medical affairs. Currently, he serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Illinois College of Optometry and is a trustee of the World Optometric Foundation.
IDOC Announces New Members of Leadership Team
IDOC has announced the addition of four new members of the executive and management teams.
Jill Johnson joined IDOC in January 2019 as vice president, Human Resources. In her executive role, she leads people-focused initiatives that include learning and development, organization planning, rewards and recognition, talent acquisition, employee communications, and promoting a "people-first" culture at IDOC.
Jan Cory takes on the role of senior director, Strategic Partnerships, focusing on a wide range of vendor/partner relationships. Her career began in the luxury retail sector, joining the vision industry at B+L/Luxottica, where she created and led the department store team.
Bridgette O’Brien was named director of marketing in December 2018, leading all IDOC marketing efforts, including brand, events, vendor and new product/services launches. Most recently, she managed Customer Marketing for Bausch + Lomb’s Vision Care team.
Scott Robinson joined the IDOC team in December 2018 as director of Strategic Partnerships, overseeing vendor relationships and contract governance. His most recent positions include 11 years with ABB Optical Group as vice president of New Business Development and director of Strategic Accounts, followed by two years as director of Strategic Business for the Walman Companies.
Optometry Cares Releases Names of 2019 Scholarship Recipients
Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation announced six scholarship winners. Paul Eckel, of The Ohio State University College of Optometry, is the first place winner of the Vision West, Inc. and Health Eyes Advantage Scholarship for InfantSEE. He was awarded $7,500. Christy Alfano, of Southern College of Optometry, is the second place winner of the Vision West, Inc. and Healthy Eyes Advantage Scholarship for InfantSEE. She was awarded $3,000. Abood Dahnoun, of Southern College of Optometry, received $10,000 for winning the Bernard Maitenaz Scholarship, sponsored by Essilor. Sterlin Blakley, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, received $5,000 for the Dr. Pat and Patrick Cummings Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored in part by Johnson & Johnson Vision. Kaitlin Speth, of Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University, is the winner of the Dr. Seymour Galina Scholarship. Ms. Speth received $2,500. And, Krystal Matson, of the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry, was rewarded $2,500 for the Dr. Larry J. Alexander Scholarship for Education, which is sponsored in part by Optovue.
ABB Optical Group Announces Leadership Changes
ABB Optical Group announced changes to its leadership team and an addition to its board of directors.
Meghan FitzGerald, a managing partner of L1 Health, has joined the ABB Optical Group board of directors. She also is a member of the board of directors for SeniorLink and serves as an assistant professor at Columbia University in New York.
Mike Bono has been named ABB Optical Group’s new CFO and will oversee the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of the company. Prior to joining ABB Optical, he was the CFO of Medical Specialties Distributors.
Attorney Michael Dell has been appointed as ABB Optical Group’s general counsel, a newly created position. Mr. Dell will be responsible for leading strategic and tactical legal initiatives, providing the senior management team with effective advice on company strategies and their implementation, and securing and overseeing the work of outside counsel as needed.
Erika Jurrens has joined ABB Optical Group as senior vice president of strategic development and commercialization. Previously, she led product development and marketing as vice president for Cardinal Health.
Previously vice president of marketing, Aaron See is now senior vice president of manufacturer partnerships, a newly created position. He will be responsible for all aspects of ABB Optical Group’s vendor strategies and will oversee the company’s GP and custom soft lenses business.
Paul Sherman has taken a new position as chief development officer. He previously led ABB Optical Group’s finance team for eight years as CFO.
Bausch + Lomb Launches SightMatters.com
Bausch + Lomb (B+L) announced the launch of SightMatters.com, a new educational online resource for people living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The site was launched to coincide with the start of AMD Awareness Month. The new online resource, which was specifically designed for the visually impaired with an increased font size and distinctive color contrast between different elements in the site, will help patients take charge of their condition by offering a singular resource that is clear and concise and that offers actionable content as opposed to the often dense and overwhelming information currently available, according to the company.
In addition, B+L will continue its four-year collaboration with Prevent Blindness to raise awareness about this eye disease throughout the month of February. For every Facebook like or share made in February, B+L will donate $1 to Prevent Blindness (up to $50,000).
Puerto Rico Honors CooperVision for Environmental Standards
CooperVision’s water sustainability efforts have earned its Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico production and packaging facility top honors from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) for the fourth consecutive year.
The PRASA Pre-Treatment Excellence Compliance Award recognized the company’s adherence to operating permit conditions, made possible by ongoing investment in the site’s infrastructure and training. Juana Diaz manufactures a range of CooperVision brands that are shipped worldwide, including Biofinity silicone hydrogel contact lenses.
Nicox Announces FDA Acceptance of IND Application for NCX 4251
Nicox SA announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed its review of the company's Investigational New Drug (IND) application for NCX 4251, a novel patented ophthalmic suspension of fluticasone propionate nanocrystals being developed as a targeted topical treatment of the eyelid margin for patients who have acute exacerbations of blepharitis. The IND was submitted to the FDA in December 2018 ahead of the target of the first quarter of 2019.
CLX Announces System Integration with FoxFire Practice Management Software
CLX has integrated with FoxFire, an ophthalmic-specific electronic health records and practice management software. FoxFire users will now have seamless integration with CLX’s complete contact lens system, featuring automated reordering, subscription, and detailed insight into key practice metrics.
Avedro Launches Initial Public Offering
Avedro, Inc. has commenced an initial public offering of 5,000,000 shares of common stock. The initial public offering price (IPO) is currently estimated to be between $14.00 and $16.00 per share. Avedro expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 750,000 shares of common stock at the IPO price. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering. Cowen, Guggenheim Securities, and SVB Leerink are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.
Jaime Ibanez, OD, Villavicencia, Colombia
This image shows a scleral lens trial of a highly metabolic GP lens wearer who has dense whitish strands of a mucinous compound that freely move in the post-lens chamber. These filaments are associated with alteration in the components of the tear film.
We thank Dr. Ibanez 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.
SPECIALTY LENS SPACE
Karen DeLoss, OD
Where to Begin?
The good news for patients who have undergone corneal transplants is that there are plenty of specialty or custom contact lens options available these days. The bad news is that there are plenty of options available these days! So, where should practitioners begin?
The general rules of "if it’s broken, fix it" and "if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it" still hold true in this situation. Therefore, at the end of the day, it comes down to what is best for each patient.
After a corneal transplant, complete healing can take up to 24 months, and fitting will usually commence at around six to 12 months.1 Higher-order aberrations in eyes following keratoplasty can, on average, demonstrate magnitudes of up to 5.5-fold that of a normal-cornea control group.2 Graft size and shape can help aid in decision-making, as it may be desirable to choose a lens that has an optic zone larger than the graft diameter. Proprietary GP post-graft sets can help navigate shape. Custom soft lenses can help with aberration control. Finally, although costs can be higher, scleral lenses may be able to fully vault the graft, neutralize astigmatism, and, in some cases, reduce aberration.1,2 A conversation regarding patient expectations and financial concerns is usually a good starting point.
1. Robertson D, Cavanaugh D. Contact Lens Applications of Corneal Disease. In: Krachmer JH, Mannis MJ, Holland EJ, eds. Cornea. 3rd ed; Elsevier Health Sciences; 2011:1225.
2. Szczotka LB, Lindsay RG. Contact lens fitting following corneal graft surgery. Clin Exp Optom. 2003 Jul;86(4):244-249.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
New Year, New Look
It’s 2019. Can you believe that it is another year closer to 2020, the year when everyone will launch major marketing campaigns for their practices (Hint: start planning now)? When a new year rolls around, I like to look at my trial lens cabinet and do a quick inventory of what we have.
As I have travelled the world and peeked inside practitioners’ contact lens rooms/storage closets/staff rooms/contact lens warehouses, I’ve seen lenses that were old when I began practicing 15 years ago. At these times, I would question the team member giving the tour and ask whether Dr. Supercontactlens still uses these lenses. The usual reply was no, but that he still has one patient in the lens and wants to keep the fitting set in case someone comes in needing or wanting the lens.
This reminds me of the TV show "Hoarders"; our colleagues who have more than 15 fitting sets in their offices are the eyecare practitioner equivalent. It is time to part ways with old/outdated fitting sets and to replace them with new ones (i.e., time to remove these temptations). New materials have been developed that can impact your patients in much more meaningful ways, and those are the lenses that should be in your fitting cabinets.
A side benefit of the purge is that it reduces decision fatigue. I have my three major go-to families of lenses. I always lead with lens choice one unless a patient has tried it in the past and has not been successful. Even if patients are comfortable with their lenses, I will still try them in one of my top three, with the intention to upgrade them to better/healthier lenses. This allows my decisions to be more streamlined, because there is less on which my team has to be an expert. I can maximize vendor rebates and contribute more of that money back into the practice or to lower the price of the lenses even more.
There are a few benefits to keeping fit sets, many more to purging them, and very few to hoarding. Clean up your shelves and make room for simplicity, improved profitability, and streamlined efficiency for the whole team.
Identification of Leukocytes Associated With Midday Fogging in the Post-Lens Tear Film of Scleral Contact Lens Wearers
Midday fogging is a frequent complaint among scleral contact lens (ScCL) wearers, and the mechanism and cause of this is unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to understand the relationship between midday fogging, ocular surface leukocytes, and ScCL fitting characteristics.
Subjects arrived at a clinical exam having worn ScCLs for at least four hours. ScCL were removed, and 150μL of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) was used to wash the bowl of the ScCL. Eyes were washed post-ScCL removal with 5mL PBS per eye. Wash solutions were collected and leukocytes were then isolated and counted, followed by assessment with flow cytometry. Samples from the post-lens tear fluid were stained with fluorescently labeled antibodies to detect leukocyte distributions.
Nineteen adapted, full-time ScCL wearers were included in the study, and 46% presented with midday fogging. ScCL corneal clearance was 246μm ± 61μm for nonfoggers, while it was 308μm ± 98μm for those who experienced fogging (P < 0.05). On average, the number of leukocytes collected from the ScCL bowl (9,551 ± 18,926) was greater than the number of leukocytes recovered from the eye wash (2,195 ± 4,384, P < 0.02). ScCL corneal clearance was associated with the presence of fogging, with an odds ratio of 2.24 (95% confidence interval = 1.48-3.38, P < 0.001).
The researchers noted that leukocytes, predominated by neutrophils, are present in the post-lens tear film of ScCL wearers. In particular, wearers who have greater ScCL corneal clearance have greater odds of having midday fogging.
Postnikoff CK, Pucker AD, Laurent J, Huisingh C, McGwin G, Nichols JJ. Identification of Leukocytes Associated With Midday Fogging in the Post-Lens Tear Film of Scleral Contact Lens Wearers. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 Jan 2;60(1):226-233.