While on the whole, cosmetic (colored) soft lenses are used with lower frequency, this is still an important category for us in practice. Likewise, the category also saw double-digit growth in 2015, perhaps because of new technologies that have been introduced in our very recent past. If you have not looked at this category recently, I encourage you to go back and give it a chance as I think you might be surprised about the strides being made. Look for full coverage of this topic in our April edition of Contact Lens Spectrum.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Alden Optical Becomes
IKA Silver Level Sponsor
Alden Optical, now part of the B+L Specialty Vision Products group, has become a Silver Level Sponsor of the International Keratoconus Academy (IKA). IKA is a non-profit organization with a mission to promote and develop the knowledge base and awareness of the state of the art pertaining to the diagnosis and management of keratoconus and other forms of corneal ectasia.
This sponsorship represents a significant investment by Alden Optical and B+L SVP towards increased understanding of keratoconus and its management, according to the company. More information on IKA can be found at www.keratoconusacademy.com. More Alden Optical is available at www.aldenoptical.com.
2016 Annual Optometric CE Symposium Planned for April
Discounted registration is available through February 29, 2016, for the Annual Optometric CE Symposium, which will be held in Las Vegas, NV, April 9-10, 2016 at the Las Vegas Marriott. This continuing education seminar provides 12 hours of COPE-approved education for optometrists in a relaxed, collegial environment.
Five nationally known speakers will discuss topics on Posterior Segment Disease in Practice, In-office Electrodiagnostics, Low Vision in Primary Care, Ocular Nutrition and AMD, Dry Eye, FAF, Vitreous Traction, Contact Lenses and Epiretinal Membranes. Speakers include: Dr. William Jones, Dr. Bryan Wolynski, Dr. Michael Samuel, Dr. Michael Santarlas, and Dr. Kelly Kerksick-Frisella.
Of special note is that the event is free for active duty service members, including the Public Health Service, and at a reduced rate for reservists.
AAO Clinical Research and Career Development Awards Call for Applications
The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) has announced a call for applications for the Academy Clinical Research Award. The purpose of the award is to provide a mechanism for Academy Fellows to conduct clinical research to answer clinically meaningful questions that will have a significant impact on patient care in optometry.
The Academy will provide a maximum of $100,000 per project and each project must be completed within two years. The Academy will fund direct costs only (no funding for indirect expenses/facilities and administration expenses). Each research group must name an individual academic partner who has research experience and has published in refereed journals in the area of investigation. Ideally 60% of the investigator group must be in clinical practice outside of an academic institution. If this is not possible because of the particular study topic, an explanation must be included. Investigator(s) must submit study results to the Academy’s Scientific Program Committee for presentation at the Academy annual meeting and to Optometry and Vision Science or other peer-reviewed journals for publication.
Also the AAO announced a call for submissions for the Academy Career Development Award, a new initiative for the Academy. Early career optometric faculty at schools or colleges of optometry and departments of ophthalmology are encouraged to apply. This award is designed for optometric educators and scientists involved in research including clinical, patient-oriented, educational, etc., as long as the case can be made for the potential to acquire future extramural funding. Preference is for innovative, original, independent, Principal Investigator (PI)-driven projects.
The Academy will provide a maximum of $50,000 in direct costs per year for up to two years, potentially renewable once for a total of up to four years of funding. The applicant’s institution will be required to provide matching funds, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 per year for each year of funding. Matching funds must be new funds to the researcher and cannot include existing support to the applicant. Eligible applicants must be junior faculty at schools and colleges of optometry in the United States (or optometrists in other academic settings, such as departments of ophthalmology) who are less than or equal to five years since their terminal degree and less than or equal to ten years from their optometric degree, both at the time of application.
ABB Optical Group announced it has hired former Bausch + Lomb director Melanie Miller as managing director of strategic and national accounts. Additionally, Bart Tessel will move to the new position of vice president of business development and strategic initiatives.
Miller has more than 20 years of sales and account management experience. She held various leadership positions with Bausch + Lomb for 11 years, most recently as one of the company's national account directors.
In his new role as vice president of business development and strategic initiatives, Tessel will focus on developing new business opportunities for ABB Optical, including expanding the company's product portfolio and service lines, forging new business partnerships and collaborations, market development, and geographical growth.
Tessel began his career at ABB Optical Group in 2009 as director of supply chain solutions before assuming the position of director of strategic relationships. In 2012, he was promoted to vice president with responsibility for strategic account development.
National Think About Your Eyes Campaign Wraps Up Record Breaking Year
The national Think About Your Eyes campaign has wrapped up its record breaking 2015 efforts, reaching even more consumers and producing more eye exams than ever before. Nearly 1.3 billion consumer impressions were generated, and the message was seen or heard by over 132 million adults.
Most importantly, according to The Vision Council, Think About Your Eyes is working. In 2015 alone, the campaign generated more than 1 million eye exams, bringing in $55.5 million in eye exam revenue as well as an additional $444 million industry revenue from sales of glasses and contacts generated by campaign-promoted eye exams. Since its inception, more than 2 million people have visited the campaign website where they can find local Think About Your Eyes eyecare providers, and an additional 1 million website visitors are expected in 2016. This important campaign is truly changing consumer attitudes about eye exams, and driving growth for the eyecare industry.
29 State Optometric Associations have now joined the Think About Your Eyes campaign, more than ever before, helping to grow the number of providers listed on the Think About Your Eyes doctor locator to more than 16,000 from 4,000.
Efforts will be ramped up for 2016, including 6 additional weeks of advertising for the campaign with more than 1.25 Billion consumer impressions expected across national cable TV, radio, online radio and digital banner ads. 2016 TV and radio advertisements kicked off on January 25, and include a new television ad focused on Presbyopia.
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
Although I anxiously await FDA approval and commercialization of every pipeline pharmaceutical for ocular surface disease, I must confess that I am extraordinarily fascinated (and have no qualms in experimenting with) “natural”, herbal or ayurvedic remedies for the discomfort of “dry eye” disease. The proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree---I often consult my mother’s honored, well-loved, worn copy of A Modern Herbal: Medicinal Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folklore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs and Trees With Their Modern Scientific Uses by Mrs. M. Grieve, FRHS (Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society). After all, the immunosuppressive agent cyclosporine was initially isolated in 1969 from the fungus Tolypocladium inflatum found in a soil sample from the Hardangervidda mountain plateau in Norway by biologist Hans Peter Frey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclosporin).
Just this week, a confirmed EKC patient, frustrated with the slow improvement in her clinical course, relayed the story of how she, over a few hours, significantly quelled her robust ocular (red eye) and systemic (palpable preauricular nodes) inflammatory response to the viral disease. The patient’s description of her own case was remarkable. Rather than questioning her compliance to her prescribed treatment, I was a receptive and interested listener.
Make no mistake about it: for my next patient case of EKC, I will suggest the patient try this “natural” treatment. I will keep you informed.
Coming up: more on this case, comments on Ayurveda and OSD, and other “Mrs. M. Grievesque-type” thoughts.
It’s All About the Motion…Assessment of Soft Contact Lens Movement
Success in soft contact lens fitting requires comfort, vision and physiological response. All three elements are influenced by lens movement. As we have moved towards disposable and ultra-thin soft lens designs we have generally moved towards fitting with less movement (as noted with blink and push up resistance and recovery). Fitting thin lenses with less movement has improved initial comfort upon insertion, however are we risking any physiological implications when we fit with restricted movement?
A study was recently published that attempted to investigate how initial HEMA and silicone-hydrogel (SiHy) contact lens fit characteristics on insertion reflect end of day fit characteristics. Thirty subjects (aged 22.9±4.9 years) were fit contralaterally with HEMA and SiHy contact lenses. Corneal topography and tear break-up time were assessed pre-lens wear. Centration, lag, post-blink movement during up-gaze and push-up recovery speed were recorded after 5, 10, 20 minutes and 8 hours of contact lens wear by a digital slit-lamp biomicroscope camera, along with reported comfort. Results found that initial comfort and centration were similar with the HEMA and SiHy lenses (p>0.05), but comfort decreased with time (p<0.01) whereas centration remained stable (F=0.036, p=0.991) for both. Movement-on-blink and lag were greater with the HEMA than the SiHy lens (p<0.01), but movement-on-blink decreased with time after insertion (F=22.423, p<0.001) whereas lag remained stable (F=1.967, p=0.129). Push-up recovery speed was similar with the HEMA and the SiHy lens 5-20 minutes after insertion (p>0.05), but was slower with SiHy after 8 hours of wear (p=0.016). Lens movement on blink and push-up recovery speed was predictive of the movement after 8 hours of wear. The authors concluded that a HEMA or SiHy contact lens with poor movement on blink or push-up after at least 10 minutes after insertion should be rejected.
Implications of tight fitting soft lenses include reduced comfort following prolonged wear, but perhaps more importantly lack of lens movement inhibits tear exchange and allows for the creation of what I would term a retro-lens “cesspool” that can increase the likelihood of an inflammatory event or even microbial keratitis. I surely have clinically observed that of those patients who wear their lenses overnight on a continual basis seem to be far more successful when their lenses demonstrate significant movement. Have you noticed the same thing?
Boychev N, Laughton DS, Bharwani G, Ghuman H, Wolffsohn JS. How should initial fit inform soft contact lens prescribing? Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015 Nov 19 [Epub ahead of print].
Short-Term Visual Performance of Novel Extended Depth-of-Focus Contact Lenses
The purpose of this study was to compare the objective and subjective visual performance of a novel contact lens which extends depth of focus by deliberate manipulation of higher-order spherical aberrations and a commercially available zonal-refractive multifocal lens.
A prospective, cross-over, randomized, single-masked, short-term clinical trial comprising 41 presbyopes (age 45 to 70 years) wearing novel Extended Depth of Focus lenses (EDOF) and ACUVUE OAYS for Presbyopia (AOP). Each design was assessed on different days with a minimum overnight wash-out. Objective measures comprised high-contrast visual acuity (HCVA, logMAR) at 6 m, 70 cm, 50 cm, and 40 cm; low-contrast visual acuity (LCVA, logMAR) and contrast sensitivity (log units) at 6 m; and stereopsis (seconds of arc) at 40 cm. HCVA at 70 cm, 50 cm, and 40 cm were measured as "comfortable acuity" rather than conventional resolution acuity. Subjective performance was assessed on a 1-10 numeric rating scale for clarity of vision and ghosting at distance, intermediate and near, overall vision satisfaction, ocular comfort, and lens purchase. Statistical analysis included repeated measures ANOVA and paired t tests.
HCVA, clarity of vision, and ghosting with EDOF were significantly better than AOP (p < 0.01); however, differences were dependent on testing distances and add groups. Post hoc analysis showed EDOF was significantly better than AOP for HCVA at 70 cm (0.11 ± 0.11 vs. 0.21 ± 0.16, p < 0.001), 50 cm (0.26 ± 0.17 vs. 0.36 ± 0.18, p = 0.003), 40 cm (0.42 ± 0.17 vs. 0.52 ± 0.21, p = 0.001), and LCVA at 6 m (0.22 ± 0.08 vs. 0.27 ± 0.12, p = 0.024). EDOF was significantly better than AOP for clarity of vision at distance (7.7 ± 1.6 vs. 6.8 ± 2.3, p = 0.029), intermediate (8.8 ± 1.4 vs. 7.0 ± 2.2, p < 0.001), and near (7.4 ± 2.4 vs. 5.2 ± 2.7, p < 0.001), ghosting at distance (9.1 ± 1.2 vs. 8.1 ± 2.5, p = 0.005), and overall vision satisfaction (7.6 ± 1.6 vs. 6.0 ± 2.6, p < 0.001). More participants chose to purchase EDOF compared to AOP (61 vs. 39%) and significantly more chose to only-purchase EDOF compared to only-purchase AOP (27 vs. 5%, p = 0.022).
The researchers concluded that, when compared with AOP, EDOF lenses provide better intermediate and near vision performance in presbyopic participants without compromising distance vision.
Tilia D, Bakaraju RC, Chung J, Sha J, Delaney S, Munro A, Thomas V, Ehrmann K, Holden BA. Short-Term Visual Performance of Novel Extended Depth-of-Focus Contact Lenses. Optom Vis Sci. 2016 Jan 21. [Epub ahead of print]