You have probably noted the lay-press' coverage of Google's entry into the contact lens research and development arena. A glucose monitoring contact lens is no doubt an interesting concept, although the concept has been around for a long time. Although extremely novel, I have heard discussion questioning the actual use of a contact lens to monitor glucose levels in diabetics in terms of limited potential applicability. Many practitioners are more conservative in fitting diabetics in contact lenses, particularly as it relates to overnight wear. It will indeed be interesting to see this work progress.
WellPoint completed the sale of its online contact lens retail subsidiary 1-800 CONTACTS to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL). The company has also completed the sale of glasses.com and its virtual try-on technology to Luxottica, a leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
THL was founded in 1974. According the firm’s website, they have raised approximately $20 billion of equity capital and invested in more than 100 portfolio companies with an aggregate value of over $150 billion. THL invests in growth-oriented businesses, headquartered primarily in North America, across three sectors: Business & Financial Services, Consumer & Healthcare, and Media & Information Services.
SynergEyes, Inc. has named Jeffrey Sonsino, OD, FAAO, its new director of clinical studies. In a consultative role, Dr. Sonsino will lead SynergEyes’ clinical studies by engaging patients within his practice and by networking with other colleagues around the country when a large number of patients are enrolled in clinical studies.
A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, Dr. Sonsino completed his residency in cornea and contact lenses at the Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago. For 11 years, he was an assistant professor at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. While at Vanderbilt, he founded the Center for Sight Enhancement, was director of the Scleral Lens Clinic and authored nine patents on vision-related medical devices.
A council member of the American Optometric Association’s Contact Lens Section and a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lens and Refractive Therapies Section of the American Academy of Optometry, Dr. Sonsino is in private practice with his wife, Michele Sonsino, OD, in Nashville, TN.
Optical Polymer Research, Inc. (OPRI) announced at the recent Global Specialty Lens Symposium that they are joining the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA) as an Associate Member. According to a company statement, the company is joining the CLMA in order to demonstrate its total commitment to specialty and custom contact lens manufacturers, many of which are members of the CLMA.
The recently rejuvenated company’s mission is to develop and deliver high-quality and innovative contact lens polymers to custom finishing laboratories, eyecare providers and their patients. For information on the company and its principles, Krist Jani and Hank Stute, visit www.OPRI.net.
United Contact Lens (UCL), Arlington, Washington, recently announced that the company is adding a full line of advanced daily and monthly disposable contact lenses to their armamentarium.
NewGen Aspherex, a monthly disposable, is designed with United’s proprietary aspheric optical zone, which enhances vision especially at computer-use, and screen games. Coupled with this design is United’s “Continual Flow Edge” design. With a very slow surface dehydration rate, Aspherex is an overall stable and comfortable fit providing fabulous vision, according to the company.
Similarly, United is introducing United’s NewGen Everyday, into the fast growing daily disposable segment of the contact lens market.
UCL also announced that the newly developed 2WIN instrument, a hand-held binocular, photo-autorefractor, will soon be available through them. The instrument can be “bundled” with the entire NewGen line of contact lenses.
For more information on United Contact Lens and all its new products, as well as how to take advantage of lucrative “bundles” to have prices “locked-in” at dramatic savings, contact United’s president, Neal Cook, personally at Neal@unitedcontactlens.com, or if you prefer to speak in person call United Contact Lens at 1-800-446-1666. You may also visit www.unitedcontactlens.com. For a detailed overview of 2WIN, go to www.2winforvision.com.
The 2013 World Sight Day Student Challenge was a great success thanks to the student leadership at campuses across North America! Thirty schools participated raising more than $56,000, which will help fund Schools of Optometry in underserved communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The enthusiastic support of the student leaders from the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) contributed to the success of this year’s Student Challenge.
Every year VOSH International, in association with Optometry Giving Sight, offers travel stipends to the schools that raise the most in donations.
The winners of the 2013 VOSH International travel stipend awards are: Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, the University of Montreal College of Optometry, and the University of Waterloo College of Optometry. These awards will enable students from the winning schools to see first-hand the importance of helping to establish sustainable eye and vision care projects in communities where these don’t currently exist.
When light is directed to the limbus temporal area, it produces this image to focus in the iris that we see like a bright reflection from the nasal area of the limbus. In this photo taken of the right eye, we can see a severe keratoconus with Rizzuti’s Sign and some leukomas on the corneal surface.
We thank Davide Brambilla for this image and we 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 an explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title and city/state/country
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
Humidifier Use for Dry Eye Patients
I routinely suggest the addition of a room/personal humidifier to my dry eye/ ocular surface disease/ allergy patients. I have humidifiers in my own home and in my office. The addition of humidity, especially in the winter, is helpful to the mucous membrane of the ocular and nasal surfaces, the skin and can quell snoring precipitated by a parched soft palate and nasal passages.
There are a number of types of humidifiers: cool or warm mist, evaporative or ultrasonic, with or without an “air washer (purifier)”, and with or without a humidistat/hygrometer. In general, keeping the relative humidity below 50% considerably reduces the growth of dust mites, a common allergen, so units with a humidistat are helpful to monitor room humidity. For ease of cleaning, better humidifiers have replaceable demineralization cartridges (to limit mineral dust) and/or anti-calcium cartridge that keep the water clean and bacteria free. Humidifying units should not be placed on carpets to prevent mold growth. Most units recommend the use of distilled water.
Quality humidifiers require minor maintenance however it is prudent to use a humidifier cleaner and anti-bacterial solution to clean the water reservoir completely at the start of the heating season and again at the end of the heating season. Finally, I suggest a small personal humidifier to be used at work (water “tank” is a standard water bottle) as needed.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO
Makeup Application Tips for Contact Lens Wearers
Makeup contamination can make contact lens wear difficult. Many cosmetics readily find their way into the tear film or onto contact lenses, resulting in discomfort, deposition, decreased vision, and/or infection. Traditional daily cleaners are not always strong enough to remove this type of deposition. If the patients cannot give up wearing their makeup (and they rarely do), there are several application methods that can help make contact lens wear more successful.1-5
Apply mascara beginning at the middle of the eyelashes; starting at the base of the lashes can lead to clogged Meibomian glands. Avoid “lash building” formulations because they are more likely to cause flaking.
Refrain from applying eyeliner directly onto the eyelid margin. Not only will this clog the glands, which can result in dry eye, hordeola, or chalazia, but it also can lead to makeup entering the tear film and depositing on the contact lenses. Place it above the base of the upper eyelashes and below the base of the lower eyelashes.
Be careful with facial powders, powdered blush, and eye shadow. Use them sparingly and close the eyes while applying them.
Apply perfumes and hair sprays prior to inserting contact lenses; or spray with eyes closed, then step out of the way of the mist. These chemicals adhere to contact lenses and are difficult to remove.
1. Weisbarth RE and Henderson B. Hydrogel lens care regimens and patient education. In: Bennett ES and Weissman BA, eds. Clinical Contact Lens Practice. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2005: 409.
2. Bennett E and Wagner H. Rigid lens care and patient education. In: Bennett ES and Weissman BA, eds. Clinical Contact Lens Practice. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2005: 289.
3. Sindt C. Makeup and teens. Contact Lens Spectrum, Volume: 28, Issue: December 2013; 48.
4. Ward M. Contact Lenses and Makeup Contamination. Contact Lens Spectrum, Volume: 28, Issue: February 2013::23.
5. Gromacki SJ. Mascara and Scleral GP Contact Lenses. In: Care Solution Corner; Contact Lenses Today, January 12, 2014.
Myopia, An Underrated Global Challenge to Vision: Where the Current Data Takes Us on Myopia Control
Myopia is the most frequent cause of distance impairment in the world and is creating an alarming global epidemic with deleterious ramifications for the quality of life and economic health of individuals and nations as a whole. In addition to being immediately disadvantageous, myopia increases the risk of serious disorders such as myopic macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and cataract and is a leading cause of visual impairment and blindness across many countries. The reduction in age of onset of myopia is of great concern since the earlier the onset, the more myopic the individual will become, with all the attendant increased risks of accompanying debilitating eye conditions. The economic burden is great; both in consequences of uncorrected refractive error and also in the provision of devices for correcting visual acuity. Earlier onset of myopia increases the lifetime economic burden related to loss of productivity and independence, leading to a reduced quality of life.
Recent data suggest addressing accommodation per se has little direct amelioration of myopia progression. Pharmacological interventions that effect changes in the sclera show promising efficacy, whereas optical interventions based on a myopic shift in the retinal image are proving to effect up to 55% reduction in the rate of progression of myopia. Early contact lens and spectacle interventions that reduce the rate of progression of myopia are able to significantly reduce the burden of myopia. These non-pharmacological interventions show profound promise in reducing the overall associated morbidity of myopia.
Holden B, Sankaridurg P, Smith E, Aller T, Jong M, He M. Myopia, an underrated global challenge to vision: where the current data takes us on myopia control. Eye (Lond). 2013 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]