The Global Specialty Lens Symposium is occurring this week, from January 26-29 in Las Vegas, NV. While the meeting is primarily perceived to be associated with specialty contact lenses, it should be noted that it is much broader than that. Topics typically range from specialty lens fitting (e.g., sclerals, hybrids, multifocals, torics), to medical complications and therapeutic treatment, material science, care solutions, dry eye and presbyopia. If you still have a chance to attend, I strongly urge you to join us—it's one of the few meetings remaining dedicated to contact lenses. A full listing of our program can be found here: http://lwwconferences.com/event.aspx?eid=4
Art Optical announced the availability of their Intelliwave custom soft lens designs in new easy-to-dispense multipacks. The packaging upgrade coincides with the introduction of a new discounted pricing program meant to make purchasing annual supplies of Intelliwave replacement lenses more economical for patients. The convenient multipack with new lower pricing helps support intended lens replacement schedules and aids patient compliance.
Incorporating patented wavefront technology and aberration control, Intelliwave lenses are available in aspheric, aspheric toric, multifocal and multifocal toric design options, and are offered in parameter ranges that are completely customizable to match the precise prescription requirements of each individual patient. Custom manufactured and ready for shipment in just four business days, Intelliwave lenses offer practitioners and patients with unique Rx requirements a faster, more precise, soft lens option, according to the company. The versatile parameter platform also makes Intelliwave an easy go-to choice for those looking to replace previously discontinued contact lens brands.
Offered in Definitive silicone hydrogel material as a quarterly replacement option, or in traditional hydrogel materials on a semi-annual replacement schedule, Intelliwave lenses are available in 2-packs, 3-packs, and 4-packs. Art Optical is currently the exclusive U.S. manufacturer of the Intelliwave product line. Additional product details can be found at the company website, www.artoptical.com.
GSLS This Week! Registration Still Available
There is still time to register for this week's 2012 Global Specialty Lens Symposium at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from January 26-29. With an expert international faculty and a CE-accredited agenda, the 2012 GSLS will feature insightful presentations by experts in the field and hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products, as well as scientific papers and posters. COPE, JCAHPO and NCLE accreditation. Look for more detailed information and register onsite or online at www.GSLSymposium.com.
Safigel 1-day daily disposable contact lenses are now also available in -8.50, -9.00, -9.50, and -10.00. Previously the daily disposables were only offered up to -8.00. The new powers will be available in both 30-packs and 90‑packs, as are all other plus and minus powers.
Safigel is the U.S. partner of Safilens, founded in 2001 by a team with over 30 years of management and technical experience in the contact lens sector. According to the company, enthusiasm and sales continue to grow for the proprietary, comfort-driven Hyaluronate-Gel Technology found only in Safigel 1-day daily disposables. Safigel also offers its "ECP Guarantee" assuring that Safigel only sells directly to eyecare professionals.
For more detail on how to introduce Safigel 1-day to your patients, please visit www.safigel.com or call Scott Orphanos, VP of Sales, at 978-250-0192.
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) announced the hiring of Dr. Shilpa J. Register as Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Dr. Jeanette M. Sewell as Associate Dean for Clinical Programs in the College's School of Optometry.
Dr. Register will be responsible for faculty, curriculum and outcomes assessment, while Dr. Sewell will oversee the College's Eye and Vision Center, as well as the integration of clinical education into the Doctor of Optometry (OD) program.
Dr. Register received her OD and MS from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and expects to receive her PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology in March 2012. She has been in academia since 2004, as well as having been in private practice.
Dr. Sewell comes to MCPHS from the New England College of Optometry (NECO), where she is currently Instructor of Record for Clinical Programs, Assistant Director of Residencies and Attending Optometrist in the New England Eye Institute. Dr. Sewell received her OD degree from NECO. She served for more than 25 years as the Director of Eye Care Services at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury, MA. During her tenure at NECO, she served as Interim Associate Dean of Students, Chair of the Clinical Teaching Quality Assurance Committee and in many teaching roles.
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) is inviting eyecare professionals to register for the 36th Clinical Conference and Exhibition by March 9 in order to receive up to 45% off the full delegate rate as part of a new member loyalty program.
Anyone (including non-members) who books before the early bird deadline will receive a discount on the full delegate package — but under the new loyalty program, the discount rate will be higher for those who have been a BCLA member for two to five years, and even higher at five years plus.
Competing for Excellence is this year's games-inspired theme for the conference, to be held from May 24-27 at the ICC Birmingham. The meeting features more than 60 hours of available learning, new clinical topics, world renown speakers, practical tuition and the introduction of Clinical Grand Rounds.
An image from your interesting case could appear in this column next week!
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OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO
Unmet Need in Dry Eye
A recent "Industry News" article in the AOA News (http://newsfromaoa.org/2011/11/06/new-allergan-survey-shows-48-have-dry-eye-symptoms/) caught my attention and continues to intrigue me. The article reports several very interesting facts indicating unmet dry eye need including: 1) Nearly half of all U.S. adults (48%) experience one or more dry eye symptom(s) regularly; 2) 19% of women age 55 and older have experienced dry eye symptoms for more than 10 years, 3) 69% who experience one or more dry eye symptom(s) have not visited a eye care professional to treat symptoms; and 4) of those who visited an eye care professional to treat their dry eye symptoms, 19% visited more than once before finding relief, and 22% reported that they still have not found relief.
My bottom line summary of this market research indicates that there is more unmet need in dry eye disease than likely any other ocular condition. Potential patients self-treat (with or without clinician), experience significant visual and quality of life issues due to dry eye, and have not found substantial relief from the condition. Therefore, ask about symptoms, examine for dry eye, actively manage dry eye and lid disease, and hopefully make a difference.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO
Impact of a Rub and Rinse on Solution-Induced Corneal Staining
Peterson and colleagues recently reported on a study showing that rubbing and rinsing balafilcon-A contact lenses in a polyhexamethylene biguanide multipurpose solution (MPS) prior to an overnight soak in the MPS significantly reduced any solution-induced corneal staining (SICS) that was noted after two hours of contact lens wear.1 While it is common knowledge that rubbing and rinsing contact lenses can remove protein, microorganisms, and debris from lenses, it must be emphasized that in this study, the rub and rinse step was performed before lenses were applied to eyes.
What to make of this, then? Even Dr. Peterson termed the results "somewhat surprising" and offers two hypotheses. First, the lens storage blister packaging solution may play a role in SICS; and secondly, the manual rubbing step may alter the lens, changing its interaction with the MPS and epithelium. Ultimately, this study demonstrates that there is much we still don't know about corneal staining, and highlights the need for additional research to help us understand it more fully.
1. Peterson RC, Fonn D, Woods CA et al. Impact of a rub and rinse on solution-induced corneal staining. Opt Vis Sci 2010;87(12):1030-1036.
VIEWS FROM ABROAD Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, OAM, FAAO
Seventy Is the New Thirty
I just turned 70 and it was an amazing experience; thank you to my brilliant friends who came from around the globe to celebrate. During our celebrations, we discussed many emerging technologies including the next generation of contact lenses, myopia control, gel intraocular lenses, advanced technology for non-invasive detection of non-communicable diseases (NIDONCD) and blindness prevention. It was inspiring.
As said in my last column — it does not get any bigger than myopia control — but an accommodating gel IOL and early NIDONCD technology for diabetes, glaucoma, AMD and other retinal disease will revolutionize vision and eye care. Substantial investments in research efforts in these areas will be made in the next 10 years. As I think ahead to this time, I am left to wonder if it is luck, fate, chance or magic for me to make it to 70, but every decade has been more exciting than the last one — roll on 80 and I look forward to these new technologies to offer our patients.
Acute Corneal Melt Associated with Topical Bromfenac Use
This is a report on a case of acute corneal melt associated with use of bromfenac ophthalmic solution.
A 61-year-old man developed acute corneal melt five days after having combined cataract and pterygium surgery in his left eye. Postoperatively, he had been using bromfenac eyedrops four times daily along with the combination of ofloxacin and dexamethasone six times and timolol eyedrops twice daily. Ocular examination revealed the presence of asymptomatic dry eyes. He was managed conservatively with topical antibiotics, lubricants, and bandage contact lens application. The corneal melt healed completely with best-corrected visual acuity of 20/30 at four weeks postoperatively.
The author concluded that the case suggests that corneal melt can occur as a complication of inadvertent excessive use of topical bromfenac in the presence of preexisting ocular surface disorders. However, good visual outcome can be achieved by prompt conservative treatment if accurate diagnosis is made at an early stage.
Prasher P. Acute Corneal Melt Associated With Topical Bromfenac Use. Eye & Contact Lens. 2011 Dec 13.