As you will note from this week’s abstract, there continues to be a thought that inflammation is a part of contact lens wear—even in normal, asymptomatic contact lens wearers. This thought is not novel or new, but we don’t seem to really fully understand this notion. What are your thoughts? Do you think contact lens wear is associated with a low grade/subclinical inflammatory response? Please send any thoughts you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Valeant Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Unilens Vision
Unilens Vision Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement under which a subsidiary of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Unilens for $12.75 per share in cash, or a total enterprise value of approximately $28 million, which includes approximately $5 million in debt. The transaction was unanimously approved by Unilens’ board of directors and is expected to close by Sept. 1, 2015, subject to stockholder approval and customary closing conditions.
The acquisition will bolster Valeant’s specialty contact lens business, and provide a complete line of specialty lens products to eye care professionals. The Unilens C-Vue brands of customized and disposable contact lenses will continue to be marketed and sold directly to practitioners.
Shire Hires Susan Benton and Tracey Dawson
Shire has hired Susan Benton as Head of Business Development, Ophthalmics. Ms. Benton has more than 25 years of commercial business experience, including 17 years focused in ophthalmology. In her new role, Ms. Benton will be responsible for business development initiatives stemming from Shire’s organic research and development efforts as well as acquisitions and partnerships.
Previously, in 2006, she co-founded Sirion Therapeutics, a fully integrated ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company. As senior vice president of Commercial Operations, Ms. Benton was instrumental in gaining approval and executing successful launches for two of six ophthalmic assets in only three years. Prior to Sirion, she held numerous commercial and business development leadership positions at RPS Diagnostics, Valeant, Johnson & Johnson, Bausch + Lomb, and Sanofi Pasteur.
Also joining Shire is Dr. Tracey Dawson as Commercial Launch Lead, Ophthalmics. In her new role, she is responsible for developing and leading the overall commercial launch planning process for the Ophthalmics Business Unit.
Most recently, Dr. Dawson was senior director, Global and U.S. Marketing at Synageva BioPharma Corporation. Prior to this, she held multiple positions with Genentech/Roche. At Novartis, Dr. Dawson led development of the launch strategy/plan for Lucentis (ex-US).
Register Now for GSLS 2016
Registration is now open at www.GSLSymposium.com for the 10th Global Specialty Lens Symposium to be held January 21 – 24, 2016 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Nevada. Plan now to attend this meeting for insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
In addition, the Program Committee of the GSLS invites the submission of Papers, Posters and images for the Photo Contest. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2015. Visit www.GSLSymposium.com for more information.
Accu Lens Announces Second Scleral Lens Academy
Accu Lens announced its sponsorship of a second UC Health Eye Clinic Scleral Lens Academy located at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute in Denver. This regional training center will educate eye care practitioners, technicians, and residents on how to utilize scleral lenses in the management of ocular surface diseases and as an alternative to soft toric lenses.
Accu Lens will be presenting these Saturday workshops frequently throughout the year, which will be taught by the nations leading optometrists. The course will consist of a morning lecture, followed by an afternoon hands-on wet-lab with patients. Space for the Sept. 26, 2105 Academy will be limited and on a first come, first served basis.
Primary Eyecare Network Unveils New Website
Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), a division of ABB Optical Group, has unveiled a new user-friendly website designed to enhance the online experience for PEN members.
PrimaryEye.net features a consolidated billing portal that offers PEN members the convenience of quick access to online monthly billing statements. Accessible through secure, private logins, those statements organize a practice’s purchases by category for convenient online viewing, an added time-saving benefit. Members will also soon be able to make payments online.
The new robust website offers education listings and online registration, vendor promotions and rebates, and issues of Focal Point, PEN’s bi-monthly newsletter offering practice management tips, advice, and news-you-can-use. PEN will continue adding new features of importance to eye care practitioners to the website, such as detailed product information and tutorials.
Ocular Nutrition Society to Host Education Symposium
The Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS) will sponsor a Nutrition Education Symposium preceding the American Academy of Optometry 2015 Meeting on Oct. 6, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the New Orleans Convention Center.
This half-day program will feature experts from a variety of disciplines, who will present clinically applicable information regarding the latest advances in clinical and laboratory testing pertinent to nutrition in the optometric practice. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the latest research regarding genetic and epigenetic testing, which pertain to the management of virtually all chronic eye diseases.
Dr. George Rozakis, chief medical officer and founder of xRMD, will be the featured speaker. Other scheduled presenters to date include Dennis Ruskin, OD, and Stuart Richer, OD, PhD.
The symposium is free to ONS members and $150 for non-members. To register for the symposium or become an ONS member, visit www.ocularnutritionsociety.org.
GPLI Presents 2015 GP Clinical Excellence Awards
The GP Lens Institute (GPLI) awarded the following individuals with GP Clinical Excellence Awards at their respective schools/colleges of optometry. This award is presented to a fourth-year student, as selected by their contact lens faculty, for showing expertise and enthusiasm in their clinical lanes for the selection and fitting of GP contact lenses. The award consisted of an engraved wooden plaque and a GP diagnostic set manufactured by the sponsoring CLMA member company.
Terri Call, OD, UAB - Birmingham – Sponsored by Valley Contax, Inc. Michelle Man, OD, UC Berkeley, Accepted to a 2015 Contact Lens & Cornea Residency Program – Sponsored by ABB Optical Group, Inc. Krystyn Kudla, OD, Michigan College of Optometry - Ferris State University – Sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Carlee Young, OD, University of Houston College of Optometry – Sponsored by Tru Form Optics, Inc. Robert Burtch, OD, Illinois College of Optometry – Sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Joseph R. Sarcone, OD, Indiana University – Sponsored by Alden Optical, Inc. Brad Collins, OD, UMSL - College of Optometry – Sponsored by Valley Contax, Inc. Anita Gulmiri, OD, New England College of Optometry, Accepted to a 2015 Contact Lens & Cornea Residency Program – Sponsored by Art Optical Contact Lens Curtis Scott, OD, NOVA Southeastern College of Optometry – Sponsored by ABB Optical Group, Inc. Sheila Morrison, OD, Pacific University, Accepted to a 2015 Contact Lens & Cornea Residency Program – Sponsored by Advanced Vision Technologies, Inc.
Nurit Ariel Bor, OD, Salus University – Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Accepted to a 2015 Contact Lens & Cornea Residency Program – Sponsored by Lancaster Contact Lens, Inc. Holly E. Schinnerer, OD, Marshall B. Ketchum University (SCCO) – Sponsored by Essilor Contact Lens, Inc. Crystal Stone, OD, Southern College of Optometry – Sponsored by Tru Form Optics, Inc. Bailey C. DeClopper, OD, SUNY College of Optometry – Sponsored by International Contact Lens, Inc. Laura Hydeman, OD, OSU - College of Optometry – Sponsored by Visionary Optics, LLC Jonathan Le, OD, Oklahoma College of Optometry – Sponsored by Valley Contax, Inc. Holly Jackson, OD, Midwestern University – Sponsored by Tru Form Optics, Inc. Andrew Yoder, OD, University of the Incarnate Word – Sponsored by Tru Form Optics, Inc. Diana Le, OD, University of Waterloo – Sponsored by Essilor Contact Lens, Inc. Anabelle Leclerc, OD, University of Montreal – Sponsored by Custom Craft Lens Service, Inc.
Heavy Protein Deposits on Scleral Lens Alon Brondwine, Optometrist BSc, MHA, Rishon Le Zion, Israel
A 40-year-old male with keratoconus post-penetrating keratoplasty and fitted 18 month ago with a 16.5mm mini scleral lens complained of decreased visual acutity. It wasn't hard to notice that the lens was covered with protein. The patient admitted to being busy recently and not being compliant with his cleaning regimen; he was using a daily cleaner for soft contact lenses. After we polished and cleaned the lens, he was able to achieve 20/30 vision with this lens. This case emphasizes that, even for established contact lens wearers, compliance may still be an issue and follow-up must be routine
We thank Alon Brondwine 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 an explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.
Prescribing Trends in Contact Lenses 2002 to 2014 – Yes, Our Habits Have Changed
A recent publication reviewed the results of surveys of contact lens prescribing trends in the United States that were conducted on an annual basis between 2002 and 2014.1
Over the 13-year survey period, 1,650 survey forms were received from U.S. practitioners representing details of 7,702 contact lens fits. The mean (±SD) age of lens wearers was 33.6 (±15.2) years, of whom 65.2% were female. Rigid lens new fits decreased from 13.0% in 2002 to 9.4% in 2014. Across this period, silicone hydrogels have replaced mid water contact lens hydrogels as the soft lens material of choice. Toric lenses represented about 25% to 30% of all soft lens fits. Multifocal soft lenses are generally preferred to monovision. Daily disposable lens fits have recently increased, and, in 2014, they represented 27.1% of all soft lens fits. Most lenses are prescribed on one- to two-weekly or monthly lens replacement regimens. Extended wear remains a minority lens wearing modality. The vast majority of those wearing reusable lenses use multipurpose lens care solutions. Lenses are mostly worn seven days a week.
So, we can see from the results of these surveys that our contact lens prescribing trends have surely evolved in the United States following the entry into the new millennium. We see a variety of trends including a progressive decrease in the rate of prescribing corneal GP lenses, movement from hydrogel soft lenses to silicone hydrogels, an increase in the rate of prescribing toric lenses that more appropriately approximates the prevalence of astigmatism in the population, multifocals have become the contact lens vision correction modality of choice over monovision, and a strong trend toward the prescribing of daily disposable lenses. Interestingly enough, the prescribing of contact lenses for continuous wear has stilled remained uncommon. We have realized that we still have quite a way to go technologically to meet the goal of safe and effective continuous wear and that there is much more than oxygen transmission when it comes to the solution to this problem.
1. Efron N, Nichols JJ, Woods CA, Morgan PB. Trends in US Contact Lens Prescribing 2002 to 2014. Optom Vis Sci. 2015 Jul;92(7):758-767.
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
What a Great Idea
Colleagues who know me know that Demodex is a favorite topic of mine. Rotating lashes within the follicle is an easy way to find them.1 Once isolated, the clinician can then decide what to do, or not do, about them. Each practitioner has his or her own way of “translating” the diagnosis to the patient. Some treat Demodex without elaboration of the mite’s existence to the patient; others prefer the enhanced compliance in therapy that a “show-and-tell” diagnosis garners: the mite’s clawed crawling little legs is a very powerful image.
In a new short 2015 article by Vahedi and colleagues, the authors describe a method to use smartphone video to document motility of Demodex folliculorum in human eyelashes. In contrast to static images, the availability of portable, high-quality video offered by smartphones (of video captured through microscope oculars) provides the opportunity to integrate biopsy results immediately into education, discussion of management, counseling, and offers a salient visual image with which patients may engage in discussion. With increasing use of electronic medical records, these may be stored in a database to be associated with patient files. The authors suggest that the use of smartphone video in documenting the motility of organisms may prove to be beneficial in a variety of medical fields.2 Try it.
1. Mastrota KM. Method to identify Demodex in the eyelash follicle without epilation. Optom Vis Sci. 2013 Jun;90(6):e172-e174.
2. Vahedi M, Davis G, Coleman MJ, Garrett BS, Eghrari AO. Smartphone-based Video of Demodex folliculorum in Biopsied Human Eyelash Follicles. Med Hypothesis Discov Innov Ophthalmol. 2015 Summer; 4(2):36-38.
Conjunctival Goblet Cell Function: Effect of Contact Lens Wear and Cytokines
This review focuses on conjunctival goblet cells and their essential function in the maintenance of eye health. The main function of goblet cells is to produce and secrete mucins that lubricate the ocular surface. An excess or a defect in those mucins leads to several alterations that makes goblet cells central players in maintaining the proper mucin balance and ensuring the correct function of ocular surface tissues. A typical pathology that occurs with mucus deficiency is dry eye disease, whereas the classical example of mucus hyperproduction is allergic conjunctivitis. In this review, we analyze how goblet cell number and function can be altered in these diseases and in contact lens wearers. The study found that most published studies focused exclusively on the goblet cell number. However, recent advances have demonstrated that, along with mucin secretion, goblet cells are also able to secrete cytokines and respond to them. The authors describe the effect of different cytokines on goblet cell proliferation and secretion. They concluded that it is important to further explore the effect of contact lens wear and cytokines on conjunctival goblet cell function.
García-Posadas L, Contreras-Ruiz L, Soriano-Romaní L, Dartt DA, Diebold Y. Conjunctival Goblet Cell Function: Effect of Contact Lens Wear and Cytokines. Eye Contact Lens. 2015 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]