I am sure that you are getting tired of hearing the term “the new norm.” Health behaviors are often difficult to change, but they do need to be continually monitored and adjusted during this pandemic. I have had extensive conversations with my infectious disease and public health colleagues here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, some of whom practiced during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Resilience is key as we continually adapt and carry the public health and safety messages to our patients. Eyecare providers are very much a part of this fight against COVID-19.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
CooperVision Unveils Virtual Exhibit Booth to Connect with ECPs
CooperVision has launched a virtual exhibit booth to provide would-be attendees with a similar experience from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The virtual booth, available at www.CooperVisionBooth.com, features a 3D rendering of CooperVision’s actual exhibit as well as multimedia materials that showcase the latest news and product information from the company. CooperVision plans to update the virtual exhibit booth with new information and materials as they are developed.
J&J Vision Donates $320K to Support Practitioners and Schools of Optometry Impacted by COVID-19
As part of ongoing initiatives to help support eye care in the wake of COVID-19, Johnson & Johnson Vision (J&J Vision) announced donations to Optometry Cares—The American Optometric Association (AOA) Foundation and to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF).
As an AOA Recovery Partner, J&J Vision will make a donation to Optometry Cares, which will provide financial support to practitioners uniquely impacted by COVID-19 and will help ensure that eye care remains available in the wake of COVID-19. J&J Vision is also making a donation to the AAOF to support its efforts in procuring and distributing masks to practitioners and schools of optometry in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 news and tips for eyecare providers, visit bit.ly/2WxiFbA.
And, you can now sign up to receive the weekly PentaVision COVID-19 News Roundup newsletter, a joint publication from Contact Lens Spectrum, Eyecare Business, and Optometric Management.
FTC Announces Final Amendments to the Agency’s Contact Lens Rule
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the approval of a final rule amending the agency’s Contact Lens Rule, which facilitates shopping for contact lenses by requiring prescribers to automatically provide a copy of a patient’s prescription to the patient and to verify or provide prescriptions to third-party sellers. The Final Rule requires prescribers to request that their patients confirm that they have received their prescription and allows flexibility in the way that the prescription and confirmation are provided.
Issuance of the Final Rule follows an extensive review and consideration of thousands of public comments and materials received by the FTC between 2015 and 2019, including surveys, studies, analyses, and information generated at an FTC workshop devoted to the Rule and the evolving contact lens marketplace. It also incorporates changes made in response to public comments received following a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking published in May 2019.
The Final Rule also adds a new definition of the term “provide to the patient a copy,” which will allow the prescriber—with the patient’s verifiable consent—to provide the patient with a digital copy of his or her prescription instead of a paper copy. When seeking a patient’s consent, prescribers must tell the patient the specific method of electronic delivery that they will use and must keep a record of the patient’s consent to that method for three years. The Final Rule will also require prescribers to provide patients or their designated agents with an additional copy of their prescriptions on request within 40 business hours.
The Final Rule includes several new requirements for sellers as well. To address concerns about sellers verifying prescriptions by leaving incomplete or incomprehensible automated telephone messages with prescribers, sellers who use automated telephone messages for verification must: record the entire call and preserve the complete recording; start the call by identifying it as a prescription verification request made in accordance with the Contact Lens Rule; deliver the verification message in a slow and deliberate manner and at a volume that the prescriber can understand; and make the message repeatable at the prescriber’s option.
The Final Rule also includes modifications designed to reduce illegal prescription alterations by sellers. Under the Final Rule, sellers must make prominently available a way for consumers to present their prescriptions and must clearly disclose that method. The method of presentation and related disclosure must be provided before requesting the prescriber’s contact information to verify the prescription.
The Contact Lens Rule already prohibits prescription alteration, but the Final Rule defines “alteration” to include sellers providing, as part of a verification request, a brand or manufacturer other than that prescribed to the consumer. There are exceptions, however, for when the seller provides, as part of the verification request, the manufacturer or brand named by the consumer in response to the seller’s request for the manufacturer or brand listed on the prescription. These changes should reduce the incidence of sellers selling consumers lenses other than those that were prescribed. The Final Rule also clarifies that the only permissible substitution involves private label lenses; private label and brand name lenses can be substituted for each other when they are identical lenses made by the same manufacturer.
Valley Contax created a professional services team to support the company’s rapidly expanding network of eyecare professionals. The new team of three veteran Valley Contax employees were all promoted to a professional services manager position.
Jennifer Conklin, with the company since 1999, has assumed the responsibilities of the education coordinator and marketing project manager. In her new role, she will help coordinate education and marketing efforts with vendor partners and practitioners. Kelsey Roberts, a Valley Contax employee since 2007, will serve as the head of clinical resources, consultation, and training. In this role, she will continue to lead and guide the consulting team while overseeing and providing training and development for practices and their staff. CharliRae Edmunds, who has been on staff since 2014, will be overseeing product and partner development. In this new role, she will help introduce new products to the company’s offerings and a sales capacity to grow clinical partners.
CooperVision Appoints Justin Kwan, OD, to North America Myopia Management Leadership Role
CooperVision has hired Justin Kwan, OD, as senior manager, Myopia Management in its Professional & Academic Affairs group. In this newly created role, Dr. Kwan will be responsible for supporting the growth of the company’s myopia management business across North America including its Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program featuring MiSight 1 Day lenses.
Dr. Kwan has more than a decade of professional experience in both practice and educational settings. He comes to CooperVision from Professional Eye Care Center in Niles, IL, where he served as an optometrist since 2018. Prior to that, Dr. Kwan was on faculty at the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO). Dr. Kwan is editor-in-chief of Clinical and Refractive Optometry, chairs the American Academy of Optometry’s Fellows Doing Research Special Interest Group (SIG), and is the president of the Chicago North Side Optometric Society.
Sight Sciences Hires COO and General Counsel
Sight Sciences, Inc. announced two hires: Sam Park, joining as COO, and Jeremy Hayden, who joins as general counsel and chief compliance officer.
Mr. Park will be responsible for scaling the company's manufacturing, operations, and research and development capabilities to support the company's growth initiatives. He brings 25 years of medical device experience, including executive-level leadership roles at SurgRx (acquired by Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Endo-Surgery division), Novacept (acquired by Cytyc), Arthrocare (acquired by Smith+Nephew), Origin Medsystems (acquired by Eli Lily and Company), and CardioGenesis (acquired by CryoLife).
Mr. Hayden has more than 20 years of experience providing legal counsel to life science businesses, including serving as the in-house counsel for several leading healthcare companies. Most recently, Hayden served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Endologix, Inc. Prior to this, he served as general counsel at publicly traded Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. and as a senior legal team member of Volcano prior to its acquisition by Royal Philips.
GSLS Accepting Free Paper and Poster Abstracts
The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) Program Committee invites the submission of abstracts for the presentation of Free Papers and Posters. The GSLS committee seeks topics including clinical case reports, case series, and clinical and basic research on all aspects of contact lenses (such as materials, designs, lens care) in addition to related topics such as corneal and ocular surface disease, diagnosis and treatment approaches, and practice management.
Starting July 1, abstracts can be submitted on the GSLS website.
Many meetings that we attend have been adapted to a virtual environment. Do you feel that some meetings should continue with a virtual format after the pandemic?
Andy Nguyen, OD, Chicago, IL, Illinois College of Optometry
This image shows inferior mucoid plaque buildup due to long-term exposure keratopathy.
We thank Dr. Nguyen 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
Profiling for Success
Profilometry is a technique used to measure and extract topographical data from a surface, such as the eye. With more interest in scleral lens prescribing, several instruments using profilometry have been developed to measure the corneoscleral shape to aid in designing scleral lenses.1,2
Most scleral lens fits require knowledge of the shape of the eye beyond the limbus. The diameter of a scleral lens can start at ±14.0mm and can go up to 23.0mm. It is rare for the sclera to be rotationally symmetric or spherical in nature, and we know from the Scleral Shape Study Group (SSSG) that the sclera becomes more toric or asymmetric as you move beyond the limbus.3,4 Knowledge of eye shape has become an imperative part of scleral lets fitting in terms of obtaining an optimal fit and achieving improvement in patient comfort.
Profilometry can provide eyecare practitioners with user-friendly data up to 20mm in chord length, which is more than enough for the majority of scleral lens fits.5 These topographers acquire data of a patient’s eye, collect hundreds of data points, and produce a 3D image. The data can then be linked to many commercially available scleral lenses to aid in initial lens selection. It also can provide a predictive model that generates a scleral lens that is custom-tailored to a patient’s eye.
Similar to any technology, it is important to have a thorough understanding of fitting and troubleshooting of lenses without being dependent on a device. However, this technology may lead to reduced chair time and, more importantly, to better patient outcomes, we hope.
1. Fadel D. The influence of Limbal and Scleral Shape on Scleral Lens Design. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2018 Aug;41:321-328.
2. Macedo-de-Araújo R, van der Worp E, González-Méijome JM. In Vivo Assessment of the Anterior Scleral Contour Assisted by Automatic Profilometry and Changes in Conjunctival Shape After Miniscleral Contact Lens Fitting. J Optom. 2019 Apr-Jun;12:131-140.
3. Van der Worp E. A Guide to scleral lens fitting (2nd edition). Pacific Un. Common Knowledge. Jan 2016. Available at http://commons.pacificu.edu/mono/10. Accessed June 25, 2020.
4. DeNaeyer G, Sanders D, van der Worp E, Jedlicka J, Michaud L, Morrison S. Qualitative Assessment of Scleral Shape Patterns Using a New Wide Field Ocular Surface Elevation Topographer: The SSSG Study. JCLRS. 2017 Nov 16;1. Available at http://www.jclrs.org/index.php/JCLRS/article/view/11. Accessed June 25, 2020.
5. Kinoshita B, Morrison S, Caroline P, Kojima R, Lampa M. Corneal Toricity and Scleral Asymmetry.... Are They Related? Poster presented at the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, Las Vegas. January 2016.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
Pain in the Neck
Identifying the cause of a patient’s headache can be tricky. The next time that a 46-year-old patient comes in and tells you that he gets a headache after working on the computer all day while wearing progressive addition lenses (PALs), ask him to view your computer screen to show you how he works.
Does he tilt his head back to see through the intermediate portion of his progressives? This sustained neck posture can cause achy pain and tension. Is he able to turn his head all the way from one side to the other without discomfort? Reduced rotational range or discomfort while rotating can indicate the source of a postural cause for his headache.
While a computer progressive is an excellent suggestion for this patient to provide clear vision when looking straight ahead at his computer, why not try multifocal contact lenses? A multifocal contact lens provides simultaneous near and distance vision—no head tilting required.
Diagnosis and Remediation of Blink Inefficiency
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of incomplete blinking in contributing to blink inefficiency, symptoms of dry eye, and ocular surface disease. It also sought to review methods for diagnosing blink inefficiency (including both reduced overall blink rate and increased incomplete blink rate) and the role of remediation for efficient complete blinking as an essential part of the lacrimal functional unit in maintaining tear homeostasis.
Diagnosis and remediation of blink inefficiency appear to have been somewhat misunderstood in the management of dry eye disease. To the extent that a high incomplete blink rate ranks in significance with low blink frequency in contributing to blink inefficiency, measures and remediation of only total blink rate are of reduced usefulness in the diagnosis and treatment of blink inefficiency-related ocular surface exposure, dry eye symptoms, and ocular surface disease. In addition, a patient's blink performance during a biomicroscopy, or any other clinical assessment of blink efficiency, is unlikely to be characteristic of, or relevant to, the blink inefficiency that develops and causes symptoms during his or her various day-to-day activities.
The author noted that there appears to be a strong case for prescribing blink efficiency exercises in the management of many cases of dry eye symptoms and ocular surface disease. Remediation of spontaneous blink inefficiency may require that a motor memory of voluntary complete, rapid, relaxed, and natural-looking blink formation is established and maintained as the basis for efficient spontaneous blinking. Voluntary forceful blinking may undermine the motor memory of efficient blinking and risk the depletion of any reserves of lipid.
McMonnies CW. Diagnosis and remediation of blink inefficiency. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2020 Jun 1. [In Press]