Please note that the call for CE courses for the Global Myopia Symposium (GMS) closes today at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time (https://www.eiseverywhere.com/website /10410/call-for-proposals)! Make sure to get your submissions in for what will be the best educational myopia meeting on the planet. The Program Committee is looking to make this a very clinical meeting. Therefore, we are highly interested in courses that educate on clinical cases and scenarios (“What if?”) to provide practitioners with the clinical information that they can bring back to their practices, in addition to a broad array of topics on myopia management.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
GSLS Welcomes New Program Committee Member
The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) welcomes a new program committee member, Lynette Johns, OD. Dr. Johns is a research associate in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Ophthalmology, and she is a scleral lens practitioner at Massachusetts Eye and Ear-Waltham office. She is an author and co-editor of the textbook Contemporary Scleral Lenses: Theory and Application. “Dr. Johns is an internationally recognized expert in specialty contact lenses. We are very honored to welcome her to the program committee and look forward to her contributions in developing our educational program at the GSLS,” remarked Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, GSLS program chair.
Dr. Johns joins existing program committee members Ed Bennett, OD, MSEd; Pat Caroline; Karen DeLoss, OD; Dr. Nichols; and Eef van der Worp, BSc, PhD.
Bausch + Lomb Releases Lens Fitting Music Video
As part of a continuous effort to meet the diverse needs of patients, Bausch + Lomb has launched the Get Your Fit Together music video—developed by eyecare professionals to be an educational and engaging walkthrough of how to have the best success in fitting Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism contact lenses for some of the hardest to fit patients.
According to the company, the video educates on the four simple steps in fitting these patients, understanding that there is no such thing as one size fits all. Every aspect of the video from the lyrics to the choreography was developed and approved by practitioners to provide a visual resource for the fitting process. A copy of the fitting guide can also be found in the YouTube description.
Nicox Announces Updates in Asia
Nicox SA announced that its partner, Bausch + Lomb, has received approval for Vyzulta (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution), 0.024% in Taiwan. Vyzulta is indicated for the reduction of intraocular pressure in patients who have open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
In unrelated news, Nicox announced that it has amended its December 2018 license agreement with Ocumension Therapeutics, which originally granted Ocumension exclusive rights to develop and commercialize NCX 470 for glaucoma in the Chinese market. Under the amended agreement, Ocumension will immediately pay Nicox €15 million (in place of the milestones in the original agreement), will gain additional rights to NCX 470 for Korea and South East Asia, and will pay 50% of the costs of the second glaucoma Phase 3 clinical trial of NCX 470 (“Denali”). The two companies will jointly manage the Denali trial in the United States and China.
In addition, through the amended license agreement, Ocumension was granted exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Zerviate (cetirizine ophthalmic solution), 0.24% for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis in the Chinese market, and it now also has exclusive rights of Zerviate in the majority of the South East Asian Region.
Contact Lens Can Correct Color Blindness
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have incorporated ultra-thin optical devices known as metasurfaces into off-the-shelf contact lenses to correct deuteranomaly, a form of red-green color blindness. In a recent study by Sharon Karepov and Tal Ellendbogen published in Optics Letters, they reported that, based on simulations of color vision deficiency, their new metasurface-based contact lens can restore lost color contrast and improve color perception up to a factor of 10. According to the researchers, this could be expanded to help other forms of color vision deficiency and even other eye disorders.
Although clinical testing would be needed before the contact lenses could be marketed, the researchers say that manufacturers could embed the metasurface during the molding stage of contact lens fabrication or thermally fuse them to a rigid contact lens. They plan to keep studying and improving the metasurface transfer process and to test it for other applications.
Vision By Design 2020 Canceled
The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control announced the cancellation of Vision By Design 2020, which was scheduled for April 15 to 19 in Bellevue, WA. Given that its attendance is comprised of healthcare providers, a significant portion of which are of ages that are most affected by this disease, and that Vision By Deisgn is an international congress, the organization said that it does not feel comfortable holding the meeting as planned. Instead, the format will change from a physical meeting to a virtual conference to be held at a later date in 2020. The organization will provide full refunds to attendees. More information can be found at https://www.orthokmeeting.com.
Medical Optometry of America and NECO Announce Academic Affiliation
The New England College of Optometry (NECO) and Medical Optometry of America (MOA), a national optometric brand focused on medical eye care, announced that they have entered into a unique collaboration with the goal of providing new graduates and residents exposure to medical optometry through an innovative practice model.
For NECO, the affiliation creates opportunities for post-graduate training and practice in medical optometry at MOA’s sites. Together, the organizations will also explore the potential of developing a digital education platform to expand continuing education programs for eyecare practitioners throughout the country.
Zeiss Announces Changes in Ophthalmic Devices Executive Leadership
Effective May 1, 2020, Jim Mazzo will retire from his position as president of Ophthalmic Devices and head of the Ophthalmic Devices Strategic Business Unit for Zeiss. He will continue to support Zeiss as an advisor.
Dr. Euan Thomson will succeed Mr. Mazzo as president of Ophthalmic Devices and head of the Ophthalmic Devices Strategic Business Unit for Zeiss. He currently holds the position of head of the Digital Business Unit for Zeiss and will continue to guide digital activities. Mr. Thomson has more than 30 years of experience in medical technology. Before joining Zeiss in September 2019, he was president and CEO of Photoelectron Corporation, president and CEO of Accuray Inc., worked in Venture Capital, and was head of Digital Health at Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center. Most recently, he led digital technology development for Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices.
Andrew Chang, head of Sales for Ophthalmic Devices, will be appointed as president of Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc. He will continue to lead the global ophthalmic sales organizations including U.S. Sales and Service, based in Dublin, CA.
Eyecare Industry Signs Proclamation
The New England College of Optometry (NECO) and industry leaders made official an Industry Collaborative Proclamation committing to collaborate on achieving key objectives for the profession of optometry. The signing took place during the SECO 20/20 meeting in Atlanta.
The Proclamation was the result of discussions during the NECO Industry Collaborative gathering in November 2019, at which 63 attendees representing 44 industry partners, media colleagues, and optometry employers discussed issues that impact the profession and the ophthalmic industry. In the Proclamation, the three key opportunities to focus on are Practice Empowerment and Acceleration; Why Optometry? Public Perception and Expectations; and The Impact of Technology on Optometry/The Impact of Optometry on Technology.
Reichert Technologies Signs Exclusive Deal for CATS Reusable Tonometer Prisms
Reichert Technologies, a unit of Ametek’s Ultra Precision Technologies Division, announced its exclusive partnership with CATS Tonometer, LLC to distribute the correcting applanation tonometry surface (CATS) Reusable Tonometer Prism in the United States.
In the March 1 edition of Contact Lenses Today, the link for Essilor Custom Contact Lens Specialists’ “Focus on Education” webinar series was listed incorrectly. The correct link for the upcoming webinar “Getting the Most Out of Presbyopic GP Lenses,” which is being held on March 18, is https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1868042073317811979.
We Value Your Input
Contact lens (CL) practice across the world is at a critical juncture, with some potential opportunities (such as contact lenses for myopia control, multifocal lenses for presbyopia, and specialty lenses) along with looming threats (such as increasing competition from online business). Anecdotal discussions with eyecare professionals have revealed different levels of optimism regarding the future of CL practice.
Hence, a partnership between Contact Lens Spectrum and organizations across the world—including the International Association of Contact Lens Educators and the British Contact Lens Association—has formed to better understand these issues.
To help us gather what you perceive to be the opportunities and threats to CL practice, please take about 5 minutes to fill out this survey: https://forms.gle/7gPWKQemgnivZ6oH8. The findings of this study will help the industry to design targeted strategies to enhance CL practice and address the perceived threats.
LAST CHANCE: Global Myopia Symposium – Call for CE Abstracts
The Global Myopia Symposium (GMS) Program Committee invites the submission of one-hour continuing education courses for consideration for the GMS 2021, which will take place in Las Vegas on Jan. 20, 2021. Courses can cover all aspects of myopia and its management in addition to related topics such as epidemiology, controversies, risks-benefits, diagnosis and treatment approaches, and practice management. Note: The submission window will close at 5:00 p.m. ET on March 15, 2020. For more information or to submit your proposal, visit https://www.eiseverywhere.com/website/10410/call-for-proposals.
How significant an obstacle to successful scleral lens wear is difficulty with handling of the lenses?
This image shows a good scleral fitting relationship with cornea and sclera; it is very easy to see, in the image, the corneal vault and the landing area with a good edge-to-sclera alignment.
We thank Marco Tovaglia 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
Taking Dry Eye Treatment to the Next Level
In theory, autologous serum eye drops can be an effective third-level (or advanced level) treatment for dry eye syndrome if traditional palliative treatments fail or fail to adequately control patients’ disease from a subjective or objective viewpoint. In other words, if artificial tears, topical cyclosporine, punctal plugs, etc. have not helped, then it is reasonable to proceed with autologous serum eye drops.1,2 Regardless of evaporative or aqueous deficient etiology, autologous serum tears offer advantages over lubricants because these tears have epithelial growth factors, nerve growth factors, and other biological characteristics that can mimic a patient’s own tears.2
So, where does this form of treatment fit into your algorithm for dry eye management? And, can these drops be used with specialty contact lenses? A few publications have reported the use of autologous serum eye drops combined with silicone hydrogel lenses for treatment of ocular surface disease.3,4 Our institution reported the use of autologous serum tears with scleral lenses in 2014.5 There are a few cautions to consider with the use of autologous serum drops and contact lenses. First, these drops are nonpreserved and may pose a risk for infection. Second, there is no concrete research to prove or disprove whether they interact well with surface treatments such as plasma.
In all, once patients reach the stage of needing autologous serum tears, it is best to follow up frequently with them for careful monitoring of their condition. Hopefully, they will be progressing in the right direction.
1. Pan Q, Angelina A, Marrone M, Stark WJ, Akpek EK. Autologous Serum Eye Drops for Dry Eye. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Feb 28;2:CD009327.
2. Jones L, Downie LE, Korb D, et al. TFOS DEWS II Management and Therapy Report. Ocul Surf. 2017 Jul;15:575-628.
3. Li J, Zhang X, Zheng Q, et al. Comparative Evaluation of Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses and Autologous Serum for Management of Sjögren Syndrome-Associated Dry Eye. Cornea. 2015 Sep;34:1072-1078.
4. Lee YK, Lin YC, Tsai SH, Chen WL, Chen YM. Therapeutic outcomes of combined topical autologous serum eye drops with silicone-hydrogel soft contact lenses in the treatment of corneal persistent epithelial defects: A preliminary study. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016 Dec;39:425-430.
5. Hussain M, Shtein RM, Sugar A, et al. Long-term use of autologous serum 50% eye drops for the treatment of dry eye disease. Cornea. 2014 Dec;33:1245-1251.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
Who Is in Your Gang?
One of the things that I love best about my profession is that we are always looking for and finding new and better ways to do things. Whether it is disease management, lens fitting methods, or lens materials and designs, my professional curiosity drives me to know more. I know that many of you are starting to think the same way. I recently presented at a meeting that some of you attended and saw how intrigued you were by all of the lectures. I saw you asking questions. And, now, look at this, you are reading this so that you can learn more. Is there a way that you can learn more and better implement what you learn? Absolutely, there is.
Throughout the years, I have joined several colleagues and spent time talking about what I do. In the early years, I met with physicians from two other practices, and we spoke about our best practices. I currently have a group of 12 practices—we are called the Young Guns—with whom I get together several times a year to discuss clinical, implementation, and best practice procedures.
Within my own practice, my resident and I get together once or twice a month to review literature. We talk about what is new and what we have been learning over the last few weeks. We share what we have learned from our patients as well as any recent information that we have read or lectures that we have attended.
Do you have a gang that is sharpening you? If not, it is time to have someone help you be better, and it’s time for you to help someone else become better too.
Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China
Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients.
The researchers extracted data regarding 1,099 patients who had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China through Jan. 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death.
The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city.
The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was four days (interquartile range, 2 to 7 days). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) who had non-severe disease and in five of 173 patients (2.9%) who had severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conjunctival involvement was noted in 0.8% of confirmed cases.
During the first two months of the current outbreak, COVID-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. Note: This research was funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.
Guan WJ, Ni ZY, Hu Y, et al; China Medical Treatment Expert Group for Covid-19. Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China. N Engl J Med. 2020 Feb 28. [Epub ahead of print]