The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) Program Committee is honored to accept letters of nomination of individuals for the GSLS Award of Excellence. The award is given to distinguished clinicians, scholars, and/or scientists to recognize their lifelong achievements in the field of contact lenses—including development, practice, translation of knowledge and education, and scholarly activity, all of which move the field of contact lenses forward in seminal ways.
The awardee will be joining other distinguished past winners, including Brien Holden (2013); Donald Korb (2014); "The Scleral Lens Visionaries" – Don Ezekiel, Ken Pullum, Perry Rosenthal, and Rients Visser (2015); "The authors" – Ed Bennett, Jerry Lowther, Robert Mandell, and Anthony Phillips (2016); "The Myopia Visionaries" – Tom Aller, Pauline Cho, Earl Smith, and Jeff Walline (2018); and Craig Norman (2019).
To make a nomination (including a self-nomination) for the 2020 GSLS Award of Excellence, please send a letter of nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations must be received by April 15, 2019.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Global Council on Myopia Management Announces Inaugural Meeting
The Global Council on Myopia Management announces its inaugural conference taking place this June 7 and 8 in Toronto. Offering more than 16 hours of approved continuing education credits, this conference will showcase internationally renowned myopia management speakers and industry leaders at the conference and trade show. Additional information is available at http://myopiacouncil.org/conference/gcomm-2019.
Euclid Systems Adds Dan Meinert to U.S. Sales Team
Euclid Systems Corporation has added Dan Meinert to its U.S. sales team. According to the company, Mr. Meinert will assist eyecare practitioners in expanding their practices through orthokeratology utilizing the Euclid Emerald Proactive Myopia Management treatment. He joins Euclid Systems Corporation from X-Cel Specialty Contacts, where he managed a 15-state region.
J&J Vision Secures CE Mark for Photochromic Lens
Johnson & Johnson Vision announced that it has secured CE mark approval for a photochromic contact lens that is designed to offer vision correction and to reduce exposure to bright light both indoors and outdoors. Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology has been developed in partnership between Johnson & Johnson Vision and Transitions Optical.
ABB Optical Hires Donna Reyes as Specialty Contact Lens Consultant
ABB Optical Group welcomed Donna Reyes to its team of specialty contact lens consultants. In her new position, she will assist with the growth of ABB Optical Group’s Wet Lab and Lunch & Learn programs, which are designed to provide customers with personalized and hands-on training for specialty contact lens fittings. Previously, she was at SynergEyes, where she served as senior director of clinical services and training.
SynergEyes Launches Tangible Hydra-PEG Coating on SynergEyes VS Scleral Lens
SynergEyes, Inc. announced that the SynergEyes VS scleral lens is now available with Tangible Hydra-PEG (Tangible Science) on Contamac material. SynergEyes VS lenses are now available in the United States in both Contamac Optimum Extreme material, with Tangible Hydra-PEG as an option, and in Menicon Z material, available with its own proprietary plasma treatment.
VSP Global, Heart of America Eye Care Congress Create Scholarship
VSP Global and Heart of America Eye Care Congress announced that they have partnered to launch a new optometry scholarship in honor of Frank Fontana, OD, affectionately known to all as "Uncle Frank." The Fontana Scholarship will be awarded annually, beginning in 2020.
The Fontana Scholarship will be open to third- and fourth-year optometry students actively engaged in patient care. Applicants will be judged in four areas in which Dr. Fontana excelled: 1) clinical performance; 2) empathetic patient care; 3) ability and interest to adopt modern technologies; and 4) a strong interest in developing and participating in the optometric community.
The scholarship recipient will receive $4,250 in scholarship money and a $750 travel grant to attend Heart of America’s Eye Care Congress Conference in 2020. Additional details about the application submission process will be shared in the coming months.
GPLI Practitioner of the Year
The GP Lens Institute (GPLI) recently named Susan Resnick, OD, as the 2019 GPLI Practitioner of the Year. Dr. Resnick is a partner of the specialty contact lens practice Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates in New York City. She has been extremely active in fitting, promoting, and writing in the area of GP lenses. She is also a Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies Section of the American Academy of Optometry.
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals Announces Shift in U.S. Avenova Commercialization Strategy
NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced a strategic shift to deploy its sales representatives only in high-performing territories and in territories that the company has identified as having significant prescription volume potential along with favorable health plan coverage to support Avenova per-unit revenue. The company will continue to focus on contracting with additional specialty pharmacies as channel partners, which provide quality patient experiences at a negotiated price per prescription. To align with the strategic shift, NovaBay has reduced its U.S. commercial salesforce from 45 to 15 field sales representatives.
In addition, NovaBay made the following personnel changes, all effective immediately. Paul E. Freiman, lead independent director, who joined the company’s board of directors in 2002, has been named chairman. Former chairman Mark M. Sieczkarek will continue to serve as a director of the company. Jack McGovern, interim president, CEO, CFO, and treasurer, has resigned from the company. Justin Hall, senior vice president and general counsel, who has been with the company since 2013, has assumed the positions of interim president and CEO. He will continue to serve as the company’s general counsel and corporate compliance officer. Additionally, Jason Raleigh, corporate controller, who joined NovaBay in 2016, has assumed the positions of interim CFO and Treasurer.
Zeiss Cirrus HD-OCT Receives 510(k) Clearance
ZEISS Medical Technology Segment of ZEISS has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the Cirrus HD-OCT platform, expanding the capabilities of its Anterior Segment Premier Module to include epithelial thickness mapping (ETM). ETM with Cirrus provides a detailed 9mm map of epithelial thickness that enables more thorough assessment of patients before refractive surgery, allows monitoring of the cornea’s response to treatment, and aids in managing patients who have ocular surface disorders such as dry eye and progressive corneal diseases such as keratoconus.
CDC Viral Diseases Releases EKC Resource
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Viral Diseases within the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) recently released a new epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) infection control resource.
EKC is a severe and highly contagious form of viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). EKC is caused by adenoviruses, which are often resistant to many disinfectants. The CDC’s new resource (“Prevent Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis”) provides guidance on how to disinfect surfaces and equipment to help prevent and control outbreaks of EKC in eye clinics.
UNH Researchers Create a Hydrogel Contact Lens to Treat Corneal Melting
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have created a hydrogel that could one day be made into a contact lens to more effectively treat corneal melting, a condition that is a significant cause for blindness worldwide.
The incurable eye disease can be initiated by a number of different causes such as autoimmune diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, or Stevens-Johnson syndrome), chemical burns, or even some surgical procedures (like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis [LASIK] and cataract procedures). The patient's cornea melts due to the uncontrolled production of certain zinc-dependent enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) by the patient’s immune cells in the cornea. To help prevent this, the researchers developed a new hydrogel that deactivates those enzymes by removing the zinc ions.
There is a pending patent that has been filed by UNHInnovation. Funding for this research was provided by the National Eye Institute (NEI) and NIH Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE).
Inventor Creates Contact Lens to Help with Color Blindness
In partnership with scientists at Saint Mary’s University, Gabrielle Masone, the CEO of Colorsmith Labs Inc., has developed contact lenses with a special light-filtering coating and nanoparticle technology. The lenses are ultimately aimed at helping people who have vision problems such as deuteranopia, a commonly inherited form of red-green color blindness. Danielle Tokarz, a professor in Saint Mary’s University’s chemistry department, is helping Ms. Masone refine the technology.
The prototype has not been tested with people yet, but plans to do so are in the works. The company is seeking investors; the funds would go toward contracting with a manufacturer to make the lenses for human clinical trials.
In which city would you prefer to attend the Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS)?
This photo shows a large amount of ectasia in this post-radial keratotomy (RK) cornea. Significant scarring scatters light and reduces vision. Fortunately, scleral lenses may oftentimes restore functional vision with greater comfort compared to other modalities.
We thank Dr. Arnold 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.
S. Barry Eiden, OD
Learning Curve in Scleral Lens Fitting…Experience Matters
As more and more eyecare professionals (ECPs) get involved in scleral lens fitting, the question should be considered as to whether clinician experience matters or whether fitting nomograms are so powerful that experience is a minor factor in fitting success.
A study was recently published that looked at the learning curve of fitting both regular/normal and irregular corneas in scleral contact lenses.1 The purpose of the study was to assess the learning curve of a novel practitioner—who had minor previous experience with scleral lens (SL) fitting—during the initial 156 consecutive fittings in irregular and regular corneas using a fitting trial. The prospective dispensing case series involved a total of 85 subjects (156 eyes), 122 eyes that had irregular corneas (IC Group) and 34 eyes that had regular corneas (RC Group). All lenses were fit by the same practitioner who had minimal previous knowledge of and practice with SL fitting. The first 156 consecutive fits were studied to estimate the number of trial lenses required to achieve the optimal fit and the number of reorders required.
The results were divided into eight chronological groups of 20 fittings (eyes). Results indicated that there was a decrease in the number of trial lenses required to achieve the optimal fit from 2.35 ± 0.18 lenses in the first 20 fittings to 1.56 ± 0.13 in the last fittings (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon). There were no statistically significant differences between IC and RC groups. Regarding the number of reorders, there was also a decrease from 0.95 ± 0.17 in the first fittings to 0.25 ± 0.11 in the last fittings (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon). Though not statistically significant, there was an increase in the use of toric haptic designs with increasing experience.
The authors concluded that practitioner fitting experience reduced both the number of trial lenses required to achieve the best fit and the number of reorders with time. After the first 60 cases, there was a significant reduction in the trial lenses and reorders necessary.
This study looked only at how experience affected the practitioners’ fitting success. Another factor is how successful an ECP is at problem solving for patients wearing scleral lenses. Beyond initial “fitting success,” this is where the rubber meets the road in scleral lens management. In my opinion, the take home here is that experience counts and that those ECPs who make a true commitment to scleral lens practice will do the best for their patients. Those who dabble and do only a case here and there likely are not providing the highest level of care and should consider referring to a practice that does extensive amounts of such care.
1. Macedo-de-Araújo RJ, van der Worp E, González-Méijome JM. Practitioner Learning Curve in Fitting Scleral Lenses in Irregular and Regular Corneas Using a Fitting Trial. Biomed Res Int. 2019 Jan 28;2019:5737124.
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE
Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD
Osmokinetics: A New Consideration in DED
Tear fluid osmolarity has been accepted as an accessible parameter in the diagnosis of ocular surface and dry eye disease (DED). Most recent guidelines for DED identify specific values of osmolarity as thresholds to help differentiate between various stages of severity of ocular surface disease. The limits of this approach were investigated in a recent white paper to propose a new concept: osmokinetics.1
Tear film osmolarity does vary considerably throughout the day. The authors of this monograph propose that tear osmolarity values should be considered in a kinetic model that takes into account the dynamics of osmolarity changes more so than the current static model does.
A more dynamic model for osmolarity is presented in which it is not the value itself, but the daily variation of osmolarity that is identified. It is suggested that the amplitude of change in osmolarity over the course of a day or even shorter time periods could play a decisive role as a stress factor for the surface cells. The varying osmolar stress could be one of the key mechanisms leading to the cell death, inflammation, apoptosis, and goblet cell disappearance as observed in DED. It is suggested that perhaps it is the mean osmolarity level at which these changes occur, together with the magnitude of daily variation in osmolarity, which could identify the level of severity of DED.
1. van Setten GB. Osmokinetics: A new dynamic concept in dry eye disease. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2019 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Relationship Between Contact Lens and Pinguecula
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of contact lens (CL) wear on the frequency of pinguecula and the relationship between dry eye disease and pinguecula.
The study enrolled 233 soft CL wearers and 230 age-matched non-wearers. Schirmer I test (ST) scores and tear breakup time (TBUT) were determined in all participants. A questionnaire including the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), age, sex, and duration of CL wear was completed by the participants before the examination.
The prevalence of pinguecula was 27.8% (n = 65) in the CL group and 26.5% (n = 61) in the control group. There was no significant difference between the groups (P = 0.84). The prevalence of pinguecula increased with age in both groups. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of pinguecula when users were divided into three groups according to the duration of CL wear (P = 0.58). The TBUT scores were lower, and the OSDI scores were higher, in the CL group. The TBUT scores were lower in patients who had pinguecula in both groups. The OSDI scores were higher in the CL group. There was no significant difference regarding the OSDI scores between patients who had pinguecula and healthy participants in the CL group; however, OSDI scores were significantly higher in patients who had pinguecula in the control group. There were no significant differences in the ST scores between the groups or between patients who had pinguecula and healthy participants.
This is the second study that evaluates the effects of soft CL wear on pinguecula prevalence. The researchers determined that CL wear does not affect the prevalence of pinguecula. Considering the OSDI scores of patients who had pinguecula in the CL group, CL wear may suppress the irritant symptoms of pinguecula.
Dundar H, Kocasarac C. Relationship Between Contact Lens and Pinguecula. Eye Contact Lens. 2019 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print]