While attending a recent meeting, I fell into a fairly deep discussion with some colleagues about the concept of “key opinion leaders.” My colleagues stated that often today it feels as though not much more than a social media account is needed to proclaim key opinion leader status. While this is rather cynical (and perhaps short-sighted), the issue is a valid one in terms of what criteria are applied when considering the credibility of the sources of information on which we rely that impacts patient care.
In further pondering the issue, I came across a peer-reviewed publication that attempted to promote a defined standard for opinion leaders. The abstract stated, “Key opinion leaders (KOLs), also known as thought leaders, are experts in their field upon whom we depend for original research leading to disease understanding and new therapies. We rely on them to write the articles, author the textbooks, and give the presentations that we absorb to become better dermatologists.”1 Regardless of the medical specialty, this succinctly addresses the issue and is a standard worth considering.
1. Meffert JJ. Key opinion leaders: where they come from and how that affects the drugs you prescribe. Dermatol Ther. 2009 May-Jun;22(3):262-268.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
In Memoriam: Perry Rosenthal, MD
Canadian-born Perry Rosenthal, MD, passed away peacefully in Boston on March 3, 2018. Dr. Rosenthal created the first contact lens clinic at Harvard’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary while training as an ophthalmologist. After his training, he co-founded Polymer Technology Corporation and drove the development of the Boston products, including the first high-oxygen-permeable rigid contact lens polymer and care solutions. He also developed the first non-fenestrated GP scleral lens, now known as PROSE.
In 1992, he created the nonprofit Boston Foundation for Sight to provide these devices to those in need, regardless of their ability to pay. He remained president until 2012. In 2013, he founded the nonprofit Boston EyePain Foundation in Chestnut Hill, MA.
He is survived by his son William (Jennifer) Rosenthal, his daughter Beth (Ethan) Schaff, his sister Jeannie Goldberg, and grandchildren Zelda Ann Rosenthal and Shimon Schaff.
B+L Signs Agreement with Express Scripts, Inc. to Expand Coverage of Vyzulta
Bausch + Lomb (B+L) announced an agreement with Express Scripts, Inc. to begin coverage of Vyzulta (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution), 0.024%. Under the agreement, Vyzulta is covered under an access position on both the commercial Express Scripts National Preferred and Basic formularies, giving access to an additional 23 million people in the United States.
FoxFire Announces New Service Offerings
FoxFire Systems Group, a provider of ophthalmic-specific electronic health records and practice management software, will now offer EdgePro by GPN Edge, M’eye Fit Mirror/Visioffice 2 by Essilor, and CLX integration.
With GPN Edge and its EdgePro software, practitioners can capitalize on opportunities already existing in their practice by optimizing their product mix and markup strategies. This analytics software offers top visibility into their data so they can see how well each aspect of their practice is performing and make adjustments, according to the company.
M’eye Fit Mirror/Visioffice 2 by Essilor is a compact plug-and-play solution that allows for fast, easy, and precise measurements, including but not limited to pupillary distance.
Additionally, Foxfire is now offering CLX integration, which allows practitioners to grow their contact lens business through a cloud-based ordering, management, and marketing system.
Brien Holden Vision Institute Appoints New Head of R&D
Ravi C. Bakaraju, PhD, has been appointed as the new head of Research and Development (R & D) at Brien Holden Vision Institute (BVHI). He takes on the role after Dr. Paul Erickson retired in mid-2017. Dr. Bakaraju previously served as deputy head of R & D.
As head of R & D, Dr. Bakaraju will contribute to strategic direction and will be responsible for operational leadership for development of translational research and innovation platforms in the areas of contact lenses, spectacles, intraocular lenses, and instrumentation. The ocular therapeutics platform will remain with Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO at BHVI.
Dr. Bakaraju has been a recipient of numerous scholarships and national and international awards for his research accomplishments. He also is a visiting scholar at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales, a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a member of the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology. He is a lead inventor on several granted patents and other pending patent applications around lens designs and concepts spanning myopia control technology, novel presbyopia corrections, astigmatism correction, and other innovative vision correction platforms.
BCLA and SOA to Jointly Produce Conference
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and the Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) will jointly produce the BCLA Asia conference. In addition to lectures, there will be a range of hands-on workshops covering clinical skills, business, and presentation and research skills.
The joint meeting replaces the SOA’s standalone event. The two-day event—sponsored by Alcon, CooperVision, and Menicon—will now take place on Sept. 18 and 19 at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre.
Sight Sciences Names Jesse Selnick CFO
Sight Sciences, Inc. appointed Jesse Selnick as CFO. He most recently served as CFO and on the board of directors of Electric Lightwave, a private equity sponsored telecom infrastructure business.
Mr. Selnick brings to Sight Sciences more than 20 years of experience leading strategic growth, financing, capital allocation, and operational initiatives for companies. Since 2011, he has served as a general partner of Sight Sciences Angels, LP (SSA), one of the founding investors in Sight Sciences. Earlier in his career, he served as a managing director at The Blackstone Group for approximately 10 years in its mergers and acquisitions advisory practice.
The Dutch Contact Lens Congress 2018 Held
The 2018 edition of the Dutch biennial contact lens meeting, NCC, was attended by more than 1,900 unique visitors from more than 30 countries. This year’s theme was “Making a difference” and referred to the changing role of the profession in the industry, legislation, and eye care in general. The conference offered five parallel sessions with lectures from 68 speakers from all over the world. Additionally, 25 exhibitors displayed their wares.
The event was held March 11 and 12 in Veldhoven in The Netherlands. The meeting was a collaboration between NCC and the British Contact Lens Association.
The Dutch Contact Lens Congress 2020 will be held on March 15 and 16, 2020.
Opternative Partners with Sight Supply to Offer Contact Lens Prescriptions Online
Opternative Inc. announced that it has partnered with the newest subscription contact lens company, Sight Supply, to provide access to online prescription technology on Sightsupply.com.
According to Opternative, its partnership with Sight Supply continues its promise to customers to provide affordable and convenient access to contact lens and prescription renewals. Sight Supply customers will be able to renew their expired contact lens prescription on the company’s website.
CooperVision Introduces its 2018 Best Practices Honorees
CooperVision, Inc. announced that 10 eyecare practices have been chosen as its 2018 Best Practices. Now in its third year, CooperVision’s Best Practices program seeks to recognize and celebrate practices whose visionary, innovative, and unexpected aspects of care delivery lead to exceptional patient care and the elevation of the profession.
This year’s honorees are: Doctor My Eyes – Scottsdale, AZ; Family Eye Care of Coal City – Coal City, IL; Highlands Ranch Optical – Highlands Ranch, CO; The Koetting Associates – St. Louis; Livermore Optometry Group – Livermore, CA; Norwalk Eye Care – Norwalk, CT; Personal Eyecare – Sylvania, OH; Pinnacle Eye Associates, P.A. – McKinney, TX; Vision Optique – Houston; and Vision Professionals – Columbus, OH. More information about this year’s winners is available at www.eyecarebestpractices.com.
New this year, the Best Practices honorees will collaborate to tackle a challenge facing the industry, working together in the coming months to conduct research, collect ideas, put together recommendations, and present them to their peers in optometry. CooperVision and the Best Practices honorees will share their progress throughout the process.
All U.S. optometry practices currently fitting contact lenses were eligible for consideration in Fall 2017. Candidates were evaluated, and honorees were selected by a panel of judges including past Best Practices honorees, industry experts, and CooperVision leaders. Evaluation was based on insights and experiences shared about the practices’ innovation, patient experience, and business culture.
Gert Vanschoenwinkel, BOptom, Diepenbeek, Belgium
Seven years ago, a 57-year-old man had a construction accident that resulted in trauma. As a result, he underwent penetrating keratoplasty and had an intraocular lens implanted in his eye. He also began wearing a scleral contact lens.
Recently, he went to a hospital in Brussels complaining of pain going on three months. He was informed that it was an infection that was probably caused by the scleral lens.
The following day, he was seen in my office. Symptoms included pain, pecking, a burning feeling, and a red eye. I immediately saw that a suture had broken. I reassured him that we had found the cause and sent him back to the hospital to have the broken suture removed.
The day after, the problems disappeared, and he could wear his scleral lens again without problems.
We thank Gert Vanschoenwinkel 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.
CARE SOLUTION CORNER
Andrew D. Pucker, OD, PhD
Unauthorized Overnight Contact Lens Use
It is commonly known in the eyecare community that patients frequently sleep in their contact lenses. In fact, it is considered better to ask patients not if they sleep in their contact lenses, but how frequently they sleep in their contact lenses. While a serious complication such as a microbial keratitis is rare even in overnight contact lens wearers (~20 per 10,000 wearers/years),1 sleeping in contact lens is still a primary risk factor for ocular complications.2 This is why it is important to frequently educate patients to avoid sleeping in their contact lenses.
It appears that most patients make an effort to avoid sleeping in their contact lenses, though you will occasionally encounter a patient who disregards this advice. While these patients can be frustrating, discussions usually reveal a reason for their dislike of removing their contact lenses (e.g., difficulty with contact lens application and removal).3
Also, when these patient are encountered, it is important to realize that you may not be meeting their lifestyle needs. In these cases, you could recommend a refit into a contact lens that is FDA-approved for overnight use, an option that many patients select. Overall, in these cases, we need to try to meet our patients’ needs while keeping them safe, and this often starts by simply taking a few moments to listen to their concerns.3
1. Schein OD, McNally JJ, Katz J, et al. The incidence of microbial keratitis among wearers of a 30-day silicone hydrogel extended-wear contact lens. Ophthalmology. 2005 Dec;112:2172-2179.
2. Stapleton F, Edwards K, Keay L, et al. Risk factors for moderate and severe microbial keratitis in daily wear contact lens users. Ophthalmology. 2012 Aug;119:1516-1521.
3. Collins MJ, Carney LG. Patient compliance and its influence on contact lens wearing problems. Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1986 Dec;63:952-956.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
Beyond the Prescription
With greater than one-third of the population over the age of 40, we have some challenges in fitting them with contact lenses. Not only do these patients have increased visual challenges from their presbyopia, but they also have a higher incidence of dropping out of their lens wear due to dryness. Our plan for these patients requires a couple of key features:
1. It requires that we maximize their ocular surface. To do this, we need to make sure that any dryness we see is managed and treated.
2. It is important to ensure that their contact lens material is as good as it can be. For patients who wear spherical lenses, a daily disposable multifocal lens is a great option.
3. It is key to manage their vision as best as we can. If patients desire multifocal vision, make sure that you understand their goals and bring clarity to the aspect of their vision that they desire to be the greatest. If patients desire part-time wear or non-multifocal vision, consider a daily disposable lens that maximizes their vision. There are newer two-week and monthly lenses that have emerged onto the marketplace that have improved surface capabilities as well.
For patients in their presbyopic years, we often must look beyond the prescription for maximizing success.
Association of Axial Length Growth and Topographic Change in Orthokeratology
The objective of this study was to investigate the topographic factors related to axial length (AL) growth rate in orthokeratology.
Clinical data of myopic children who wore orthokeratology lenses from 2010 to 2016 were investigated. The researchers analyzed corneal topography (Orbscan II, Bausch + Lomb) and optical biometry (IOLMaster, Carl Zeiss Meditec)-measured AL at baseline and every post-treatment visit. Optical map topographies from baseline and post-treatment-stabilized corneas were analyzed to calculate the refractive power difference between the apex and the periphery (apex-periphery refractive power difference [ARPD]), which estimates the change of peripheral refraction. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to assess the associations between AL growth and topographic changes in both eyes.
The mean baseline spherical equivalent (SE) was –2.40D ± 1.12D, and the mean AL was 24.38mm ± 0.77mm. Over a mean follow-up period of 41.9 months, the mean AL growth rate was 0.22mm/year ± 0.15mm/year. In a univariable GEE analysis, age at initial lens wear, baseline AL, baseline SE, central corneal thickness (CCT), baseline apex power, and post-treatment ARPD on optical topography maps were all significantly correlated with AL growth rate (P < 0.001, 0.009, 0.024, 0.011, 0.010, and 0.006, respectively). In a multivariable GEE, CCT and post-treatment ARPD were identified as significant factors (P = 0.014 and 0.016, respectively).
The researchers concluded that the AL growth rate was significantly associated with CCT and post-treatment relative peripheral refractive power in addition to age at initial lens wear. These associations might possibly demonstrate an effect of treatment-induced peripheral refraction changes on retardation of myopia progression, whereas younger age might significantly influence both AL growth rate and corneal deformation.
Lee EJ, Lim DH, Chung TY, Hyun J, Han J. Association of Axial Length Growth and Topographic Change in Orthokeratology. Eye Contact Lens. 2018 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]