We recently wrapped up another very successful Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) with close to 1,000 people in attendance. I often hear that many major continuing education meetings struggle to provide contact lens content. While many of us desire contact lens courses, there is also a very big draw to disease- and pharmaceutical-based continuing education courses as well. As noted in our news this week, there are some changes within the GSLS Education Committee. Along those lines, we all thank Craig Norman for initiating the GSLS. It was Craig’s vision to promote and educate on specialty lenses that was the inspiration behind the success of the meeting, and we are all indebted to Craig for this.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
GSLS Announces Change in Education Committee Leadership
PentaVision LLC, parent company of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS), appointed Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, to the position of GSLS education chair. Dr. Nichols will replace outgoing education chair, Craig Norman.
Craig Norman, director of the Vision Research Institute at the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, founded the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, originally named the Global Orthokeratology Symposium, 16 years ago. Dr. Nichols is assistant vice president for industry research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and has served as editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum and as a member of GSLS education committee since 2008.
In addition, GSLS welcomed a new education committee member, Karen DeLoss, OD. Dr. DeLoss is currently serving as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science. She has served as vice chair of the American Academy of Optometry Maintenance of Fellowship Committee, as well as the Fellowship Admittance Committee for the Scleral Lens Education Society. The GSLS education committee also includes Ed Bennett, OD, MSEd; Pat Caroline; and Eef van der Worp, BSc, PhD.
The 2019 GSLS is slated for January 24-27 in Las Vegas.
Bausch + Lomb announced an agreement with IDOC, a privately held alliance of independent doctors of optometry in the United States. Under terms of the agreement, IDOC will offer its more than 3,000 members the Bausch + Lomb Ultra contact lenses, Biotrue Oneday daily disposable contact lenses, and brands from its Specialty Vision Products portfolio, including Bausch + Lomb Zenlens and Zen RC scleral lenses. IDOC members will also receive exclusive pricing and rebate programs.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Announces New Digital Platform for ECPs
Johnson & Johnson Vision announced the U.S. launch of jnjvisionpro.com, a digital platform that delivers online learning, patient education materials, practice resources and connected commerce—all aimed at streamlining and simplifying the online experience for thousands of eyecare professionals (ECPs).
According to the company, jnjvisionpro.com is a single destination offering in-office support for ECPs in managing the diverse needs of their practices, including:
* Product ordering: Users can use the connected commerce site to order Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses and request shipping directly to patients.
* Online learning: The digital platform offers educational opportunities to each user based on the user’s role, whether a practitioner or a paraprofessional.
* Patient Resources: Instructional videos and other downloadable educational materials can be shared directly with patients. Email resources also offer flexibility for a practice to communicate with its patients as needed.
* Practice Resources: Downloadable images and marketing materials are provided, along with tools for making a practice’s information easily findable online.
Alcon US Vision Care Creates Patient and Practice Experience Team, Continues Packaging Updates
Alcon US Vision Care recently announced the creation of its Patient and Practice Experience Team, a specialized group that will work in a consultative manner with eyecare practices to identify specific areas of opportunity where the practice’s needs and Alcon expertise may overlap. The Alcon team will then build out and partner with the practice to deliver on-site, tailored programs and solutions to improve patient experience, retention, and outcomes in areas that include patient-focused programs, staff training, practice performance, and other related solutions, according to the company. The team will begin the rollout of these services to select practices throughout 2018.
In other Alcon news, the company recently launched new U.S.-specific packaging for Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses to promote the proper purchase and wear of the lenses. This new packaging follows the 2017 launch of U.S.-specific packaging for Dailies AquaComfort Plus contact lenses.
The new Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses box design, which replaces the current packaging, features new patient-friendly educational elements, including:
• New step-by-step application and removal illustrations
• U.S.-specific lot numbers to provide supply chain integrity controls
• Patient-specific 1-800 helpline, email address, and website
• American flag on boxes for easy identification
As of Feb. 26, 2018, only the new Air Optix plus HydraGlyde packaging is authorized for sale in the United States. Eyecare professionals or others who are concerned about sales of Air Optix plus HydraGlyde lenses with previous packaging, or who have any other concerns about Alcon packaging, are asked to report the issues via the “Contact Us” page on MyAlcon.com.
March Is Workplace Eye Wellness Month
Prevent Blindness has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to provide employers and employees with free information on the best ways to keep vision healthy on the job.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Common causes for eye injuries in the workplace are flying objects (bits of metal, glass), tools, particles, chemicals, harmful radiation, and any combination of these or other hazards. The proper eye protection depends on the hazards in the workplace. Recommendations may be found at: https://www.preventblindness.org/eye-safety-work.
In office settings, computer use combined with personal use of digital devices, such as tablets and smart phones, increases the risk of digital eye strain. Symptoms may include blurred vision, dry eyes, or headaches. Additionally, there is concern over the long-term effects of blue light exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them. Employers may download and distribute free fact sheets on workplace safety, including “Blue Light and Your Eyes,” at https://www.preventblindness.org/fact-sheets.
What percentage of patients coming into your office wearing a specific soft contact lens go home wearing a different soft contact lens?
This image shows a conjunctival hypertrophic nodule secondary to a tight-fitting edge of a scleral lens. The patient was refitted into a better-fitting lens.
We thank Dr. Sotomayor 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
Standard Precautions in Eyecare Clinics
One unfortunate fact is that microbial keratitis affects contact lens wearers more frequently than non-contact lens wearers.1 While even contact lens-related infections are relatively rare, clinicians need to be prepared to manage potentially contagious diseases both medically and in terms of infection control.1,2 Infection control is important in all medical settings because it helps reduce the passage of infectious diseases.3
Inpatient hospitals usually have well-developed infection control plans because they frequently deal with debilitating or deadly diseases. However, outpatients clinics, such as optometric practices, often have a less well-thought-out policy or may even lack a policy.2 Many clinics in the United States follow a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) document called “The Guide” to help ensure that they are adhering to federal government infection control recommendations.2
The CDC’s first recommendation is to designate someone in a practice as the clinic’s infection control officer; this person could be any capable person in the practice or someone closely affiliated with the practice.2 It is then the infection control officer’s job to develop a clinic-specific infection control policy that covers vaccinations, general safety training, hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, injection safety, safe handling of contaminated equipment and surfaces, and respiratory hygiene. It is also incumbent to enforce this policy to ensure that all employees and patients at the clinic are guarded against potential hazards.2
Although optometric infection control may seem straightforward, actions as simple as hand washing and encouraging cough etiquette can save lives.3 Therefore, make sure you develop an infection control policy if you do not have one, keep it up to date, and regularly review this document with your staff to help ensure everyone’s safety.2
1. Sankaridurg P, Lazon de la Jara P, Holden B. The future of silicone hydrogels. Eye Contact Lens. 2013 Jan;39:125-129.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care. 2015 Nov. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/pdf/outpatient/guide.pdf. Accessed on Feb. 28, 2018.
3. CDC. Clean Hands Count for Safe Healthcare. 2017 May 5. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/features/handhygiene. Accessed on Feb. 21, 2018.
MATERIALS & DESIGNS
David L. Kading, OD
The Wonder of Custom Soft Lenses
I recently took a tour of the specialty lab with which I work most frequently. With every visit, it is amazing to observe the accuracy, precision, and intricacies involved in contact lens manufacturing. When we discuss the creation of a custom soft lens, this complexity goes to the next level.
Understand that most custom soft lenses start as a lathed contact lens. After the lathing process, these lenses go through a hydration process. Temperature, humidity, and other factors must be controlled to perfection. When you order a base curve, diameter, and power, you expect it to be accurate. The accuracy of these lenses remains one of the great feats of the contact lens world. There are several custom soft lens manufacturers in the United States and abroad. It is important to remember what their products can do for your patients and to take advantage of these abilities.
With custom soft lenses, the labs can manufacture any shape of lens. If you want a keratoconus design that is very steep centrally and flatter in the periphery, it can be done. If you have a post-laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or post-radial keratotomy (RK) patient, you can create a lens that has reverse geometry and is steeper in the periphery and flatter centrally.
These laboratories can also manufacture lenses with varying methods of toric stability. If you have a patient on whom standard lenses rotate like a wheel, these labs can create a design to help put the lens to rest. Or, maybe you have a patient who has a small amount of vertical prism. You can have a set of lenses made with prism to help compensate for that.
Last, but not least, are contact lenses with custom tinting.
The wonder of custom soft lenses for me is that they are not used more often for patients. I cringe when patients come in and tell me that they were told they cannot wear contact lenses because…It makes me wonder.
Subjective Ratings and Satisfaction in Contact Lens Wear
The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between subjective ratings and satisfaction with contact lens (CL) wear.
This was a retrospective analysis of two daily disposable CL trials (delefilcon A, somofilcon A) on participants 40 years of age or younger who were followed over three months. Subjective ratings (numerical rating scale 1 to 10, 1-point steps)—collected at visits following baseline at two weeks, one month, and three months—included comfort (at application, during the day, and at the end of day), vision clarity, and binary response for satisfaction with comfort and vision (yes/no). Willingness to continue with trial CLs was also obtained at completion.
There was no significant association of comfort at application with comfort satisfaction (odds ratio [OR] 1.2; P = 0.30); however, comfort during the day (OR 2.1; P < 0.001) and at the end of day (OR 3.4; P < 0.001) was associated with comfort satisfaction. In terms of comfort during the day and at the end of the day, 90% of participants were considered satisfied with ratings of at least 8/10 and 6/10, respectively. There was a 14% increase in participants who were satisfied with comfort for each unit increase on the numerical rating scale from ratings of 3 to 8 for comfort during the day and a 20% increase from ratings of 3 to 7 for comfort at the end of day. The percentage of satisfied participants reached its maximum at a lower end-of-day rating (8/10) compared with the during-the-day rating (10/10). The percentage of participants satisfied with vision reached its maximum (100%) at a vision rating of 9/10.
This study shows that satisfaction with CL wear is influenced by both comfort and vision. Eighty-six percent of participants were willing to continue with trial contact lens wear if they were satisfied with both comfort and vision; this dropped to 50% if either variable was unsatisfactory and to 0% if both were unsatisfactory. A higher rating for comfort during the day, compared with the end of day, is necessary for participants to attain satisfaction.
Diec J, Naduvilath T, Tilia D. Subjective Ratings and Satisfaction in Contact Lens Wear. Optom Vis Sci. 2018 Mar;95:256-263.