The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting has just begun in Seattle, WA and goes until May 5, 2016. I have attended this meeting consecutively since 1997 and find it to be invigorating relative to ophthalmic research in general, and especially as it relates to contact lenses. In fact, there are almost too many contact lens events to attend at one meeting! Stay tuned as we report back on any hot-breaking items of interest to you.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Alcon Marks 30th Anniversary Academy for Eyecare Excellence Program
Alcon recognizes its 30th year of providing immersive, hands-on education and training to optometry students and residents from academic institutions in the US and Canada. Since 1986, more than 10,000 students and residents have completed the Academy for Eyecare Excellence program, receiving training related to Alcon products.
In 2016, more than 600 students and residents will participate in training as part of the Academy for Eyecare Excellence in the new Alcon Experience Center. Participants in 2016 will learn about Alcon’s broad portfolio of medical devices and practice hands-on training at the Alcon Experience Center, a state-of-the-art 36,000-square-foot facility at Alcon’s global headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. The center features a fully equipped optometric exam lane, an enhanced wet lab for training in the ophthalmic surgical environment, and a variety of interactive technologies to create a world-class training experience in eye care.
Eyelids & Eyelashes Speaker Series to Be Hosted by OCuSOFT
OCuSOFT Inc. launched a new speaker’s series program focusing on incorporating cosmetic products in optometry at International Vision Expo East. The new educational series showcasing a variety of professional speakers, including Seema Nanda, OD, will be hosted in numerous locations across the United States.
Often, the patient’s interest in contacts is to improve their appearance—the same can be said for tinted contact lenses or fashion frames. Why not offer the full range of products addressing facial features while increasing practice revenue and adding to the overall patient experience?
“Eyelids & Eyelashes: A Focus on Growth For Your Practice” addresses increasing practice revenue and overall patient satisfaction through the incorporation of cosmetic products into practice development. This would include eyelash intensifying serums, facial cleansers and make-up removers which are offered by Zoria Skin Care from OCuSOFT. Zoria brand products are specially developed for patients with sensitive skin and eyes and are all ophthalmologist tested, hypoallergenic, oil-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.
Look for future Speaker Series events hosted by OCuSOFT at all major tradeshows and in select markets. For more information, visit www.ocusoft.com or call 800-233-5469.
OD Excellence Announces New Patient Generation Program
OD Excellence (ODX) has entered into a lead generation and targeted outreach program with Sinclair Marketing Group. This agreement provides access to digital marketing assets, free production of all campaign elements and advanced analytics. The campaign was designed to address and counter the trend to cheap, low quality care; the groups’ principal goal is to remind consumers that their eyes and health deserve the best care by an ODX optometrist.
ODX and Sinclair Marketing Group will use Google Search Engine Marketing to generate new patient leads. They will also provide ODX members with location based advertising and targeted e-mail delivery. Every aspect of the advertising campaign is designed to assist in bringing new patients to every participating ODX member. All prospective patients will be sent to the “Find a Doctor” page of ODExcellence.com. to find the optometrist nearest them.
Sinclair Marketing Group will provide detailed performance data regularly and will deliver key insights into how the digital campaign is performing. They will actively manage the marketing programs, taking the guesswork out of campaign development, so the doctor may focus on running the business while constantly optimizing performance.
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE Katherine M. Mastrota, MS, OD, FAAO
Prostaglandin-associated periorbitopathy (upper lid ptosis, deepening of the upper lid sulcus, involution of dermatochalasis, periorbital fat atrophy, mild enophthalmos, inferior scleral show, increased prominence of lid vessels, and tight eyelids) and the resulting cosmetic effects noticed visually by patients are well documented.1 Other known side effects of prostaglandin analogues include lengthening of lashes and increased pigmentation of the iris and periorbital skin.
From Optometry and Vision Science is a case representing both a new sign and symptom of prostaglandin-associated periorbitopathy.2 Interestingly, this case discusses a new audible clinical sign and symptom.
An 83-year-old female with a 14-year history of bilateral primary open angle glaucoma and a 13-year history of once daily bimatoprost use in both eyes presented with long eyelashes, tight eyelids, small palpebral fissures, and deepening of the upper eyelid sulcus. During slit-lamp examination of the anterior segment, it was noted that the patient's eyelids clicked intermittently when she blinked. The patient had not previously noticed the clicking and it was determined to be present in each eye individually. The eyelid clicking has been noted to be present in every follow-up examination since it was discovered 3 years prior.
A quick internet search documents other individuals (not on topical medications) with “clicking eyelids”. Is there an anatomical orbital configuration that creates this phenomenon? I will keep you abreast of my findings. Our lesson: in examination we must look and listen!
1. Filippopoulos T, Paula JS, Torun N, Hatton MP, Pasquale LR, Grosskreutz CL. Periorbital changes associated with topical bimatoprost. Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Jul-Aug;24(4):302-7. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e31817d81df.
2. Skorin L Jr, Dailey KH. Clicking Eyelids: A New Finding of Prostaglandin-Associated Periorbitopathy. Optom Vis Sci. 2016 Apr 6
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up – Success Rates for Fitting Corneal GP Lenses Are Quite Good!
A recently published study looked at fitting success rates for corneal gas permeable contact lenses.1 The researchers undertook the study in order to assess the percentage of successful rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses (CLs) fit for both refractive and therapeutic reasons. In the study, 232 GP fittings were retrospectively analyzed and divided into refractive (166) and therapeutic (66) cases. A GP fitting was defined as successful if full-time wear and optimal ocular surface physiology were both achieved at the review assessment 2 to 3 weeks after lens dispensing. Of the refractive fittings, 88 subjects (53%) were initially fitted with GP CLs and 61 (69.3%) of these met the criteria for successful GP fitting. Within this group, a different percentage of successful fits were found for neophyte (72%), previous soft lens wearers (62%), and previous GP wearers (92.3%). Of the therapeutic fittings, 61 subjects (92.4%) were initially fitted with GP CLs and 59 (96.7%) of these met the criteria for successful GP fitting. The authors concluded that following a standardized CL fitting protocol, a relatively high percentage of successful GP fits was achieved for refractive (7/10 subjects) and therapeutic (9/10 subjects) cases. These results can provide evidence for realistic success expectations.
The number of patients being fit in corneal gas permeable contact lenses seems to be decreasing year to year. Challenges include concerns over patient success, typically based on comfort and adaptation issues, as well as a de-emphasis on GP training and limited clinical experience in GP fitting during optometric education at most schools of optometry. However, we are aware of the advantages GP lenses have over other modalities including optimized vision and ocular physiological response. Perhaps awareness that success rates, when determined at 2 to 3 weeks, are as good as those found in this study will encourage practitioners to consider this modality when indicated and assist them in patient counseling.
1. Ortiz-Toquero S, Martin M, Rodriguez G, de Juan V, Martin R. Success of Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens Fitting. Eye Contact Lens. 2016 Apr 13. (Epub ahead of print).
Development of an In Vitro Ocular Platform to Test Contact Lenses
Currently, in vitro evaluations of contact lenses (CLs) for drug delivery are typically performed in large volume vials,(1-6) which fail to mimic physiological tear volumes.(7) The traditional model also lacks the natural tear flow component and the blinking reflex, both of which are defining factors of the ocular environment. The development of a novel model is described in this study, which consists of a unique 2-piece design, eyeball and eyelid piece, capable of mimicking physiological tear volume. The models are created from 3-D printed molds (Polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon molds), which can be used to generate eye models from various polymers, such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and agar. Further modifications to the eye pieces, such as the integration of an explanted human or animal cornea or human corneal construct, will permit for more complex in vitro ocular studies. A commercial microfluidic syringe pump is integrated with the platform to emulate physiological tear secretion. Air exposure and mechanical wear are achieved using two mechanical actuators, of which one moves the eyelid piece laterally, and the other moves the eyeball eyepiece circularly. The model has been used to evaluate CLs for drug delivery and deposition of tear components on CLs.
Phan CM, Walther H, Gao H, Rossy J, Subbaraman LN, Jones L. Development of an In Vitro Ocular Platform to Test Contact Lenses. J Vis Exp. 2016 Apr 6;(110). doi: 10.3791/53907.