As we head toward the end of the calendar, we begin to ramp up on planning for exciting coverage in 2017. As always, our January issue of Contact Lens Spectrum provides some special highlights and summaries of the prior year that are always well read. One tradition we have is to also report on our “Event of 2016” related to contact lenses—something that we think stands out in the field of contact lenses. It's traditional for us to solicit for nominations for this event from our readership. If you have a nomination—something you think is substantial in the contact lens field and occurred in 2016—please let us know by emailing me directly at email@example.com.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
Alcon Introduces Air Optix Plus HydraGlyde
Alcon unveiled new Air Optix plus HydraGlyde monthly replacement contact lenses to eyecare professionals at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry in Anaheim, CA. The contact lenses bring together two innovative technologies – SmartShield Technology and HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix – for a unique combination of deposit protection and longer-lasting lens surface moisture, according to the company. The company also adds that Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses support a comfortable lens-wearing experience.
SmartShield Technology is a patented, ultra-thin protective shield that helps the lens resist lipid deposits and delivers outstanding wettability. It also helps the lens resist changes from everyday cosmetic product use. HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix is a wetting agent specifically designed for silicone hydrogel lenses that helps attract lens surface moisture and retain lens surface hydration.
Air Optix plus HydraGlyde contact lenses are expected to be available to patients in the U.S. in late February of next year. The contact lenses will be available at launch with a power range of +8.00D to -12.00D, which includes both expanded plus and minus powers.
Medmont International Pty Ltd announced that OrthoTool will soon be available within the Medmont Studio Software. With this collaboration, practitioners will be able to construct an orthokeratology contact lens within Medmont Studio. Using the Medmont Contact lens software, with OrthoTool designs imbedded, allows practitioners to build and optimize the fit of their lenses in three dimensions. According to the company, this will improve the first fit success, efficiency and profitability of orthokeratology practices.
Medmont’s new software update with OrthoTool is scheduled to be released in December 2016, please contact your local Medmont Distributor for more information. http://www.medmont.com/contact.
B+L and TerraCycle Give Patients a Chance to Recycle CLs
Bausch + Lomb announced the launch of the Bausch + Lomb #ONEbyONE recycling program, encouraging consumers to help preserve the environment by taking ONE action at a time, to ONE day achieve a greener future where even your contact lenses can play a role. Starting now, patients can recycle their used Biotrue ONEday contact lenses and other B+L contact lenses and blister packs through a unique and free program, developed by B+L, in partnership with TerraCycle, a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste.
Bausch + Lomb is celebrating the launch of the #ONEbyONE recycling program with a consumer event on America Recycles Day (November 15) hosted by Biotrue ONEday, dedicated to helping people end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities, at the Marshall B. Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) located in Anaheim, CA. The event will feature an educational and interactive experience for students and the surrounding community, giving them the chance to participate in the #ONEbyONE recycling program and celebrate America Recycles Day.
Founded in 2001, TerraCycle, Inc., a world leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from used chip bags to coffee capsules to cigarette butts. To learn more about TerraCycle, please visit www.terracycle.com.
The 2017 Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 26-29, 2017 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The GSLS is a must-attend meeting, brought to you by Contact Lens Spectrum, focusing on the successful management of ocular conditions using today's specialty contact lenses. This meeting will include insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.
Paragon Vision Sciences’ Update on Management Team
Effective November 9, 2016 Joe Sicari purchased Paragon Vision Sciences from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. Moving forward, Paragon’s focus will be on the highest growth segments of the ophthalmic industry: orthokeratology, the rapidly emerging area of myopia management and scleral lens technology. Paragon will also focus on employing advanced design technology coupled with innovative electronic mediums to simplify and enhance the diagnosis, dispensing and on-going management of specialty contact lenses by eyecare practitioners.
To best achieve the company’s goals, Paragon reorganized the management team. Joe Sicari will retain the operating position of CEO but will work closely with JP Wei PhD, VP- Science & Technology and Natalie Stevens, VP-Finance & Operations.
Rich Jeffries has been promoted to the position of President. Jeffries will employ his very successful 11-year tenure with Paragon and, equally important, his years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to drive Paragon's global Marketing, Sales, Professional Services and Practice Management teams. Rich's focus will be on elevating and communicating Paragon's attention to evidenced-based clinical outcomes and the company's commitment to science and safety.
On October 10, 2016, Nicox announced that it had received a Complete Response Letter (CRL) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the New Drug Application (NDA) for AC-170, its novel, proprietary, cetirizine eye drop formulation for the treatment of ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis. The FDA's stated reason for the CRL pertains solely to a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspection at a third party facility producing the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), cetirizine, and supplying it to the manufacturer of the finished product. The safety and efficacy data submitted by Nicox in the AC-170 NDA have not resulted in the FDA requesting any further clinical or non-clinical testing for the approval of the AC-170 NDA. Furthermore, the CRL did not include any concerns related to the finished product manufacturing facility.
Since receiving the CRL, Nicox has remained in close contact with the relevant manufacturing parties who are actively working to address the FDA's concerns as soon as possible. Furthermore, Nicox expects to meet with the FDA during the fourth quarter of 2016 regarding the next steps for the resubmission of the AC-170 NDA and expects to receive feedback from the FDA by early 2017.
Independent Doctors of Optometric Care (IDOC, LLC), the largest privately-held alliance of independent optometrists in the U.S., announced that Investors Management Corporation (IMC), a Raleigh, NC private investment firm, has acquired IDOC from The Riverside Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Dave Brown, IDOC president and his senior management team of Chief Optometric Officer, Neil Gailmard, OD, and Chief Financial Officer, Oliver Spandow will continue to lead IDOC, whose membership includes independent optometrists at over 2,000 locations nationally.
Founded in 1971 by James H. Maynard, IMC is a privately owned investment company located in Raleigh, NC. IMC partners with business leaders and entrepreneurs to fulfill its mission to be a responsible long-term owner of a family of high quality businesses. Today, IMC owns several industry leading businesses including Golden Corral, RiseMark, Fleet Feet Sports and Cornerstone Building Alliance.
Alcon is expanding the parameters of Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses to fulfill an even wider range of patients’ needs. As part of Alcon’s commitment to improving patient and practice outcomes, Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses will be available November 14, 2016 in extended powers ranging from +6.00D to -10.00D, in three add powers, a total of 195 parameters to fit a wide range of patients’ needs for seamless vision at near, intermediate, and far.
According to the company, the water gradient material in the lenses uniquely reduces end-of-day lens dryness as the water content approaches 100% at the outermost surface of the lens. The innovative optical design of Alcon’s Precision Profile technology offers a smooth progression of power designed to provide a seamless visual experience.
In addition, Alcon’s Dailies Choice program offers new patients a rebate of $200 off an annual supply purchase of Dailies Total1 Multifocal contact lenses, helping eye care professionals provide to their patients more access to a healthy, convenient choice and significant savings. For more information about the program, including its terms and conditions, please visit DAILIESCHOICE.com.
See Your Interesting Case Photo Here in the Next Issue
Have you seen an interesting case lately? Would you like to share it with your colleagues? An image from that case could appear in Contact Lenses Today in the coming weeks!
We welcome photo submissions from our 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.
When you discuss cleaning of your replacement contact lenses with your patients, do you still recommend a rub step? The concept of cleaning seems to be a mindset that has gone out of mind for so many patients. Although we have seen that lenses and materials continue to advance, the importance of cleaning is still top of mind for practitioners. But is it really top of mind for patients? I suspect not often enough. When I discuss with my patients their cleaning regimens, many of them report that they simply place the lenses in the case with no rub or rinse step. It is as if there is an imaginary cleaning mechanism in the case, like the imaginary box in our kitchen cleans our dishes. Patients always seem surprised that they need to “take action” to clean their lenses. Those that have been wearing lenses for years remember back when lens care was cumbersome and may even recall days of multistep solution. But things are so much easier now.
Fact of the matter is that I firmly believe that rubbing and rinsing remain a vital part of the cleaning steps for our patients’ health and comfort. I’d suggest your office reviews the cleaning with patients and remember to remind patients not only of how to clean their lenses properly but WHY to clean them properly.
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) can be defined as the “ocular complaints experienced by computer users,” which include eyestrain, blurred vision, and dry eyes.1 CVS can also result in other physical symptoms like headaches and neck pain.1
CVS partially stems from decreased blinking, which frequently happens while doing computer work.1 Fewer blinks can result in increased tear evaporation, ocular symptoms, and even contact lens discomfort.1, 2 While the average patient blinks about 16 times per minute, a person working at a computer terminal may have up to 60% fewer blinks.3 Likewise, blink rates have been found to be elevated in uncomfortable contact lens wearers (29 times per minute); it has been theorized that a contact lens wearer’s blink rate may be elevated in order to compensate for ocular discomfort.2 This theory is supported by research which has found that patients who use a computer program that trains their eyes to blink more have better eye comfort.3
With the above information in mind, we may want to consider educating our patients about the importance of taking a break from sustained near work and blinking. Keeping blinking at the forefront of their minds may make it easier for your patients to treat their contact lens discomfort, a simple treatment that could reduce some of your patients’ dependence on contact lens care products and rewetting drops.
1. Blehm C, Vishnu S, Khattak A, Mitra S, Yee RW. Computer vision syndrome: a review. Surv Ophthalmol. 2005;50:253-262.
2. Martin-Montanez V, Lopez-de la Rosa A, Lopez-Miguel A, Pinto-Fraga J, Gonzalez-Meijome JM, Gonzalez-Garcia MJ. End-of-day dryness, corneal sensitivity and blink rate in contact lens wearers. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015;38:148-151.
3. Nosch DS, Foppa C, Toth M, Joos RE. Blink Animation Software to Improve Blinking and Dry Eye Symptoms. Optom Vis Sci. 2015;92:e310-315.
Incomplete Response to Artificial Tears Is Associated With Features of Neuropathic Ocular Pain
Artificial tears are first-line therapy for patients with dry eye symptoms. It is not known, however, which patient factors associate with a positive response to therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether certain ocular and systemic findings are associated with a differential subjective response to artificial tears.
Cross-sectional study of 118 individuals reporting artificial tears use (hypromellose 0.4%) to treat dry eye-associated ocular pain. An evaluation was performed to assess dry eye symptoms (via the dry eye questionnaire 5 and ocular surface disease index), ocular and systemic (non-ocular) pain complaints and ocular signs (tear osmolarity, tear breakup time, corneal staining, Schirmer testing with anesthesia, and eyelid and meibomian gland assessment). The main outcome measures were factors associated with differential subjective response to artificial tears.
By self-report, 23 patients reported no improvement, 73 partial improvement and 22 complete improvement in ocular pain with artificial tears. Patients who reported no or partial improvement in pain with artificial tears reported higher levels of hot-burning ocular pain and sensitivity to wind compared with those with complete improvement. Patients were also asked to rate the intensity of systemic pain elsewhere in the body (other than the eye). Patients who reported no or incomplete improvement with artificial tears had higher systemic pain scores compared with those with complete improvement.
The researchers concluded that both ocular and systemic (non-ocular) pain complaints are associated with a differential subjective response to artificial tears.
Galor A, Batawi H, Felix ER, Margolis TP, Sarantopoulos KD, Martin ER, Levitt RC. Incomplete response to artificial tears is associated with features of neuropathic ocular pain. Br J Ophthalmol. 2016 Jun;100(6):745-9. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2015-307094. Epub 2015 Sep 16.