Myopia and its management are no doubt among the hottest topics today in eye care, both scientifically and clinically. Along these lines, we would like to get your ideas on who the top thought leaders are in this space. Please email us a brief note nominating those individuals who you think are leading the field of myopia management at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
AccuLens Announces New Brand Identity with Redesigned Logo and Visual Aids
AccuLens launched its new corporate brand identity, redesigned logo, and visual aids. Paired with AccuLens’ 50th year in business celebration, the new brand identity is replacing the original company logo with a fresh but similar look to align with the company’s evolving service offerings and product designs, according to the company.
Bausch + Lomb Expands Parameters for Biotrue Oneday Daily Disposables
Bausch + Lomb announced the U.S. launch of expanded parameters for Biotrue Oneday daily disposable contact lenses. The expansion will add six new parameters (–9.50D, –10.00D, –10.50D, –11.00D, –11.50D, and –12.00D), bringing the total offering to +6.00D to –12.00D.
New Custom Soft Lens Series Features Freeform Stabilization
Art Optical introduced Intelliwave Pro, a new line of custom soft lenses featuring freeform stabilization for rapid lens positioning and quick focusing. The Intelliwave Pro’s stabilizing system is licensed technology from UltraVision CLPL in the United Kingdom and features Peripheral Balancing Zones (PBZs) that interact with the top and bottom lids. According to Art Optical, this interaction creates stabilizing forces that allow for rapid lens positioning and focusing, usually within 20 seconds. Quick and stable lens orientation ensures crisp, clear vision at all times and eliminates visual fluctuations during gaze excursions and head tilts, according to the company.
Intelliwave Pro is offered in aspheric, aspheric toric, multifocal, and multifocal toric designs with a broad range of parameter availability for patients who have out-of-inventory-range Rx needs. Intelliwave Pro multifocal optics combine center-near and center-distance designs with additional options to optimize vision for the dominant eye.
Manufactured in Contamac’s Definitive silicone hydrogel material (efrofilcon A, 74% water content), Intelliwave Pro is recommended as a quarterly replacement lens, but it can also be manufactured in a hydrogel material for biannual replacement. Intelliwave Pro lenses are backed by Art Optical’s comprehensive warranty program and are manufactured and shipped in just two to three days of order.
Sun Pharma Launches Cequa for the Treatment of Dry Eye Disease
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has commercialized Cequa (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution) 0.09% in the United States. Cequa, which offers the highest concentration of cyclosporine for ophthalmic use approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is indicated to increase tear production in patients who have keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Cequa delivers cyclosporine with nanomicellar (NCELL) technology, which helps to improve the bioavailability and physicochemical stability of cyclosporine, resulting in improved ocular tissue penetration, according to the company.
Sun Pharma is also introducing Cequa Support Specialty Pharmacy, a program designed to enable commercially insured patients to easily obtain Cequa. Once a patient’s prescription is submitted, Cequa Support will provide insurance plan benefits verification, prior authorization support, and appeals assistance. This program is structured to minimize out-of-pocket cost and provides free home delivery.
Australia to Host World Congress of Optometry with O=MEGA21
The World Council of Optometry announced that the congress will be in Melbourne from Sept. 2 to 4, 2021 and will run in partnership with the O=MEGA clinical conference and trade show at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The winning bid was put together by Optometry Victoria South Australia (OV/SA) and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia (ODMA) and was supported by the Melbourne Convention Bureau. It was backed by the Victorian Government against bids from multiple cities and multiple continents. Lectures at the World Congress will have COPE accreditation so that North American eyecare practitioners can receive accredited continuing education credits.
Allergan Shareholders Approve Proposed Acquisition by AbbVie
Allergan plc announced that its shareholders have voted to approve the previously announced proposed acquisition of Allergan by AbbVie Inc. Under the terms of the agreement announced on June 25, 2019, AbbVie will acquire Allergan in a cash and stock transaction for a transaction equity value of approximately $63 billion, based on the closing price of AbbVie's common stock of $78.45 on June 24, 2019. Allergan shareholders will receive 0.8660 AbbVie Shares and $120.30 in cash for each Allergan share, for a total consideration of $188.24 per Allergan share. The transaction is expected to close in early 2020, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Southern California College of Optometry Welcomes New Dean
Marshall B. Ketchum University announced that Jennifer Coyle, OD, MS, has been selected to serve as the dean of Optometry at The Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO). Dr. Coyle will assume her new position on Dec. 1, 2019.
Dr. Coyle has team-taught the contact lens didactic, laboratory, and clinical curriculum for 14 years at Pacific University, and has served as dean of the Pacific University College of Optometry for the last 11 years. During that time, Dr. Coyle was also in a private group practice in Beaverton, OR specializing in contact lenses.
She is a contributing editor for Primary Care Optometry News, a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and a Diplomate in its Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies. Dr. Coyle is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, and a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice. She was the first female president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) for two terms and for five years was the chair of the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association Advocacy Committee. She currently serves on the board of directors of the AAO, chairs the ASCO Government Affairs Committee, and is on the board of Women in Optometry. She is also a past-chair of the Association of Contact Lens Educators.
CooperVision Sponsors 2019 Cornea and Contact Lens Residency Forum
To support the education of future cornea and contact lens experts, CooperVision, Inc. provided an educational grant to the American Optometric Association (AOA) for its 7th Annual Cornea and Contact Lens Residency Forum, which was held recently in St. Louis. The Cornea and Contact Lens Residency Forum aims to help residents learn valuable skills that will propel their careers and result in rewarding professional opportunities, both during their residency programs and in the years to come.
The theme of this year’s Residency Forum was “Where Contact Lens Leaders Meet.” Workshop topics included networking, how to maximize one’s residency and career, the importance of advocacy, and how and when to utilize consultants. Contact lens-focused topics included the next generation of contact lens fitting, dry eye and contact lenses, how to grow a successful contact lens practice, and more. Speakers included leaders from the Contact Lens & Cornea Section of the AOA and alumni of the Residency Forum.
OcuMedic Inc. and Gelest Inc. Enter Agreement for Novel Contact Lens Drug Delivery System
OcuMedic Inc., a developer of new proprietary, drug-eluting soft contact lens/clear corneal bandage technology to replace eye drops, announced that it has entered into an exclusive supply agreement and received a strategic investment from Gelest Inc., a supplier to the global contact lens market.
The OcuMedic technology provides contact lens manufacturers with the ability to deliver comfort agents to extend the wear time of daily-use lenses. According to OcuMedic, the technology is designed to eliminate the patient’s therapeutic burden of having to treat themselves, which can lead to compliance problems and associated complications.
Under terms of the agreement, Gelest will manufacture and supply OcuMedic’s key chemistry components necessary for the controlled release of drugs under OcuMedic’s intellectual property for clear or corrective extended-wear contact lenses/corneal bandages that deliver a wide variety of drugs. Initial indications will be for the treatment of inflammation and pain post-cataract and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery and from corneal abrasions as well as for under-development conditions such as glaucoma and dry eye.
Avellino Labs Receives CLIA Certification for Its AvaGen Genetic Diagnostic Test
Avellino Labs announced that it has received Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) for its AvaGen product, a genetic test for determining the risk of keratoconus and the presence of corneal dystrophies. This quarter, AvaGen will be available in a controlled launch leading to nationwide availability in 2020.
Utilizing next-generation sequencing technology, AvaGen examines more than 1,000 variants across 75 genes for keratoconus and more than 70 mutations of the TGFBI gene for corneal dystrophies. With a simple in-office cheek swab, eyecare practitioners can access actionable diagnostic data, forming the basis for preventative and mitigative strategies for patients.
Craig Johnson Joins Visioneering Technologies Inc. as Quality Specialist
Craig Johnson joined Visioneering Technologies Inc. in the role of quality specialist, based in its Alpharetta, GA headquarters. Mr. Johnson will be responsible for ongoing management of field quality activities including materials copy review administration and tracking, label inspection and control, sales team training, complaint handling, and customer feedback.
Mr. Johnson brings more than 25 years of experience working in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated environments, including FDA inspection interaction. Before joining VTI, he was in quality assurance with CryoLife. Prior to that, he served in various quality roles for Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Luneau Technology Acquires Next Sight
Luneau Technology Group announced the acquisition of Next Sight, an Italian company specializing in retinal screening and telehealth. According to Luneau, complementary activities between the two companies and their respective experience will facilitate the extension of Luneau Technology Group product solutions and delivery of care to the visual health sector.
Innovega Welcomes New Member to Its Board of Advisors
Innovega Inc. announced the appointment of Jeff Bradley as an executive advisor to the company. Mr. Bradley has decades of leadership experience and expertise in driving new platforms to market, and he will assist Innovega in its planned product commercialization and go-to-market strategy.
Do you believe that scleral lens wear is associated with an increase in intraocular pressure?
This 59-year-old male was referred for contact lens correction; he had poor vision with spectacles due to irregular corneal astigmatism. He denies any history of trauma (other than the radial keratotomy [RK]) or infection. We have all seen RK scars, but this one has a “funny looking” appearance. He was able to obtain 20/25 vision in each eye with GP contact lenses.
We thank Buddy Russell 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
We Don’t Often Realize the Impact that Keratoconus Has on Our Patients’ Lives
When practitioners evaluate and manage their patients who suffer with keratoconus, they typically spend minutes with those patients and think that they understand how this disease impacts their lives. I have spent the last few decades providing care for thousands of keratoconus patients and have seen multiple cases each and every day. It was only with the advent of social media and the creation of “keratoconus user groups” that I began to develop some sort of true understanding of how significantly this disease negatively impacts people’s lives. Tools have now been developed in health care that allows researchers to quantitatively measure how a disease influences a patient’s quality of life.
A recent article was published that attempted to identify and assess the quality of questionnaires used to measure quality of life in keratoconus and to guide selection of the most appropriate questionnaire for evaluating the impact of keratoconus.1 The researchers conducted a literature search in Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and PsycINFO databases. Articles that described a questionnaire to measure quality of life in keratoconus were included. Information on psychometric properties and validity were extracted and analyzed based on a set of quality criteria. Finally, the impact of keratoconus and its management methods on quality of life was reviewed.
The search yielded 331 publications, of which 45 articles describing 18 questionnaires (12 ophthalmic, including two keratoconus-specific and six generic) were reviewed. Most of the articles (40, 89%) described ophthalmic questionnaires not specific to keratoconus. The National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire was the most frequently used questionnaire (n = 26). Only four articles provided information on psychometric properties. The Keratoconus Outcomes Research Questionnaire, the only validated keratoconus-specific questionnaire, had the most superior psychometric properties. However, it consists of items on only two domains of quality of life (activity limitation and symptoms).
Overall, keratoconus management methods (spectacles and contact lenses as well as cross-linking in early stages and corneal transplantation in late stages) improved quality of life. The quality-of-life scores were associated with clinical measures including visual acuity, corneal topography, pachymetry, and keratoconus severity. The authors concluded that “there is a need for a comprehensive and high-quality patient-reported outcome measure in keratoconus. A questionnaire should be chosen based on the purpose and the quality of the questionnaire. This review guides selection of an appropriate questionnaire.”
Obviously, there is much work to be done to develop an appropriate tool that will allow eyecare practitioners to more comprehensively measure the impact that keratoconus has on an individual’s quality of life. Meanwhile, practitioners should simply listen to their patients and ask the appropriate questions that will provide them with a better understanding of what they go through on a daily basis while living with keratoconus.
1. Kandel H, Pesudovs K, L Watson S. Measurement of Quality of Life in Keratoconus. Cornea. 2019 Oct 9. [Epub ahead of print]
OCULAR SURFACE UPDATE
Katherine Mastrota, MS, OD
Should Eyecare Professionals Screen Patients for Depression?
Depression is a common problem encountered in primary care settings worldwide. A recent meta-analysis found that anxiety and depression are more prevalent in patients who have dry eye disease (DED) than in controls.1
The World Health Organization recommends the integration of mental health into general health care to close the gap between the number of patients who need mental health care and those who actually receive it. However, a recent study noted that addressing the burden of mental health problems in primary care settings has its limitations, particularly because of the time constraints in busy primary care clinics as well as the inadequate training of staff and physicians in mental health disorders.2
The report went on to say that reliable, brief, and easy-to-administer depression screening instruments are important in helping physicians identify patients at risk.2 One such tool is the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), which was developed by researchers at Columbia University in the late 1990s. It is a brief, nine-item self-report screening tool that may help identify patient symptoms that could relate to depression. The PHQ-9 was developed for use in primary care settings.
Additionally, it is important that practitioners have adequate management and follow-up available. This will ensure that the ethical requirements for the utilization of a screening instrument for depression are met.
Should practitioners, as primary eyecare providers, incorporate depression screening into their clinical care workflows, especially for their ocular surface disease patients? Certainly, collaborative care with mental health professionals is indicated for our subset of patients who are at risk of/are suffering from depression.1
1. Weatherby TJM, Raman VRV, Agius M. Depression and dry eye disease: a need for an interdisciplinary approach? Psychiatr Danub. 2019 Sep;31:619-621.
2. Lakkis NA, Mahmassani DM. Screening instruments for depression in primary care: a concise review for clinicians. Postgrad Med. 2015 Jan;127:99-106.
Atropine 0.01% Eye Drops Slow Myopia Progression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of atropine 0.01% on slowing myopia progression. The authors searched for relevant studies in the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Embase, Ovid, CBM, CNKI, VIP, and Wan Fang Data in Chinese. A supplementary search was conducted in OpenGrey (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe), the ISRCTN registry, ClinicalTrials.gov, and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) from the dates of inception to June 30, 2018.
Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with a total of 1,079 subjects were included (505 in the atropine 0.01% group and 574 in the control group). The results showed that the atropine 0.01% group exhibited significantly greater control of axial growth than the control group [MD = –0.12, 95% CI (–0.19, –0.06)]. There was also a statistically significant difference between the atropine 0.01% and control groups in the changes in axial length [MD = –0.14, 95% CI (–0.25, –0.03)], but the quality of evidence was low. There were no significant differences between the atropine 0.01% and control groups in the overall effect with respect to diopter value, change in diopter, distance vision, and intraocular pressure [MD = 0.08, 95% CI (–0.27, 0.42); MD = 0.09, 95% CI (–0.17, 0.36); MD = -0.01, 95% CI (–0.02, 0.00); MD = 0.08, 95% CI (–0.56,0.40), respectively]. The sensitivity analysis showed that the conclusion of the meta-analysis is relatively stable. With respect to adverse events, there were significant differences between the atropine 0.01% and control groups [OR = 0.26, 95% CI (0.11, 0.61)].
Based on the available evidence, the authors concluded that atropine 0.01% eye drops offer benefits in controlling axial growth and in safety without causing significant differences in diopter values, distance vision, and intraocular pressure.
Zhao Y, Feng K, Liu RB, et al. Atropine 0.01% eye drops slow myopia progression: a systematic review and Meta-analysis. Int J Ophthalmol. 2019 Aug 18;12:1337-1343.