Can you feel it? The fall season is definitely upon us. Before you know it, your patients will be telling you about their uncomfortable and dry eyes associated with being indoors in forced and low humidity air conditions. Make sure that your management and treatment of this is front and center, especially in your contact lens wearers. There are many new treatments and treatment approaches that you can use so hopefully you can make a dent in this annoying and burdensome problem in your patients.
Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD
FTC Charges Marketers of ‘Vision Improvement’ App With Deceptive Claims
The California-based marketers of a software application for mobile devices and personal computers have agreed to stop making deceptive claims that their “Ultimeyes” app can improve users’ vision in order to settle FTC charges. Under the terms of a proposed settlement with the FTC, Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. and its co-owners have also agreed to pay $150,000.
According to the FTC’s complaint, since 2012, Carrot Neurotechnology, Inc. and its co-owners, Adam Goldberg and Aaron Seitz, have advertised and sold Ultimeyes on the company’s website and through third-party app stores including the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, claiming it is “scientifically shown to improve vision.”
Ads for Ultimeyes stated that the app, which sells for between $5.99 and $9.99, would “Turn Back The Clock On Your Vision.” The ads further claimed that users would benefit from “comprehensive vision improvement” for activities such as sports, reading and driving, and that using the app would reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses. The app is based on a series of visual exercises related to reading speed, contrast sensitivity and low light conditions among other elements.
The ads further claimed that studies, including those conducted by Seitz, prove Ultimeyes works. The FTC alleges that Seitz’s studies and other “scientific research” do not prove Ultimeyes improves vision. The FTC also alleges the marketers failed to disclose Seitz’s affiliation with the company when touting his studies in advertising.
The proposed settlement requires Carrot and its owners to have competent and reliable scientific evidence before making the vision claims challenged in the FTC complaint for Ultimeyes and similar products, or claims regarding the health benefits, performance, efficacy, safety, or side effects of any product or service. The proposed order also prohibits them from misrepresenting any scientific research, and it requires them to clearly disclose any connections with anyone conducting or participating in scientific research they cite as substantiation for their claims, and with anyone endorsing their products.
Meanwhile, the American Optometric Association continues its efforts to safeguard consumers against the misleading claims made by online "eye exam" apps and services. This message is being reinforced at every level by educating the public, news media, health providers and government officials, including state legislators and attorneys general, members of Congress, and medical device regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Click here to learn more about the AOA’s ongoing efforts in this area.
Alden Offers Patients New Resource on Prosthetic & Enhancement Tinted Lenses
Alden Optical announced new online patient resources to address the growing demand for information on prosthetic and cosmetic tinted custom lenses. The company says that it has seen a sharp increase in patient inquiry, driven in part by the discontinuation of some enhancement tint brands. The resources include a revamped patient landing page, http://www.aldenoptical.com/patient-information/patient_information/#patientinfo, and new Practice Locator Map. The Patient Information page clearly describes the company’s product and strongly encourages patients to speak with their eyecare professional about their options. The Practice Locator Map makes it simple for interested patients to find ECPs fitting Alden’s range of enhancement and prosthetic tints.
Alden Optical (www.aldenoptical.com) has an extensive portfolio of custom and specialty lenses including HP Toric, Astera Multifocal Toric, NovaKone and Zenlens. Additionally, Alden offers a full line of corneal GPs and distributes BioColors, a custom tinted lens that is co-produced by Alden Optical and The Orion Vision Group.
Plan Now to Attend the GSLS in January at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
The 10th Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 21 – 24, 2016 at Caesars Palace 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.
The 2015 event was attended by almost 600 registrants from 36 countries, 42 states, Puerto Rico and Guam. It continues to be the largest conference of its kind in the U.S.
Join your peers in 2016 for the 10th anniversary in Las Vegas! Visit www.GSLSymposium.com for more information.
Blanchard Partners with Lumilent to Bring msd Mini Scleral Design Lens to Mexico
Blanchard Contact Lenses announced that Laboratorios Lumilent (Lumilent), located in Mexico City, has signed into an agreement as a manufacturer and distributor of the msd Mini Scleral Design lens. The msd lens is known for its distinctive posterior lens surface incorporating reverse geometry with specially designed optical and posterior curves.
The msd lens was first introduced in Mexico City in June at a launch with over 120 eyecare professionals in attendance. Since the launch, there have been a series of very successful lectures/workshops, with many more to come in the fall, as Lumilent rolls out msd lens to practitioners across Mexico.
SECO International is currently accepting nominations for its 2016 awards, recognizing significant contributions to the profession of optometry. SECO will present Optometrist of the South, SECO’s highest honor; Young Optometrist of the South; and Paraoptometric of the South to three deserving professionals at SECO 2016 during the Southern Council of Optometrists (SoCO) House of Delegates meeting, Saturday, February 27.
Optometrist of the South: This award may be presented annually to an optometrist who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the optometric profession. The recipient must be a member of the SoCO in the year in which the award is presented.
Paraoptometric of the South: This award may be presented annually to a non-optometrist who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the optometric profession. Traditionally, this award has been given to individuals who reside in one of the 12 states that comprise the SoCO.
Young Optometrist of the South: This award may be presented annually to an optometrist who has been licensed less than 10 years and who has demonstrated a significant contribution to the optometric profession. The recipient must be a member of the SoCO in the year in which the award is presented.
All nominations must include the following: 1) A letter containing the nominee’s name, the name of the award for which the nominee is being submitted, the city and state of the nominee’s practice, and the reasons why the nominee should receive the award, and 2) A copy of the nominee’s biography or curriculum vitae. If you have any questions on the awards details on qualification, please contact Ms. Bonny Fripp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must be received by November 30, 2015. Please mail them to: Awards & Resolutions Committee, SECO International, LLC, 4661 North Shallowford Road, Atlanta, GA 30338.
In the Editorial in last week’s Contact Lenses Today, http://www.clspectrum.com/email/cltoday/september-20-2015.aspx, we asked for your thoughts on creative ways you have solved the challenge of keeping in your office an inventory of trial lenses and an inventory of contact lenses for purchase by patients. Here are some of the comments we received.
As with many other products in our lives, if we could only have a standardized sizing of trial lenses we could reduce storage space, waste and clutter by half.
Manufacturers, if they could only agree, would reduce costs as well, by standardizing trial storage kits and diagnostic systems. Pick the best one, especially for toric trials, and apply to all types of lenses. What a wonderful thing! I would love to see the same applied to online ordering websites. Surely some innovative designer would love to take on this challenge. Then all that would be needed is cooperation amongst all the companies. That would be the difficult one to negotiate!
I am constantly frustrated by the waste and landfill production created by our large lens pharmaceuticals. Jane Marr, Optician and Contact Lens Practitioner Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
I keep trial inventory on the few lenses that give me the most success. I keep no retail inventory. I have retail orders delivered via two-day service. Annual supplies (or 6 month supplies for one-day modalities) get shipped for free. Stewart F. Gooderman, OD, FAAO San Francisco, California
I have always been an advocate of daily disposable contacts. For the last couple of years that is all I will Rx unless a patient's Rx is not available in a daily. I fit all dailies, but I mainly fit two different spheres. I stock eight boxes each of powers from -0.75 to -7.00 in both lenses. Most patients walk out with their year supply.
This also allows me to place orders with my distributor on an almost daily basis without any shipping charges. If I need any other small orders of contacts or diagnostic lenses, it is easily added to the order without incurring a shipping charge. John Chatelain, OD Houston, Texas
CARE SOLUTION CORNER Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO
Anticipatory Guidance for Young Adult Contact Lens Wearers
In my last column, I reviewed an article by Drs. Heidi Wagner and Gina Sorbara that discussed the characteristics that make young adult contact lens wearers unique—and areas in which they failed to comply with the care and replacement of their lenses. What follows are the authors’ recommendations for targeted patient education and management for this age group with the goal of reducing contact lens-related complications.
Fit into daily disposables or utilize a more “streamlined” contact lens care regimen
Ensure that the patient has an ample supply of replacement contact lenses and lens care products (this has been shown to affect compliance in a positive manner)1
Instruct the patient to identify and utilize a hygienic space for contact lens insertion and removal when away from home
Reinforce avoiding water exposure and contact lens overwear
Include parents in the education process (since they often underestimate the frequency of their young adult children’s noncompliant behaviors)2
1. Schnider CM, Jedraszczak AM. The “pantry load” effect-can it help drive more compliant contact lens replacement? Opt Vis Sci. 2012;89:E-abstract 120652.
2. Bylund CL, Imes RS, Baxter LA. Accuracy if parents’ perceptions of their college student children’s health and health risk behaviors. J Am Coll Health. 2005;54:31-71.
JK is a 38 YOF who is new to the office. She reports that she has been wearing the same lenses until they become uncomfortable. She reports boastfully that it used to be that she could wear a lens for an entire year but more recently her eyes have been “bothering” her and she wears them for only three months before they need to be replaced. Today, she reports that her eyes have been bothering her and that every once in a while her eyes get like this but if she wears her glasses for a day, it starts to get better. Upon slit lamp evaluation, we note that she has several mid-peripheral scars and an active contact lens peripheral ulcer. She explains that she loves her contact lenses that she is wearing, does not need any type of contact lens evaluation because “my lenses are still working fine.” All she wants is for us to write her a prescription in the same power and lens brand so she can go and get her contact lenses online.
If you have not seen a JK ever before, she is probably on your schedule for next week. Patients that tell you what they need despite being horribly wrong need to stop receiving prescriptions from us. Instead we need to either deny a contact lens prescription all together or attempt to educate her on the long term implications of contact lens abuse and pray that she will listen when you move her to another modality. Fact of the matter is, I am willing to try to work with a patient like JK for only so long, but eventually unless she changes, her non-compliance is putting both her eye health and your license on the line. Remember, that your prescription ability entitles you to write prescriptions for contact lenses to patients who follow the regimen and recommendations that you give. When abused, it is your right to deny them what they desire. Happy Fitting (or not fitting).
Structural Design of Contact Lens-Based Drug Delivery Systems; In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of Ocular Triggering Mechanisms
This study identifies and investigates the potential use of in-eye trigger mechanisms to supplement the widely available information on release of ophthalmic drugs from contact lenses under passive release conditions.
Ophthalmic dyes and surrogates have been successfully employed to investigate how these factors can be drawn together to make a successful system. The storage of a drug-containing lens in a pH lower than that of the ocular environment can be used to establish an equilibrium that favors retention of the drug in the lens prior to ocular insertion. Although release under passive conditions does not result in complete dye elution, the use of mechanical agitation techniques which mimic the eyelid blink action in conjunction with ocular tear chemistry promotes further release. In this way differentiation between passive and triggered in vitro release characteristics can be established.
Investigation of the role of individual tear proteins revealed significant differences in their ability to alter the equilibrium between matrix-held and eluate-held dye or drug. These individual experiments were then investigated in vivo using ophthalmic dyes. Complete elution was found to be achievable in-eye; this demonstrated the importance of that fraction of the drug retained under passive conditions and the triggering effect of in-eye conditions on the release process.
The authors concluded that understanding both the structure-property relationship between drug and material and in-eye trigger mechanisms, using ophthalmic dyes as a surrogate, provides the basis of knowledge necessary to design ocular drug delivery vehicles for in-eye release in a controllable manner.
Mahomed A, Wolffsohn JS, Tighe BJ. Structural design of contact lens-based drug delivery systems; in vitro and in vivo studies of ocular triggering mechanisms. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015 Aug 18. pii: S1367-0484(15)30018-7. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2015.07.007. [Epub ahead of print]