Friday, June 24, 2016

How Bacteria on Contact Lenses Cause Inflammation--Study Shows

"Research presented at the ASM Microbe research meeting demonstrates a new way bacteria can cause dramatic morphological changes in human cells," says Medical News Today. "Specifically, the researchers discovered that a common bacterial contaminant of contact lenses and cases can cause the formation of large bubble-like membrane structures on human ocular cells, which can contribute to contact lens wear complications and inflammation." Read more.

Temporary Blindness from Smartphone Use

"In Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, doctors detailed the cases of the two women, ages 22 and 40, who experienced 'transient smartphone blindness' for months," notes an Associated Press post. "The women complained of recurring episodes of temporary vision loss for up to 15 minutes. They were subjected to variety of medical exams, MRI scans and heart tests. Yet doctors couldn't find anything wrong with them to explain the problem." Read more.

Almost 10 Million Americans Are 'Severely' Myopic

"A new study estimates that 9.6 million adults in the United States are highly myopic, or severely nearsighted," according to a post on Medical News Today. "Of those, nearly 820,000 have a degenerative form of the disease and more than 41,000 suffer a complication called myopic choroidal neovascularization that could cause long-term vision loss, with women at higher risk. The findings are being published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This is the first large-scale study ever done to calculate the real-world prevalence of myopic choroidal neovascularization in the United States." Read more.

Gene Therapy Ideal for Neurodegenerative Eye Disorders

"Diseases of the eye that cause vision loss and blindness, especially neurodegenerative disorders affecting the retina, are ideal targets for gene therapy, including gene replacement and promising corrective gene editing strategies," reports Medical News Today. "A comprehensive Review article providing an overview of emerging therapeutic approaches and innovative gene delivery and gene editing tools to treat ocular diseases is published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free for download on the Human Gene Therapy website." Read more.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lower Blood Sugar Less Retinopathy

People with type 2 diabetes who intensively controlled their blood sugar level during the landmark Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial Eye Study were found to have cut their risk of diabetic retinopathy in half in a follow-up analysis conducted four years after stopping intensive therapy. Investigators who led the ACCORD Follow-on Eye Study (ACCORDION) announced the results today in New Orleans at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute (NEI).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New Flat Meta-Lens Could Replace Contact Lenses

"Researchers from Harvard University have developed a new type of flat lens that could replace more cumbersome curved glass optics currently used in a wide range of imaging appliances," reports the Christain Science Monitor. "'This technology is potentially revolutionary because it works in the visible spectrum, which means it has the capacity to replace lenses in all kinds of devices, from microscopes to cameras, to displays and cell phones,' Harvard professor and researcher Federico Capasso said in a university release. Professor Capasso was also the senior author of a paper on the new technology, published in the journal Science. Capasso's planar lens is capable of processing images of objects smaller than even the best current microscopes, using a titanium dioxide-based array of nanostructures. That oxide is already used in applications ranging from skincare to white pigmentation for paints, foods, and more, and was chosen by the researchers due to its ubiquity and capacity to process light." Read more.

Google's Contact Lenses May Not Live Up to Hype, According to a Report

"The signature product from Alphabet-owned life sciences company, Verily, is still a long way from hitting the real world," according to Business Insider. "The glucose-sensing smart contact lens that Google first announced in 2014 is still just "slideware" that doesn't exist outside of PowerPoint presentations, according to a former Verily manager who spoke to Stat's Charles Piller as part of a critical look at the company's current endeavors. The contact lens project aims to provide an alternative for people with diabetes who currently have to prick their fingers to test their blood glucose levels. Instead, the lens could monitor the glucose levels in their tears. But the Stat report questions whether the lens will ever be scientifically feasible." Read more.

Eyeglasses Age Sports Legions, According to Sports Illustrated

Yesterday was "National Eyewear Day, which is definitely just a made-up holiday. But it gives us an excuse to imagine what the biggest names in sports would look like if they wore glasses. Basically, they’d all look about five years older." That's the opening of a picture essay in Sports Illustrated. Read more.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Eye Color Affected by Protein TPC2

Science Daily reports: "Skin, eye and hair pigmentation requires a delicate balance of acidity within the cellular compartments where melanin is made -- that balance is partly regulated, scientists now know, by a protein called TPC2." Read more.

Cosplayer Risks Vision for Sake of the Game

"The best cosplayers sacrifice a lot of time, money and comfort to pursue what is regarded as an intense art form," according to Houston Press. "'Johnny Hybrid,' the stage name of one half of the cosplay duo known as Hybrid Cosplay, damaged one eye this weekend while desperately trying to remove his special contact lenses. He was preparing to go to Space City Con this past weekend and not only missed it, but will likely have to miss some other scheduled conventions. A doctor at an urgent care center told him he may lose his eye." Read more.

New Visual Impairments Caused by Zika

"Researchers studying babies with a Zika virus-related birth defect say they have found previously unreported eye problems possibly linked to the virus that could result in severe visual impairment," reports Science Daily. "In three Brazilian infants with microcephaly, the researchers observed retinal lesions, hemorrhaging and abnormal blood vessel development not noted before in relation to the virus. The findings are being published online today in Ophthalmology, journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology." Read more.

Star Trek's La Forge Inspires Rihanna's Sunglass Collection for Dior

"As the world gears up for the third installment of Rihanna’s must-have Puma creepers, news arrived of another RiRi collaboration sure to send fashion people into a tizzy. 'After embodying the Dior woman in the Secret Garden IV campaign, the House of Dior and Rihanna are writing a new page in their shared story: the star has designed a pair of sunglasses with pure lines and futuristic accents in a range of metalized colors. Named simply "Rihanna" they will arrive in stores in June,' a release from Dior reads." So goes the Vanity Fair writeup. "The glasses look exactly as they’re described: extremely futuristic, while also giving some strong 80s vibes. Rihanna told Dior that La Forge from Star Trek was her inspiration for the glasses. 'I’ve always been obsessed with his eyewear, and when I got to Dior and saw all the materials I could play with, it all just came together.'" Read more.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Americans with Cataracts to Increase More Than 80% by 2050

The number of Americans with cataracts will increase to 38.5 million in the next 16 years and jump to 45.6 million by 2050, representing a jump of more than 80%, according to the Prevent BlindnessFuture of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems. The World Health Organization reports that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Read more

South Carolina House and Senate Override the Governor's Veto of Legislation Banning Online Eye Exams

The South Carolina House voted to override Gov. Nikki Haley's veto of a bill banning the practice of offering prescriptions for lenses and contact lenses after an online exam. The original legislation banning the practiced was passed 100-1 last month. "Chicago-based Opternative launched its online service in South Carolina and dozens of other states nationwide last summer. CEO and founder Aaron Dallek said the company has hundreds of customers in South Carolina," reports the Kansas City Star. "Opternative offers $40 to $60 prescriptions — depending on whether customers want a single prescription for glasses or contacts, or a prescription for both — within 24 hours for people ages 18 to 45 with a computer and smartphone. Customers taking the test are asked to take a certain number of steps away from their computer screen, depending on their shoe size, and use the computer like a digital eye chart. A text message sent to a customer's smartphone allows it to be used as a remote control. Answers to multiple questions, along with medical records, are sent to a state-licensed ophthalmologist contracted by the company. Inconsistencies mean a prescription won't be written, Dallek said." Read more.

Visual Impairment Skyrockets as Boomers Age

"With the youngest of the baby boomers hitting 65 by 2029, the number of people with visual impairment or blindness in the United States is expected to double to more than 8 million by 2050, according to projections based on the most recent census data and from studies funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. Another 16.4 million Americans are expected to have difficulty seeing due to correctable refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) that can be fixed with glasses, contacts or surgery." That's the start of a press release from NEI. Approximately, "1 million Americans were legally blind (20/200 vision or worse) in 2015. Having 20/200 vision means that for clear vision, you would have to be 20 feet or closer to an object that a person with normal vision could see from 200 feet away. Meanwhile, 3.2 million Americans had visual impairment in 2015—meaning they had 20/40 or worse vision with best possible correction. Another 8.2 million had vision problems due to uncorrected refractive error."

 The researchers were led by Rohit Varma, M.D., director of the University of Southern California’s Roski Eye Institute, Los Angeles, led the researchers, and JAMA Ophthalmology published the results just this week (May 19th).
Read more.

Choo Extends Licensing Agreement with Safilo

"Safilo Group and Jimmy Choo have announced the early renewal and extension of their eyewear licence agreement," according to the Moodie Davitt Report. "The deal has been extended to 31 December 2023 and covers the design, manufacture and distribution of the Jimmy Choo eyewear collection. The new agreement has also been expanded to include a men’s eyewear collection. Slated for January 2018, the first Jimmy Choo men’s capsule edition will debut in the brand’s boutiques and a worldwide selection of leading optical stores." Read more.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Poor UV Filtration in Car Windows the Cause of Left-Eye Cataracts?

"An analysis of the ultraviolet A (UV-A) light protection in the front windshields and side windows of automobiles finds that protection was consistently high in the front windshields while lower and highly variable in side windows, findings that may in part explain the reported increased rates of cataract in left eyes and left-sided facial skin cancer, according to a new study." That's the summation from Science Daily. Read more.

Subconcussive Impacts Affect Football Players Vision

"In a study that included 29 NCAA football players, repetitive subconcussive impacts were associated with changes in near point of convergence (NPC) ocular-motor function among players in the higher-impact group, although NPC was normalized after a 3-week rest period, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology," notes Medical News Today. "The NPC measures the closest point to which one can maintain convergence (simultaneous inward movement of eyes toward each other) while focusing on an object before diplopia (double vision) occurs." Read more.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Get Your Scrips and Glasses Online--Without an OD

Opternative founders Aaron Dallek and Steven Lee, OD.
"The eyeglass prescription process is the latest health care service to be disrupted — and now optometrists are waging an all-out war against a startup that lets people do vision tests without looking away from their laptops," goes the Buzz Feed posting. "Less than a year ago, Opternative, a Chicago startup, began serving customers through its website. In that time, optometrist lobbying groups have successfully backed legislation that bans the company’s ability to operate in five states, including Georgia as of yesterday. Last month, the American Optometric Association complained to the Food and Drug Administration that the company’s service should be taken off the market and studied because it is allegedly operating without federal approval. In the same breath, the group likened startups like Opternative to the 'corporate equivalents of snake oil salesmen.'" Read more.

Vision Monday reported a few days ago: "Organized optometry won the latest round in its fight against online refraction when lawmakers in the state of Georgia enacted legislation last week which makes it illegal to issue a contact lens or spectacle prescription without an in-person, comprehensive eye exam conducted by a state-licensed practitioner." Read more.

Hugo Boss Helps Consumers Explore Light and Shadow

"German fashion label Hugo Boss is transporting consumers to Santiago, Chile to explore the variations in light and shadow," according to a Luxury Daily post. "Boss eyewear’s 'Master the Light' campaign for spring/summer 2016 acts as a cinematic tour of the city, as models ClĂ©ment Chabernaud and Rianne van Rompaey roam through some of Santiago’s modern architecture. Inviting consumers with them for the journey, Hugo Boss filmed a 360-degree video capturing the behind-the-scenes atmosphere in the South American locale." Read moreYou can read more about the Boss line here (movie is the same).

Cazal, Celebrates Being on Middle Age's Cusp


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"It was a room of who’s who in the Flatiron District in Manhattan for the Cazal Eyewear 40th Anniversary celebration," notes the Huffington Post. "The eyewear line worn by some of the biggest stars on the planet, like Beyonce and Jay-Z who have plenty of times been spotted courtside at NBA games or out and about wearing the luxury eye brand. The setting was LimeLight Studios and it was filled with a number of celebrities who partied to latest tunes but also got to take in forty years of Cazal history." Read more.

'Marie Claire' Teams with Safilo to Market Sunglasses

"Women’s magazine Marie Claire is changing the conversation around sunglasses through a partnership with eyewear manufacturer Safilo," reports Luxury Daily. "#GetFramed puts a spotlight on the accessory category poised for growth, communicating the idea that consumers should have frames to complement each type of outfit and that sunglasses should be bought with each new season along with other wardrobe updates. Creating a link between content and commerce, the program includes mobile integration, where consumers can virtually try on and purchase eyewear from Safilo licensed brands including Dior, Givenchy and Jimmy Choo." Read more.