Monday, March 30, 2015

Myopia on the Rise Globally

Key scientists, researchers and clinical experts discussed the increasing prevalence of myopia and its visual, social and economic impact at a joint World Health Organization and Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) meeting. Health care experts reported that myopia is the leading cause of blindness in older people in Tajimi, Japan, and in Shanghai, China. A report from BHVI estimated that 5 billion people will have myopia in 2050, with almost a billion having high myopia. Professor Brien Holden said that “vision impairment and blindness was rising in children from uncorrected myopia and in adults from the pathological consequences of myopia later in life.” The participants also investigated the potential interventions. Dr Serge Resnikoff said that “a major contribution from the meeting was the definition and description of the retinal condition that causes blindness with myopia so that future surveys can accurately record the number of people with vision impairment and blindness from myopia.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Republicans Pass Medicare Bill--Decreasing Fees, Increasing Premiums, Extending Health Insurance for Kids

"The House...approved sweeping changes to the Medicare program on Thursday in the most significant bipartisan policy legislation to pass through that chamber since Republicans regained a majority in 2011," according to a March 26 New York Times post. "The measure, which would establish a new formula for paying doctors, increase premiums for some Medicare beneficiaries and extend a popular health insurance program for children, has already been endorsed by President Obama and awaits a vote in the Senate." Read more.

Co-Pilot of Downed Germanwings Jetliner Said to Have Vision Problems

"Andreas Lubitz, who was flying the Germanwings jetliner that slammed into a mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday, sought treatment for vision problems that may have jeopardized his ability to continue working as a pilot, two officials with knowledge of the investigation said Saturday," reported the New York Times today. "It is not clear how severe his eye problems were or how they might have been related to his psychological condition. One person with knowledge of the investigation said the authorities had not ruled out the possibility that the vision problem could have been psychosomatic." Read more.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Utah Bans Unilateral Pricing on Contact Lenses

Utah has become the first state to ban contact lens manufacturers from using Unilateral Pricing Policies (UPP) to set prices for contact lenses. Its legislators signed into law the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act, according to a press release from 1-800 Contacts. The law will go into effect in May 2015.

UPP programs also are under investigation both by the Federal Trade Commission and by several State Attorneys General. During the past two weeks, attorneys are said to have filed 15 consumer class-action suits against the manufacturers.

Nearly 40 million Americans spend $4.2 billion annually for contact lenses. Johnson & Johnson, Bausch & Lomb, Alcon, and CooperVision began using UPP in 2013. Since then, contact lens wearers reportedly have seen some online prices increase as much as 150%. Read more.

MYKITA Sets Marketing Campaign in NYC

"The 2015 MYKITA campaign is set amidst the cityscapes of New York – at locations that open up unconventional perspectives of the metropolis: on a small city beach in Dumbo, across the roofs of Brooklyn and along the High Line, a now disused historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan. The urban landscape comprising skyscrapers, linear facades and grey concrete provides the backdrop for the campaign, as well as an aesthetic contrast to the city’s greenery," notes Midwest Lens. "New York-based photographer and artist Mark Borthwick has been working with MYKITA for the last seven years. He invited family members, friends and professional models to become subjects for the 2015 campaign. The photographs are accompanied by poems in the traditional Japanese haiku form. British poet Nicholas Hogg composed them specially for the MYKITA lookbook, capturing three-line snap shots of a stroll through the city." Read more.

Fendi Celebrates Collaboration with Thierry Lasry

"Madison Avenue is not your typical late-night party scene. A route to a rowdier downtown destination, sure, but the site for a full-on, blowout bash starting at 10 p.m.? Not so much," reports WWD. "That is, until Fendi gets involved. On Thursday evening, the fashion powerhouse brought the party uptown, to its freshly minted store, for a late-night cocktail party celebrating its eyewear collaboration with Thierry Lasry. The fete was appropriately dubbed 'Midnight on Madison.'" Read more.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A "Fix" for Colorblindness Near at Hand?

Simulation of extreme colorblindness
"More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing red from green or blue from yellow, and there's no treatment for colorblindness." reports National Public Radio (NPR). "A biotech company and two scientists hope to change that. On Wednesday, Avalanche Biotechnologies in Menlo Park and the University of Washington in Seattle announced a licensing agreement to develop the first treatment for colorblindness. The deal brings together a gene therapy technique developed by Avalanche with the expertise of vision researchers at the University of Washington. 'Our goal is to be treating colorblindness in clinical trials in patients in the next one to two years,' says Thomas Chalberg, the founder and CEO of Avalanche." Read more or listen to the story.

New Contact Lenses Brightens Iris

The iris inspired patterns of the 1-Day Acuvue Define with Lacreon heightens the appearance and brightness of eyes, according to its maker, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. The pattern on the CL defines an outline around the limbal ring, amplifying the contrast between the iris and the sclera. The patterns also are said to add depth and dimension without changing the eye's natural coloring. Read more.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OD's Enter Second Day of Hunger Strike

"The indefinite hunger strike by members of the Indian Optometry Federation (IOF) being held at Jantar Mantar entered its second day on Tuesday. The group is protesting against what they claim to be “unlawful change of duties of optometrists by the Central Health Ministry.” The group has also written to the Prime Minister demanding immediate relief," reports The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper. "R.S. Berwal, secretary, IOF, said: 'Blindness in India can only be controlled if optometry is considered part of the primary health care. We should be allowed to diagnose and treat patients for common eye ailments and refer patients who need specialised care and surgical intervention.'" Read more.

Google Awarded Patent for Smart Contact Lens

"Remember the Google X skunkworks project that saw the company imagining contact lenses that could monitor your glucose levels?" asks Slash Gear. "Sounded weird, and more like some means to an end for a bigger project. Then we found Google had a partner in Novartis, and the contact lens that could monitor your health seemed a bit closer to reality. It’s now even closer to being on your eye, as Google has been granted a patent to manufacture the lenses, which have multiple layers and their own chipset." Read more.

New Eyewear from Nautica

"Rich in performance, color and authentic style, the new Nautica Eyewear Collection continues to enhance classic looks with water-inspired details that reflect the brand’s heritage and spirit," notes Midwest Lens. "Masculine designs are completed with nautical elements, timeless color palettes, and sophisticated accents that appeal to the modern man who enjoys the outdoors." Read more.

New Eyewear from L’Amy America

"Sophisticated, and fun with an attitude, are the hallmark of the six new styles, three ophthalmic and three sun, L’Amy America is launching in their Nicole Miller Spring 2015 eyewear collection." That's the start of a post on Midwest Lens. Read more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FL Senators Examine Contact Lens Pricing

"Capitol insiders may have thought they’d seen the last of eye wars, which for years were a perennial fight between optometrists and ophthalmologists over scope-of-practice issues," according to CBS Miami. "But a new twist, with new players, in the turf battle over eye care surfaced Monday in a debate about contact-lens prices that pitted a former Senate president against the current Senate majority leader. The issue focuses on whether contact-lens manufacturers should be able to set minimum prices — known in the industry as 'unilateral pricing policy,' or UPP — for their products." Read more.

Women Vulnerable to Eye Disease; Prevent Blindness Fights Back

Women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind,according to the recent Prevent Blindness (PB) study. More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, and these numbers will increase, according to the study, called The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems.

Even though early treatment can lessen the effects of these diseases, an MD or OD had not examined in the past two years one in four women's eyes, according to an online PB survey. Cost was cited as the number one reason for both those who did and did not have vision insurance. Other reasons cited were transportation issues and simply being “too busy” to make an appointment.

PB called the survey's results alarming, especially in light of the PB survey conducted in 2014 conducted by Harris. It found the following:
  • Less than 10 percent of American women realize that women are at a greater risk of suffering permanent vision loss than men.
  • 86 percent incorrectly believe that men and women are at equal risk.
  • Five percent believe that men are at greater risk.
Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. The group also created See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now to provide free education and resources on everything from eye disease to cosmetic safety to vision changes during pregnancy. Experts also write about the importance of eye exams and the effects of smoking on women.

New Eyewear from Modern Optical

Modern Optical has expanded "its Modern Art Collection to include four beautiful laser-engraved stainless steel styles," notes Midwest Lens. "Unique patterns texturize each frame surface from brow lines to the thin graduated temples. Matte-finished neutral tones along with varying shades of blue and purple welcome the warmer days ahead. All styles use silicone pads and two styles include spring hinges." Read more.

New Eyewear from Arnette

"Arnette Eyewear, curators of timeless eyewear, hold fast to their unexpected design and honored styles with the release of their Spring 2015 Collection," according to Midwest Lens. "Capturing key modern elements with Arnette’s iconic tone, the Spring 2015 collection launches five new sunglasses encompassing a variety of round and retro shapes, and four new optical frames consisting of bold and edgy designs alongside softer silhouettes." Read more.

Google Still Has Its Eyes on Google Glass

"Despite suspending sales of Glass and ending the Explorer program last January, Google is still actively developing its wearable eyewear technology, according to Eric Schmidt, quoted in the Wall Street Journal. After the relative disappointment of the first version, the Glass project's long-term goal remains unchanged: to develop a consumer-ready wearable with broad mainstream appeal," reports Yahoo! News. "On April 5, 2012, Google co-founder and X Lab director Sergey Brin set the internet abuzz by wearing the first connected glasses prototype in San Francisco. The Glass project advanced into the test phase, sparking the curiosity and enthusiasm of tech fans around the world." Read more.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Graphic Reveals the Nature of Eye Injuries in Athletes

Need information about eye injuries in athletes. Go to this AOA graphic and click.

Marchon Licenses MCM Eyewear

"Marchon Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear, and MCM (Modern Creation Munich), a global manufacturer of luxury leather goods, apparel and footwear, announced an exclusive global licensing agreement that will grant Marchon the rights to manufacture and distribute the sun and ophthalmic collections under the MCM brand," says Midwest Lens. "The first deliveries will launch in March 2015 with a “Made in Italy” sunwear capsule collection, available exclusively across the MCM worldwide boutique network. The launch represents the beginning of a partnership between these two global players in the fashion business." Read more.

Emporium Launching Batman and Superman Eyewear

"Emporium Eyewear is planning three different phased launches, with classic Batman and Superman branded eyewear scheduled to debut this summer. Justice League products will follow in October 2015 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice eyewear is set to launch in February 2016," reports "In addition to independent opticians, the large multiples, including Boots, Vision Express, Optical Express and ASDA, will be stocking products from the various ranges." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Carrera

“'We own a shape.' How many brands in the world can say that without fear of contradiction? Owning an iconic, original shape is a privilege reserved for only a few and Carrera has earned its place among this elite few," according to Midwest Lens. "Unique and unmistakable, the Champion sunglasses, which date back to 1979, have since then set new standards in the eyewear industry, boasting countless imitations but nonetheless maintaining their distinctiveness. Today, these iconic sunglasses undergo an extensive “remastering” process and are now presented with new, perfectly balanced proportions and a revisited, snug fit. The front is slightly smaller, its profiles sleeker and its design lighter, thanks to the newly reshaped double bridge and well-balanced proportions." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Spy

"Spy is happy to introduce its 2015 Ken Block Livery Series—a collection of frames inspired by the bold patterns and highly recognizable cosmic color pallet of Ken’s 2015 livery. Overhauled for maximum smiles per hour, the collection arrives with the Happy Lens in several of SPY’s most popular styles—the Discord, Cyrus, Bowie, Logan, Dirk, Flynn—in addition to Ken’s signature Helm," says Midwest Lens. "Designed to complement Ken’s 2015 intergalactic Livery, each style burns bright with purple and blue hues offset against vibrant Spectra lenses. Available now in stores and online, the Ken Block Livery Series is available with Happy Grey Green with Purple Spectra, Happy Bronze with Light Blue Spectra, Happy Grey Green with Pink Spectra™ or Happy Grey Green lenses." Read more.

Fashion Eyewear as Seen by British Opticians

"If opticians used the language of dress designers, they might talk this year in terms of 'the winged look.' Most of the latest fashions in spectacles on view in the annual exhibition of the Northern Optical Congress which opened here today seemed to be based on a sloping winged shape, and one design even projected a pair of wings across the forehead," says The Guardian. "'Exotic' is the word the more conservative opticians used to describe the styles of the last few years, as if they regretted the passing of the old horn-rimmed, and 'exotic' most of this year’s exhibits looked, with names like 'Mischief,' shaped like lorgnettes, and good-looking girls to show them off, against a background of daffodils and the Southport boulevards." Read more.

New Eyewear from Leon Max

"After the successful launch of the Leon Max eyewear collection in 2014, Zyloware Eyewear extends the collection to launch the Leon Max Limited Edition collection with 4 styles and 8 skus," according to Midwest Lens. "Filling a niche in the market, this collection represents high-end luxury eyewear at an affordable price. The frames combine unique designs including rich materials and constructions creating more limited and exclusive styles. Styles include thick, sculptural zyl frames with intricate beveling and cutting features. Each frame in the collection incorporates the 7-barrel hinge, making the frames incredibly durable and strong while still embracing the on-trend vintage feel. All frames use the gold logo treatment inside the right zyl temple in a memorable way." Read more.

Ferragamo Extends License with Marchon

"The Salvatore Ferragamo Group and eyewear licensee Marchon Eyewear, Inc., have signed a five-year extension on their eyewear licensing agreement," reports WWD. "The deal enables Marchon to continue its design, distribution, marketing, and sale of Ferragamo-branded eyewear until 2021." Read more.