Wednesday, October 1, 2014

3 Dozen States Not to Receive Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance

"A federal district judge in Oklahoma dealt a blow to the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, ruling that the federal government could not subsidize health insurance in three dozen states that refused to establish their own marketplaces. This appears to increase the likelihood that the Supreme Court will ultimately resolve the issue," reports the New York Times. "Federal appeals courts in Washington and in Richmond, Va., split on this question in July. Judge Ronald A. White of the Federal District Court in Muskogee, Okla., said Tuesday that a rule issued by the Obama administration allowing subsidies in the 36 states was arbitrary and capricious, in excess of statutory authority or simply 'an invalid implementation' of the 2010 health care law. The ruling, if ultimately upheld, could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace. However, the judge stayed the effect of his decision to allow for an appeal, and Emily Pierce, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the federal government would file one." Read more.

ACA does not provide subsidized vision care for adults but it does for children.

New Eyewear from Modern Optical

"Big Men’s Eyewear Club (BMEC) is Modern Optical’s very popular collection for larger men. BMEC offers masculine styling, quality construction, and great value to a segment of the population that is significantly underserved. Designed to maximize comfort, sizes range from 52mm to 62mm and longer temples now measure up to 160mm," according to a Midwest Lens post. "Materials include stainless steel, handmade Zyl, metal trim, spring hinges and silicone nose pads. With over 50 styles to choose from, ECPs can offer the big guy great eyewear choices." Read more.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Eyewear from RetroSpecs

RetroSpecs & Co. has launched a new eyewear collection, called Cuthbert & Chen. Sesigned by Jay Owens and Marya Francis, the husband and wife team behind the company, the line features registered, hand-polished, buffalo-horn frames and customizable titanium frames with blonde horn nose pads. The collection debuts in 260 optical shops such as Morgenthal Frederics in New York City, Punto Ottico in Milan and Burri Optik in Zurich as well as in the RetroSpecs retail stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seoul.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Linking Sunglasses and Cancer Research

"Three young men are linking sunglasses and cancer research," reports the Daily Pennsylvanian. "Launched in February 2014, Barring Eyewear is a Philadelphia-based company founded by three students aspiring to create high-quality and affordable sunglasses. The co-founders of the company, inspired by their mutual love for sunglasses and concern for cancer research, built Barring Eyewear to raise fundings for cancer research. Wharton junior Eric Fiore , College of Liberal and Professional Studies student Joseph Hwang and 2008 Villanova graduate Frank Tucci are the core forces behind the company." Read more.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stand Alone Vision Plans Not to Be Sold Through California's Exchange

"Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill [Assembly Bill 1877] that Rancho Cordova’s vision insurer, VSP Global, says was necessary to let it sell coverage through the state-run health care marketplace, Covered California," according to a report in the Modesto Bee. "Brown’s veto appears to tear open an old wound...In 2012, the governing board of Covered California, the electronic marketplace created in response to the federal Affordable Care Act, was finalizing its rules. It had decided not to let 'stand-alone' companies like VSP, which provide only vision care insurance, sell coverage to individuals. Lynch protested and said he was putting on hold a significant expansion of the company’s operations in the Sacramento area. A slew of elected officials and business leaders urged the state agency to reconsider. Eventually, the Covered California board reversed course and voted to let VSP and other stand-alone insurers into the market for individuals....But because of a wrinkle in federal law, the agency later realized that stand-alone vision plans couldn’t be sold through an exchange, according to a legislative analysis of AB 1877." Read more.

Designer of a Field's Test for Drivers with Glaucoma Wins Award

Glaucoma damages the visual field, and if the loss is severe, an individual can loss driving privileges. At present, no objective, office-based tests accurately estimates the impact of visual field loss on driving. So, Dr. Hannes Devos at Georgia Regents University has worked on a project entitled "Performance-Based Visual Field Testing to Detect Driving Impairments in Individuals with Glaucoma." For his efforts, Fight forSight and Prevent Blindness named as the recipient of the new “Fight for Sight-Prevent Blindness Public Health Award,” which comes with a one-time $20,000 grant for a year of full-time research.

According to the 2014 “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report from Prevent Blindness, more than 2.8 million Americans ages 40 and older have glaucoma, with glaucoma and disorders of the optic nerve costing $6.1 billion annually.  Read more.

Alcon Asked to Cease Making Superiority Claims for Air Optix Aqua

The National Advertising Division has recommended that Alcon Laboratories, Inc., discontinue certain comparative superiority claims for its Air Optix Aqua Contact Lenses. The recommendation came following a challenge from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVC), the maker of Acuvue Oasys, according to a press release from ASRC Review, which along with NAD are administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.

The claims at issue in JJVC’s challenge appeared in print advertisements, promotional materials and advertorial emails directed to eye care professionals, online videos directed to professionals and consumers and print advertisements directed at general consumers. They included:
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses provide “superior surface deposit resistance.”
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses possess “Unique Plasma Surface Technology for Superior Deposit Resistance.”
  • “Acuvue OASYS contact lenses attract up to 31x more lipid deposits.”
  • “Only Air Optix brand contact lenses have a unique surface technology that’s proven to … resist deposits better than other available two-week or monthly replacement SiHy lens.”
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses “Resists Lipids & Deposits.”
  • “Superior Surface with Moisture and Consistent Comfort.”
NAD also considered whether the advertising implied that Air Optix Aqua contact lenses offer superior vision and comfort when compared to other brands. At issue in this case was whether Alcon could support claims that its Air Optix Aqua contact lenses were better at resisting deposits of lipids, present in one’s tears, on the surface of the lens and better at resisting the absorption of lipids into the matrix of the lens.

JJVC maintained that the testing on which Alcon based its superior surface deposition-resistance claims did not measure deposits on the contact lens surface and argued that JJVC’s own head-to-head clinical testing showed that Alcon’s “31x claim” was without clinical relevance. JJVC also contended that a “Deposits Card” designed for eye-care professionals, distorted the deposits “encountered with OASYS lens and exaggerates the purported superior surface properties of AOA lenses.”

Alcon asserted that the challenged claims for its AOA contact lenses were truthful and wholly substantiated by reliable studies and data and via multiple reputable scientific authorities and sources. This evidence, Alcon maintained, provides more than a reasonable basis for its claim that AOA has superior lipid deposit resistance compared to OASYS. According to Alcon, having established a reasonable basis for its claims, JJVC has failed in its burden to show either a material flaw in Alcon’s evidence, or more reliable evidence demonstrating a different result.

Following its review of the evidence presented by the advertiser and challenger, NAD determined that Alcon could not support the challenged claims and recommended that the claims at issue be discontinued. NAD noted that the advertiser had voluntarily discontinued distribution of the “Deposits Card,” but recommended the advertiser discontinue distribution of promotional materials containing exaggerated images.

Finally, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precluded Alcon from promoting that its Air Optix Aqua lenses possess “Unique Plasma Surface Technology,” or that Air Optix Aqua lenses “Resists Lipids & Deposits.” Further, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from claims – in a stand-alone context – that Air Optix Aqua lenses possess unique plasma surface technology that resists lipids and deposits, offering clear vision and consistent comfort.

Alcon took issue with NAD’s analysis of its evidence but said that despite “these disagreements, Alcon respects the self-regulatory process and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future promotional materials.”

New Eyewear from L'Amy's Columbia Eyewear

L’Amy America’s Columbia Eyewear has launched "four new models for the Fall, with design options in combination metal and stainless steel," writes Midwest Lens. "The new combination models, Jenkins Mountain and Mount Jackson feature stainless steel fronts with H90 injection-molded temple stems. The “Jenkins” frame is a rounded, sport-oval shape and Mount Jackson is a classic aviator sport shape. “Our legendary H90 frame material provides featherweight comfort, is flexible and durable, reacting very well to extreme temperatures. Pairing H90 with stainless fronts together create a frame perfectly suited for outdoor adventure and the urban commute alike,” said Worldwide Business Unit Manager Connie Reiss." Read more.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Slowing Down" That Fast Ball with Zeaxanthin

Hitting a 95 MPH fastball is said to be the hardest thing to do in sports, but a zeaxanthin can make it seem slower, according to a study published in Plos One. The study, conducted at the University of Georgia (UGA) Vision Sciences laboratory, measured the impact of high levels of dietary zeaxanthin (20mg and above) on the speed at which a person’s eyes and brain communicate to identify, process and respond to stimuli. The study found that after four months of taking the supplement, which is found in EyePromise, participants reportedly experienced statistically significant improvements in reaction time. It is said to be the first time a study has proven the ability to improve visual processing speed through dietary zeaxanthin supplementation. Read more.

New Eyewear from L'Amy America

"L’Amy America, a division of global eyewear group TWC- L’Amy, announced the launch of three new ophthalmic styles in the Balmain eyewear collection available now," according to a Midwest Lens post. "The three new ophthalmic styles include one for men and two for women. All three Balmain styles represent the brand with quintessential Balmain design elements such as rivets and metal details coupled with contemporary frame shapes." Read more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

History of Contact Lenses and Much More

"He would dab on a bit of cocaine to anesthetize his eyes first. Then, to prevent air getting in, Müller would insert the lenses with his eyes under water. And they would help his myopia … for about half an hour. Wearing them much longer was intolerable." That's the beginning of a Scientific American blog post about the history of contact lenses and the resulting infections. Read more.

New MX Transitions VII Lens from Seiko Optical

Seiko Optical Products of America has introduced a 1.74 finished single-vision MX Transitions VII with Surpass Easy Clean Plus AR coating, according to a Midwest Lens. Its blog post reads: "Seiko 1.74 Finished Single-Vision Aspheric Transitions VII features Surpass ECP AR with outstanding super hydrophobic and anti-static protection....Surpass ECP AR [reportedly] performs as well or superior to broadly promoted brands. It is engineered to counteract deterioration due to UV, humidity and normal temperature fluctuations." The lenses come in gray." Read more.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vision-Ease Expands Line of Photochromics

Vision-Ease Lens has added D28 bifocals, general purpose Novel, and short-corridor Novella progressives to its line of ChangeRx plastic photochromic lenses, reports Midwest Lens. "ChangeRx D28s are the first plastic photochromic bifocals from Vision-Ease Lens. The style offers a wide range of view for superior sight lines and vision. Novel and Novella ChangeRx combine the visual flexibility of progressives with added comfort by adjusting to various UV levels. ChangeRx lenses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, and are offered in gray and brown. ChangeRx D28s are available in 75mm diameter for -10.00 to +6.50 spheres, up to -4.00 cylinder. ChangeRx Novel and Novella progressives are available in 80mm and 75 mm diameters respectively, for -10.00 to +6.50 spheres." Read more.

Loss of Eyesight Has Greatest Impact

"Many Americans across racial and ethnic groups describe losing eyesight as potentially having the greatest impact on their day-to-day life, more so than other conditions including: loss of limb, memory, hearing and speech (57% of African-Americans, 49% of non-Hispanic whites, 43% of Asians and 38% of Hispanics)," reports Medical News Today. "When asked which disease or ailment is the worst that could happen to them, blindness ranked first among African-Americans followed by AIDS/HIV. Hispanics and Asians ranked cancer first and blindness second, while Alzheimer's disease ranked first among non-Hispanic whites followed by blindness. When asked about various possible consequences of vision loss, "quality of life" ranked as the top concern by non-Hispanic whites (73%) and Asians (68%) while African-Americans (66%) and Hispanics (63%) ranked "loss of independence" as number one." Read more.