Sunday, January 25, 2015

1-800 Contacts Fights in Oregon for No Minimum Pricing

"An Internet firm that sells contact lenses is trying to persuade Oregon legislators to stop manufacturers from setting a minimum price on their products," reports Oregon Online. "The Internet firm 1-800 Contacts says a new pricing strategy by major contact lens manufacturers is driving up prices to consumers. In recent weeks, the Utah-based firm has distributed $24,000 in political contributions to 19 Oregon legislators as part of a lobbying effort to change the law in about a dozen states and force the manufacturers to reverse course." Read more.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Studying the Blind to See the 21st Century

“Studying the brain activity of blind people, scientists are challenging the standard view of how the human brain specializes to perform different kinds of tasks, and shedding new light on how our brains can adapt to the rapid cultural and technological changes of the 21st Century.” That’s the abstract from Science Daily. Read more.

New Way of Examining a Toddler’s Eyes

“Picture a toddler getting his first eye exam. He's seated in a strange room, with strange instruments and strange bright lights. He can't sit still or open his eyes long enough for that diagnostic poof of air -- especially if he has trouble seeing anyway, as children with achromatopsia do,” reports Science Daily. “But according to research from the Baylor Visual Function Testing Center, future little ones might not have to squirm in their seats during routine eye exams. The research, which was published in JAMA Ophthalmology, explores a new non-invasive technology that's kind of like a handheld CT scanner for the eye. The technology, known as spectral-domain optical coherence tomographic imaging (SD-OCT), helps pediatric ophthalmologists detect achromatopsia by studying retina thickness. It can scan the structure of the eye from a distance, without getting too close to the young patient.” Read more.

Number of Individuals and Treatment Costs for AMD to Rise Dramatically by Middle of Century

The number of individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will jump from two million to 3.4 million by 2032 and 4.4 million by 2050, according to the recent Prevent Blindness report called “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems.” Treatment costs now run $4.9 billion a year, but they will increase to almost $10 billion in 2032 and $14 billion in 2050.The report notes that the current average age of AMD patients is 80. As a greater number individuals live beyond 80, the number of patients with AMD will increase. Whites and women, who are at higher risk for AMD than other groups, will continue to dominate the total affected population with AMD. Read more.

Intel Buys Swiss Smart Eyewear Startup

“Just as Google has stepped back from making networked eyewear, Intel is stepping into the gap with the purchase of Swiss startup Composyt Light Labs for an undisclosed amount,” according to a post on ZDNET. “A spinoff of the famous Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, known as the EPFL), the company creates smart glass technology that can work with any type of eyewear. For its initial designs, the startup uses an ultra-miniature laser projector (developed by another EPFL start-up Lemoptix) built into the frame of the glasses. This projects images onto a transparent lens, which has a holographic film coating that reflects the information towards the eye.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Esprit

“Esprit understands the importance of style, confidence and comfort when it comes to fashion and lifestyle. Since its founding in the late 1960s, this global brand has fused elements of its sunny Californian heritage with East Coast elegance and chic catwalk accents to create attractive looks that are at once on-trend and classic. Longevity and comfort are quintessential aspects of the Esprit creed. The highest quality standards are applied to ensure that each Esprit product fits well and is made to last,” writes Midwest Lens. “The designers of Esprit eyewear share these fundamental brand principles. This spring brings fresh trend influences to the latest frame profiles. Expressive looks capture next spring/summer’s hottest color directions with glimmering accents and unexpected bursts of color.” Read more.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Calcium Deposits Possible Source of Macular Degeneration (AMD)

"New research from scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has found that tiny lumps of calcium phosphate may be an important triggering factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative eye disease that can cause severe vision loss and blindness," reports Medical News Today. "This is the first time these mineral deposits have been implicated in the disease, which affects more than 10 million Americans. The article appeared in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." Read more.

New Eyewear from Elle

"New Elle eyewear for spring summer 2015 conveys the femininity and classic French panache of the brand while infusing each frame with up-to-the-minute design inspirations," according to Midwest Lens. "Sprightly silhouettes are realized in a playful array of zesty spring-like colors and classic shades, in solid and translucent executions and combinations. Elegant profiles are tastefully embellished by Parisian-inspired decorative temples with textured 3-D effects." Read more.

New Eyewear from Prada

"Rigorous designs and geometric shapes, bold volumes and oversize frames. The new models of the Prada Eyewear Collection for women are an inspired blend of contrasting elements," reports Midwest Lens. "The new glasses for women evoke a retro flair, combining essential lines with a creative touch that is conveyed by the models’ original details and expert manufacturing techniques. Large, unmistakable geometric shapes do not leave room for stylistic irregularity, while the frames flaunt thick, bold profiles. Rigor blends with sensuality, giving life to skillfully crafted models. The Prada Machine special fashion show glasses feature perforated metal elements which are perfectly balanced by sinuous shapes, for a feminine yet contemporary style." Read more.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gene Tied to Retinitis Pigmentosa Discovered

“An exhaustive hereditary analysis of a large Louisiana family with vision issues has uncovered a new gene tied to an incurable eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, according to an examination led by scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). It is a family of eye diseases that affects more than 200,000 in the United States and millions worldwide,” according to a Science Daily post.

“In the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, UTHealth's Stephen P. Daiger, Ph.D., and his colleagues report their discovery of a new gene tied to retinitis pigmentosa, which brings the total of genes associated with this sight-threatening disease to more than 60. The gene is called hexokinase 1 (HK1).” Read more.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Eyewear from Dolce & Gabbana

"The new men’s eyewear collection by Dolce & Gabbana is a continuation of the Basalto theme with an updated, sophisticated construction," reports Midwest Lens. "In the new collection, the amazing technical features of the volcanic rock still ensure the same well-known comfort, lightness and flexibility, but also become a style detail that makes these models distinctive and sophisticated." Read more.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eyewear Does Make You Look Smart

That’s the essence of a report that appeared a few days ago in the Wall Street Journal (see video). Here’s some of the text:
While trying to look intelligent, a lot of people do things that make them look dumb. For instance, people use big words or put on a poker face—tactics that can backfire for some, studies show. A growing amount of research is teasing out how people form first impressions of others’ intelligence—and how well it works when you try to manage those impressions. The cues people look for in assessing each other’s intelligence are simple. But they aren’t always easy to pull off under pressure. They include showing self-confidence, speaking clearly and smoothly, and responding thoughtfully to what others are saying, research shows. …Some simple stereotypes about intelligence can also shape others’ first impressions. Wearing eyeglasses can lead strangers to regard you as more intelligent, says a 2011 study in the Swiss Journal of Psychology.
The Atlantic Monthly ran a similar article back in August. You might want to give that a glance as well. Think of it as marketing research. With this type of information, which is all supported by social science research, you have more information to offer your patients and customers.

New Eyewear from ClearVision Optical

“ClearVision Optical expands two of its private label collections, PuriTi 100% Titanium Eyewear and DuraHinge, to include new styles for women,” writes Midwest Lens. “Created and designed for women who need a little more durability in their eyewear, DuraHinge for women offers superior strength and comfort with a touch of feminine style. The collection is designed with the proprietary DuraHinge five barrel hinge construction, providing strength with the added flexibility of a spring hinge, yet is not too heavy or bulky on the face.” Read more.

Google Will Stop Offering Consumers Google Glass

“Google will stop selling its Internet-connected eyewear to consumers until the company can develop a more polished and affordable version that’s less likely to be viewed as a freakish device,” reports the Toledo Blade. “The sales moratorium on the nearly 2-year-old “Explorer” edition of Google Glass goes into effect Monday. Google will still sell a version of Glass to companies that have found uses for the device in their offices, stores, and factories. The company still plans to come back with a new consumer model of Glass.” Read more.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Underestimating the Abilities of the Blind

“Using simulation to walk in the shoes of a person who is blind -- such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks -- has negative effects on people's perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study,” reports Science Daily. “’When people think about what it would be like to be blind, they take from their own brief and relatively superficial experience and imagine it would be really, really terrible and that they wouldn't be able to function well,’ said Arielle Silverman, who is lead author of the paper and blind. She conducted the research as part of her doctoral dissertation in CU-Boulder's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and now is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle. In one part of the study, after simulating blindness by having their eyes covered, participants believed people who are blind are less capable of work and independent living than did participants who simulated other impairments like amputation, or had no impairment.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Burberry Eyewear

“The Burberry Eyewear Spring/Summer 2015 collection for women takes inspiration from the colors and youthful spirit of the Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear and accessories collections. Cat-eye frame acetate optical with temples that feature a new textured interpretation of the Burberry Horseferry check in a rubber-finish. Color palette for women: Plum acetate frame in a gloss finish, black rubber check temples and scratch-resistant lenses. Black acetate frame in a gloss finish with red rubber check temples,” according to Midwest Lens. “The Burberry Eyewear Spring/Summer 2015 collection for men takes inspiration from the colors and youthful spirit of the Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear and accessories collections. Square frame acetate optical with temples that feature a new textured interpretation of the Burberry Horseferry check in a rubber-finish. Color palette for men: Blue acetate frame in a gloss finish, black rubber check temples and scratch-resistant lenses. Black acetate frame in a gloss finish with red rubber check temples.” Read more.