Tuesday, November 30, 2010

U.S. Prez Honors Two Eye "Guys"

According to a press release from the National Eye Institute, “The White House has honored two members of the National Eye Institute (NEI) research community with one of its most prestigious awards. Brian P. Brooks, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the National Eye Institute (NEI) Intramural Research Program and chief of the NEI Unit on Pediatric, Developmental, and Genetic Ophthalmology, and Doris Y. Tsao, Ph.D., an NEI grantee and assistant professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), were among a distinguished group of 85 researchers selected to receive the 2009 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Luxottica Continues Expansion

The Australian, which has a working agreement with the Wall Street Journal,  is reporting that Luxottica “has acquired the Optifashion chain of 61 optical stores [in Australia], bringing its store portfolio to almost 1000 sites.” 

The report comes after other news sources have published stories about the company's investment rating being dropped by Morgan Stanley and its acquisition of Just Spectacles, also in Australia. 

The Australian's report continues: “Luxottica regional chief executive Chris Beer said that while the discretionary retail market was under pressure, the deal would provide a needed boost to the company's position in the West Australian and South Australian markets.”

Hints of Sex, Violence, Fraud, and Intrigue

There's hints of sex, violence, fraud and intrigue. Why on an optical blog? It's all about a pair of LaFont eyeglasses and some Ciba CLs. And the online retailer DecorMyEyes.

In a New York Times article entitled “ Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Internet,” reporter David Segal writes about the company and customers. It starts more or less at this point:

It was the start of what Ms. Rodriguez would later describe as one of the most maddening and miserable experiences of her life. The next day, a man named Tony Russo called to say that DecorMyEyes had run out of the Ciba Visions. Pick another brand, he advised a little brusquely. “I told him that I didn’t want another brand,” recalls Ms. Rodriguez, who lives in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. “And I asked for a refund. He got rude, really obnoxious. ‘What’s the big deal? Choose another brand!’ ” With the contacts issue unresolved, her eyeglasses arrived two days later. But the frames appeared to be counterfeits and Ms. Rodriguez, a lifelong fan of Lafont, remembers that even the case seemed fake. Soon after, she discovered that DecorMyEyes had charged her $487...

And this is only the beginning!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Eye Test "Detects" Absenteeism

"Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has launched new eye-examination technology that could save fleet managers millions of pounds [dollars] in absenteeism and long-term sick leave, according to the opticians” quoted on a post for the British website BusinessCar.

Rocket Man-- 250K glasses Yes. 1 iPhone No.

"Sir Elton John would rather splash his cash on fancy specs than hi-tech gadgets — 250,000 of them,” according to the TheScottishSun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Slowing Aging

According to a posting on MedicalNewsToday, “elderly adults can improve their vision with perceptual training, according to a study from the University of California, Riverside and Boston University that has implications for the health and mobility of senior citizens. The study, "Perceptual learning, aging, and improved visual performance in early stages of visual processing," appears in the Journal of Vision. It was funded by a $3.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging.”

British Supermarkets in Optical Business

The British supermarket ASDA “will be recruiting nationwide for both optometrists and dispensing opticians in the next year as it expands its optical business. Around 40 new jobs will be created with the opening of six new in-supermarket practices, with each new branch employing six registered eye care professionals,” according to a post on OptometryToday.

Are Austrailians Ahead or Behind the Sunwear Curve?

A question. As you probably know, while we in the northern hemisphere are putting on our snorkel winter coats, Australians are merely snorkeling. Our winter, their summer.

So here's the question: Are Australians wearing sunwear from 2010 collections or are they wearing 2011 stuff? 

Part the answer may rest in the posting from Vogue Austrailia: “Forget practical eyewear: judging by the spring/summer runways, this season is all about quirky statement frames. All eyes were on the, well, eyes at Fendi (pictured), Dries Van Noten , Prada , Marni and Stella McCartney to name just a few collections that ventured into the brave new world of offbeat sunglasses.”

Luxie's Stock Rating Slips, according to Morg Stan

Morgan Stanley analysts downgraded the stock ratings for Luxottica and Bulgari, according to a posting from ADPNews. The rating for the eyewear retailer's stock dropped to “underweight” and the luxury jeweller's slipped to "equal weight" from overweight.

No License? Jail for You!

The Canadians take licensure of opticians seriously, according to theToronto Star: An unlicensed optician who undercut the competition and illegally prescribed eyeglasses to unsuspecting people has been sentenced to jail for civil contempt. Bruce Bergez, founder of the Great Glasses chain of stores, was sentenced to one year in jail with no chance of parole by a Superior Court judge in Hamilton in early October.”

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bored, Need an Optically Related Diversion? We're Your Answer!

We all get fed up, bored. We want to escape. OpticalCEU's News Blog offers a short retreat from your crazy day. Aside from snippets of news items, once found only on an array of optical sites, you can watch the most popular optical videos from YouTube, you can listen to MP3 files from Amazon, you can feed gold fish with a click (and you don't have to clean the tank), and you can play pinball (just remember to turn down your volume if you're in the store). Enjoy Thanksgiving.

FYI: Stem Cells to Treat Mac D

The FDA is allowing a Phase I/II multicenter clinical trial using retinal cells derived from stem cells (hESCs). Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., will use the cells to treat patients with Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (SMD). That's the report in MedicalNewsToday.

Exercise Good for Eye Health

YourEyeSight posted the following: “One prospective epidemiologic cohort study showed the risk for incident reported glaucoma declined based on the distance and time runners completed a 10 km race, tying eye pressure decrease to aerobic exercise.”

No Connection between Grass and Glaucoma, Despite the Protests of C&C

Cheech and Chong will think this a real bumper. “Gotta give some credit to stoners . .  . they have everyone believing that pot is good for glaucoma, and for the eyes in general,” starts the post onYourEyeSight. “The truth is that no studies have shown significant benefits of ingesting marijuana, or it’s active ingredient Tetra-hydro cannabinol (THC)  in glaucoma, lowering eye pressure or eye health in general.  So where did this urban myth come from?” Can't forget the days and hearing the line,"Earache my eye, how would you like a butt-ache?".

Reasons for Licensing

In a few states, legislatures cannot understand the reason for licensing opticians. There are reasons—many reasons as can be discovered in areas of the world where there's no licensure anywhere.

Luxottica Expands

Eyewear giant Luxottica says it is "conservatively optimistic" about the Christmas trading period, as it prepares to wrap up its acquisition of major WA [Western Australia] player Just Spectacles,” according to a piece on Yahoo! News.

World [Tennis] Tour Final Delay for Want of a Good CL

"An unusual scene at the World Tour Finals in London Wednesday, when Novak Djokovic, locked in a pretty good mano-a-mano battle with Rafa Nadal, found himself with a serious issue involving his right eye and contact lens.” That's the report from MontrealGazette.

BusinessWeek reported that "top-seeded Rafael Nadal beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic to stay undefeated at tennis’s ATP World Tour Finals and move closer to the semifinals.In a rematch of the U.S. Open final, Nadal got past Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in front of a sellout crowd at the O2 arena in east London. The 24-year-old Spaniard has now won 16 of the 23 matches the two have played. Djokovic, 23, was hampered by an eye problem that stopped play midway through the first set."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Consumer Group to Worry About--the Lohas?

According to MiVision, recent surveys on consumer behavior shows the emergence of a group devoted to a lifestyle of health and sustainability, some times called the Lohas. “Experts say it is having a marked impact on what and how customers buy. Euromonitor International, a global market research company specializing in industries, countries and consumers, said the Lohas has emerged as a ;force to be reckoned with,' goes the post. “Optical industry analysts said the trend is already having an impact on the eye care profession, and advise that identifying Lohas patients and carefully considering how to meet their special needs could significantly increase business revenue.”

Aussie Students Train Online

Optical students interested in learning 'at their own pace, at their own place and online' are being urged to consider the Open Training and Education Network (OTEN), which is now calling for enrollments for 2011,” says the MiVision item. “Operated by TAFE New South Wales, Western Sydney Institute, OTEN is offering the nationally recognised Certificate IV in Optical Dispensing and Certificate IV in Optical Technology. The online learning resources provided by OTEN include tutorials and a virtual classroom, where students from around the world actively participate in real time lessons.”

Another Vet Gets $$ for Poor Vision Treatment

Bonnie Eslinger of MercuryNewsreported from the West Coast that a “third veteran who suffered significant vision loss due to allegedly improper treatment at the Palo Alto veterans hospital has reached a settlement with the federal government, for $400,000.”

Corneal Arcus Associated with Elevated Pressures

MedicalNewsToday reports that “corneal arcus, a condition in which a ring of lipids builds up around the cornea, appears common among middle-age and older adults and may be associated with elevated eye pressure, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.”

HOYA Listens As Experts Talk about APL

For a few days at the end of September, HOYA Vision Care listened as lens experts and VIP customers at its Global PAL Summit in La Toja, Spain, discuss the future generation progressive lenses. Hoya optical lens designers, doctors and professors in the field of Optometry and Ophthalmology, specialists in binocular vision and non adaptation all inspired the highly skilled audience by sharing their expertise, vision, future expectations and developments in PAL. Participating opticians were asked to prepare a poster presentation and share their experiences and expectations for the future generation progressives and related other topics. The panel concluded that the optical industry increasingly will offer more personalized progressive lens design and that the growing population of 40 years and older will demand more individualized solutions, making the 'consultation experience' more important.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Home for OpticalCEUs News Blog

OpticalCEUs News Blog is taking up residence at a new web address: http://opticalceu.blogspot.com. "OpticalCEUs made the move in order to provide more services for the readers of the blog and attendees at its conferences," said Linda Conlin, founder of OpticalCEUs. “The search tool is more effective with the new site. We can provide news feeds from other sources of eye care news. Our design can be more up-to-date. Visit us at OpticalCEUs News Blog." The old blog will remain online indefinitely.

Vits E & C No Help

Long-term, regular use of vitamins E and C has no apparent effect on the risk of age-related cataract in men, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.” That's the report from MedicalNewsToday.

Men Are Hazardous to Eye Health

"It's a message that should be hammered home to every Australian {and American as well] male - almost all cases of serious eye injury can be prevented with proper eye protection,” according to the SyndeyHeraldNews. “A review of those who attended a Melbourne hospital's emergency department with a serious eye injury shows how the problem has focused on men, and young men in particular. Their lax approach to safety while using power tools and lawn mowers, usually during routine house maintenance, were the other major factors in the injury cases.

Santa's Coming, So Are Eye Injuries

HealthNewsDigests reports that “in the most recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), injuries related to toys actually increased from the previous year. In fact, there were close to 186,000 injuries that required emergency room treatment for those ages 15 and younger in 2009, compared with approximately 173,000 in 2008. And, 90,600 of those injuries were to those less than 5 years of age. The majority of injuries were to the head and face area, including the eyes. Lacerations, abrasions and contusions made up most of these injuries. Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Month.”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eyewear Manufacturer Guilty of Fraud

The South China Morning Post reported that "the founding chairman of Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings and two other defendants have been found guilty in a fraud case involving the company that once boasted of being one of world's largest eyewear manufacturers."

Buy One, Give One Away

In the post "A Name You Need to Know in 2011: Warby Parker" on Forbes.com, Nicole Perlroth writes: "Warby Parker is doing for global vision what TOMS Shoes did for bare feet: For every pair of eyeglasses the company sells, it gives a pair to someone in need. ...Now, one-year-old Warby Parker aims to be even more ambitious. The company plans to not only hand out fish, but teach people to fish and revolutionize the $16 billion U.S. prescription eyeglass industry along the way....Warby Parker donates its eyeglasses in 24 countries...[The] company also partners with non-profits like VisionSpring, which distributes its glasses to local entrepreneurs, who then sell them at low cost."

Trunk Shows on Rise

"Retailers and ECPs are rediscovering the trunk show as a means of deepening relationships with patients. For suppliers, taking part in the events means building better bridges with their accounts, getting a feel for the industry and expressing the brand’s point of view to customers." That's the report from a VisionMonday report.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Young CL User Going Blind?

The Times of Malta reports that "a 17-year-old girl [Jade] is fighting against blindness in both eyes after developing a rare contact-lens related infection. Jade’s corneas have been attacked by acanthamoeba, a very painful and potentially blinding eye parasite that hitches a ride on contact lenses and invades the vulnerable eye." 69G2T426ZD2U

Slain Optometrist Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

"The late optometrist Tom Little, a Kinderhook native, was one of 15 people recently named by President Barack Obama to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Among others named along with Little were cellist Yo Yo Ma, Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, poet Maya Angelou, artist Jasper Johns, investor Warren Buffet, civil rights activist Sylvia Mendez, baseball great Stan Musial, basketball great Bill Russell, president George H.W. Bush and labor leader John J. Sweeney," goes the report from the RegisterStar.

Younger Promotes Africa's First American Football Game

According to a company news release, Younger Optics will support the Global Kilimanjaro Bowl in Tanzania – the first ever sanctioned American football game in Africa. The game will take place May 21, 2011, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. "Just as protective gear protects football players' bodies on the field, polarized Rx sunwear protects the eyes off the field. While in Tanzania, players from Drake University in Iowa and the Mexican National All Star Team will be performing a host of humanitarian duties as well as taking part in a hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro," says the company. "Throughout their stay in Tanzania, polarized Rx sunwear, equipped with NuPolar® and Drivewear® Transitions® SOLFX™ lenses from Younger Optics, will be part of the players' essential defense against blinding glare and harmful UV rays."

This announcement came about a month after Younger received three Awards of Excellence at the recent OLA Annual Meeting. Since winning the first ever OLA Award of Excellence in 1987, Younger Optics has received a total of 22 OLA Awards.

Indiana Cuts Eye Care Benefits for Medicaid Recipients

Fearing financial shortages this coming year, Indiana will cut back on Medicaid services, such as for eye care: "Eyeglasses limited to one pair every five years for people age 21 years or older. (Previous limit was one pair every two years). Eyeglasses for those under 21 limited to one pair per year," notes the Examiner. More states will follow suit as the strain of the current economy takes tolls and on state budgets.