Friday, December 31, 2010

Optician's Great Promo

"Police in Chippenham have teamed up with opticians to ensure schoolchildren can be clearly seen while walking to and from school." See how on the GazetteandHerald post.

January Is National Glaucoma Month--Tell Your Customers/Patients

More than four million people in the United States have glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and destroy eyesight, according to the National Eye Institute. Unfortunately, nearly half of those with glaucoma are not even aware that they have it. 

You owe it to customers/patients to encourage them to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health, said, "NEI-funded research has shown that treatment during the early stages of glaucoma can control the disease and prevent future vision loss and blindness. This is why NEI encourages people at higher risk for glaucoma to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years."

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but those at higher risk for developing the disease include:
  • African Americans over age 40
  • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of the disease

NEI Needs Your Ideas

The National Eye Institute (NEI) invites you to provide your input to the Institute's upcoming plan, Vision Research in 2011: Needs, Gaps, and Opportunities. This Request for Information (RFI) solicits opinions from those members of the scientific, medical, and patient communities with an interest to help shape the research agenda of the NEI.

Please visit for more information and to submit your suggestions. Responses to this RFI must be submitted by February 1, 2011.

Fighting Mac D

"Jim Vlock is on a mission. Afflicted 15 years ago with macular degeneration, a retinal disorder that erodes central vision and thus the ability to drive, read, watch television and recognize faces, Vlock is determined to spread the word about the many devices that can help people like him live more fulfilling, independent and productive lives." So starts the BrattleboroReformer posting. "Vlock, now 84 and a longtime resident of Woodbridge, Conn., told me in an interview that he sought help at three of the country's best medical centers: Yale, the Cleveland Clinic and Columbia. And though they tried to treat his vision problem, none told him there were ways to improve his life within the limits of his visual loss."

ECPs "Rescue" Robbery Victim

"Out of the bad, comes the good. 'We're going to pick out some frames for you,' Sheila Brooks at Brooks Optical.  'How about something like this?...'
Mario Simms was heading to the store on Monday afternoon.   When he got to Dinwiddie Avenue, he was held up by two men who not only took his wallet, but his prescription glasses too." Read to find out why WTVR good came from it.

Jamaica Hub for Cuban Eye Program

"Jamaica is to serve as the Caribbean hub for the Cuban eye care programme, which has reached out to thousands of people in the region, Cuba's minister of foreign affairs has said," according to a post on JamaicaObserver. "The main eye operating centre located at St Joseph's Hospital in the eastern section of Kingston has already served over 1,000 patients since it was established here earlier this year with Cuban technology and personnel."

This is the same eye program that the United States attempted to discredit, according to information found in the WikiLeaks. Click here and here for more information.

Optical Checklist for Skiiers

Here's an optical checklist for your skiing customers.
  • Wear goggles that can prevent snow and ice from obscuring vision during a descent, and they also can protect a skiier’s eyes from twigs or debris. 
  • Remember sunglasses. They block UV rays, and there's plenty of UV on the slopes. Think snow-blindness. Snow reflects the UV rays.
  • Fog-proof your googles, sunglasses, and eyeglasses. Use an antifog spray or antifog towelette, like Defog It. If goggles lost their fog-blocking ability, an application of an antifog may fix it.
  • If you wear eyeglasses, you might want to defog them as well when going from cold of the slopes to the warmth of the lodge.

Avoid Truckers after Snow/Ice Storms

"Peter Morano sleeps with one eye open..." starts the story from the Chicago Sun-Times. "'Unfortunately, I can’t see out of that eye,' Morano said with a laugh...Morano, 41, of Aurora, was hit by a huge chuck of ice that flew off a passing truck...His nose, skull and orbital bone around his eye were fractured in the Jan. 4 accident in Warrenville. The ice sliced his left eyelid in half and exposed the bones of his nose...Morano will have to see a glaucoma specialist for the rest of his life."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PEG CLs Will Not Challenge SiHy's Any Time Soon

That's the opinion of one analyst, Mark Tapsak of the GLGroup. "Besides incremental improvements in SiHy contact lens materials, there have been few alternative materials that come close to the balance of oxygen permeability and water content. However, a polyethylene glycol composition developed by Ocutec, will attempt to challenge this market. I like to use patents and patent applications as a gauge whether a company such as Ocutec will be successful. My opinion is that Ocutec is not poised to make a significant challenge to the current SiHy materials."

Floorball Athletes Risk Eye Injury

Floorball athletes risk serious eye injury, according to a study published in the most unlikely of places,  Dental Traumatology. "A total of 608 individuals (565 athletes and 43 coaches) belonging to the amateur and semi-professional leagues in the two countries were individually interviewed. Although 72.7% of all athletes had observed and 27.7% of field players had sustained an injury to the eye or its vicinity, only 25 athletes (4.9%) wore protective eyewear." Floorball is an indoor form of hockey.

Soldiers Offered Surgery to Improve Aim

"Singapore will extend its offer of vision-correcting surgery to more regulars in its armed forces next year, aiming to improve the way they shoot, swim or pilot airplaines, the Straits Times said." That's a post from BusinessWeek.

Hiatian Teacher/Student Regains Sight

"It started with splintering headaches. Then there was double vision. It got to the point where 29-year-old Ezechias Toussaint couldn’t blink his right eye, so his cornea was exposed to scratches, and he endured stabbing pain and cloudy sight," says the News-Press. "The elementary school instructor and university student lives in the coastal city of Saint-Marc, about an hour north of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. In Haiti, poor vision can have severe consequences, as handicaps and illnesses are often misunderstood. And Toussaint, who was suffering from a type of facial palsy, couldn’t teach or learn when he couldn’t see to read.On Tuesday, Toussaint was in a Fort Myers operating room, receiving surgery that will allow him to close his eye once again, giving his cornea a chance to heal and restoring his sight. The $4,000 treatment, including an MRI and surgery, was donated by area medical personnel." For video go to

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Great 2011 for Opticians?

Will 2011 bring a retail rebound for opticians? If Christmas sales are a sign of things to come, then yes. "After a 6 percent free fall in 2008 and a 4 percent uptick last year, retail spending rose 5.5 percent in the 50 days before Christmas, exceeding even the more optimistic forecasts, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail spending," according to a NYTimes post.

The Times also reported:
Analysts offered several theories for the rebound in spending while the unemployment rate remained stubbornly high.
Stocks have soared to their highest levels in more than two years...
Pent-up demand is also showing up among middle-income shoppers: in government surveys, consumers have been expressing rising confidence for the last five months.
The luxury segment started heating up in late summer, said Joel Bines, a director in the global retail practice at AlixPartners....
The sales figures were bolstered by improved inventory controls among many retailers.

CL Sales Up

The financial blog, a blog, reports Cooper Companies' current financial success comes from its Toric line. The sales for the company's vision segment "were up 10% from last year to $263 million. From that group, it’s Toric products, also known as soft contact lenses, saw the biggest gains, up 14% to $78 million. Its highest revenue product from this segment, non single-use sphere, was up a solid 10% to $110 million." The question is why in such a stagnant economy are CLs selling well? Maybe: that which was once considered a luxury is now a necessity.

Monday, December 27, 2010

MyOnlineOptical Attracting ECPs

"Essilor of America reported that it has built more than 600 online optical stores for independent eyecare professionals to date through its e-commerce initiative, MyOnlineOptical," according to a recent VisionMonday posting. "The company said the service has experienced a steady increase since its launch last spring, growing at a rate of approximately 100 ECPs per month."

3D without Glasses

According to io9, "Apple has applied for, and recently been granted, a patent for tech that could produce 3D images without the need for special eyewear." Wearing special eyewear to watch a movie or TV show never held much promise. Apple's development of hologram technology begs the question: How long will various designers offer 3D eyewear?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bionic Eye Coming as Experimental Surgery

"Recruitment has begun for the first UK trial of a bionic eye, which can restore sight to blind people. The microchip implant has been tested in Germany, where it allowed patients to read letters and recognise objects," according to the Independent.

"Jersey" Boy (Optician) Makes Good in Africa

"A Jersey optician [from the Isle of Jersey, not the state] has returned from Burkina Faso in Africa after helping to improve the eyesight of thousands of people there," according to ChannelOnline. "Dave Baker was one of 8 volunteers to go on a 2 week project organised by Vision Aid Overseas. The charity sends opticians to various countries in Africa to carry out eye tests and give out glasses. Altogether they saw 2552 people, supplied 2246 pairs of specs and arranged for 584 people to have sight saving surgery by a partner charity, Orbis."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Eye for an Eye--This Time in the Christmas Spirit

"Talk about a generous tip. Some customers at the 59 Diner near South Kirkwood Road gave their waitress a Christmas gift she never expected: a prosthetic eye for her daughter who survived cancer last year," reports KHOU.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Keeping an Eye on Santa's Travels

"A 55-year-old tradition continues this year as the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, launches its Santa Tracker at 2 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve, with help from Google Earth. NORAD tracks Old Saint Nick with four high-tech systems -- radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets -- not to mention the help of volunteers and donations to offset the costs." That's the word from the WashingtonPost.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Retinal Eye Drug Gets Red Light from FDA

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declined to approve Alimera Sciences Inc's experimental drug to treat retinal swelling in its current form, sending the biopharmaceutical company's shares down 41 percent in after-market trade," according to a post from YahooNews.

Gluing One's Eye Shut--Just Ask Zsa-Zsa's Hubby

"Glued your eyelid shut? That's gotta hurt. Just ask Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Prince Frederic Von Anhalt, who was rushed to the hospital in Bel Air, Calif. after mistaking a bottle of glue for eyedrops on Tuesday. ...'You would be amazed at how many times this happens,' Dr. Michael Kutryb, an ophthalmologist in Titusville, Fl., tells CBS News. 'It's extremely irritating, but the good news is that it is probably not going to cause any permanent eye damage. It's highly under-reported but very common. I'm sure all ophthalmologists have seen two or three cases a year,' according to a CNBNews post.

The World's "Greenest" Glasses

Fast Company recently named naming the Eco collection as “the greenest glasses on the planet”. Fast Company is the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design.

High-Tech Glasses Conduct Searches

"New high-tech glasses track your gaze and display information about what you’re looking at, which could make a simple stroll down the street much more interesting," according to a post on MSNBC.

More Optical Diplomacy According to WikiLeak Documents

AllHeadlineNews  is reporting that "Venezuela is offering free eye care to Mexican peasants in a program that appears to double as a means of political indoctrination, according to the latest Wikileaks releases. The program, called Operation Miracle, concerns both Mexican and U.S. diplomats. The Wikileaks document dated October 2008 describes a meeting between diplomats during which they discussed the possibility that low-income Mexicans might return from their medical care in Venezuela to participate in political protests and other disruptions."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Texas Dry Eye Capital

"The National Women’s Health Resource Center ranked 100 cities [for dry eye] based on information compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Clinic Data and the Environmental Protection Agency," according to a post on LubbockOnline. "According to the study, factors contributing to the listing included temperatures, humidity, wind, altitude, pollutants and ocular allergens. Those factors made Texas prime to take the top spots on the list. Midland/Odessa, Dallas/Fort. Worth and Amarillo joined Lubbock on the list, taking the fourth, fifth and ninth spots, respectively."

Swiss Lose Eye-Care Coverage

GenevaLunch reports "Opticians in Switzerland are unusually busy this week, reports 24 Heures, but it’s not thanks to Christmas shoppers: this is the last chance to get reimbursed CHF180 towards your new eyeglasses or contact lenses by your health insurance company."

"Since the year 2000, health insurance companies have had to reimburse a part of people’s new glasses and contact lenses every five years. But as of next year this will no longer apply. The Interior Ministry’s recent reform is meant to make the price of health care drop, but at this point, it’s angering a lot of people. WRS’s Lucas Chambers has this story."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Free Christmas Gift for Keratoconus Patients

This holiday season patients are receiving the life-changing gift of clear and comfortable vision thanks to the Sharing Vision Grant Program sponsored by SynergEyes, Inc., according to a company press release.  This program was created to bring the new technologically advanced ClearKone hybrid contact lens to keratoconus patients who may otherwise not have access. Keratoconus is a degenerative eye disease that occurs 1 in 1,000 people causing substantially distorted vision and in many cases changes how they live their lives. Patients can apply for the program at

Monday, December 20, 2010

B+L Extending Rebates for Lens Implants

"Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company, announced today that it will extend its "See Better and Save" patient rebate program for patients who have the Crystalens accommodating intraocular lens (IOL) implanted before March 31, 2011. Patients will be eligible for a rebate of up to $250 per eye," according to a post on Yahoo!Finance.

Patients Avoid Eye Exams

Eye care professionals have something in common with dental professionals. Despite their fear of losing their vision, many people avoid eye exams, according to a posting in the NYTimes. "Joe Lovett was scared, really scared. Being able to see was critical to his work as a documentary filmmaker and, he thought, to his ability to live independently. But longstanding glaucoma threatened to rob him of this most important sense — the sense that more than 80 percent of Americans worry most about losing, according to a recent survey."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Film Star Hurts Eye

"Film star Hugh Jackman injured his eye when he crashed into a lighting rig during a stunt gone awry on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' in Australia," reports UPI.

ECPs Help Diabetics

"Eye clinics that screen diabetics who don't make it into a specialist's office may help identify eye problems early on, new study findings report," according to a post on MSNBC

What Were Ophthalmologists Reading in 2010?

Medscape analyzed its website to find out what ophthalmologists were reading (and therefore thinking about) during the past year. It's always good to know what all ECPs are thinking. Here's its list of the top 10 articles:
1. Retinal Vein Occlusions: Could Recent Developments Be Practice-Changing?
A commentary on retinal vein occlusion treatment includes recent clinical trial data and newly approved drug devices.
2. Antiviral Treatment Thwarts Recurring Eye Problems From Herpes Simplex
Oral antiviral prophylaxis appeared to protect against recurrence of ocular herpes simplex virus.
3. FDA Clears Laser System for Use in Cataract Surgery
The FDA approved a laser system for anterior capsulotomy during cataract surgery.
A related article on this subject is also of interest: Femtosecond Laser Technology Applied to Lens-Based Surgery.
4. FDA Panel Recommends Premarket Approval for Ocular Stent
A stent for reduction in intraocular pressure was reviewed for use in mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma.
5. Does Anti-VEGF Therapy Cause Glaucoma?
Reports suggest that patients may experience increased IOP following anti-VEGF therapy.
6. Perforating Eyelid Injury Extending to the Brain Stem in a 17-Year-Old Woman: A Case Report
An apparently superficial eye injury turns out to be far more severe than initial presentation would indicate.
7. A 61-Year-Old Woman With Swelling of the Lower Eyelid
A 61-year-old woman presents with painful swelling of the left lower eyelid. What is your diagnosis?
8. The Next Wave in Cataract Surgery: Intraoperative Measurement of Sphere, Cylinder, and Aberrations
We are beginning to envision a future where refractive cataract surgery can achieve LASIK-like outcomes.
9. Incidence and Management of Acute Endophthalmitis After Intravitreal Bevacizumab (Avastin) Injection
What's the risk of acute endophthalmitis after intravitreal bevacizumab injection, and what can be done to lower the risk?
10. Healthcare Reform Resource Center
The evolving debate was chronicled by Medscape throughout 2010. Bookmark this page so that you'll have access to the latest information as it becomes available.

In-Store Design, Moms, Optical Theories, and John Berger--Yes They All Relate at Josephson Opticians

"The British art critic John Berger once wrote, “We only see what we look at. To look is an act of choice.” But the irony of a new eyeglass installation in the window of Josephson Opticians is that you cannot not see it. There, in the storefront on Bay Street just north of Bloor, is an eye-catching series of precisely cut cardboard parabolas suspended from the ceiling, all intersected and puzzle-pieced together by horizontal shelves to create a three-dimensional form," according to a post on TheGlobeandMail.

"Squint just so and it resembles the framework of a futuristic hive. Viewed another way, it’s a sculptural vortex. In fact, it’s meant to represent a 'light skeleton,' but more on that later. Because inasmuch as storeowner Josh Josephson can go on and on and on about optical theories, retail strategy and store design, the subtext of the installation is a tribute to his mother."

007 Goes Optic OR More on the Optic Connection to WikiLeaks

The JamaicaObserver reported "United States has again found itself in the line of heavy criticism as a result of confidential diplomatic cables published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and a British newspaper for what appeared to be an attempt four years ago by Washington to discredit the Cuban healthcare system, including the long-running Jamaica/ Cuba Eyecare Programme. In the cables published on Friday, US diplomatic staff in Cuba are said to have scoured for 'human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess, which has become a key feature of the regime's foreign policy and its self-congratulatory propaganda.'

"The cables were sent at a time in May 2006 when the eyecare programme, which was running for just over a year, was being heavily criticised locally and calls were being made for its suspension because of serious complications, including blindness claimed by some patients after surgery in Cuba."

Friday, December 17, 2010

19 Virginians Get Eye Care Christmas Present

"It's a Christmas present like no other. It was given to 19 people Friday, including one local assistant high school football coach." Read or watch the video on WDBJ's website.

Optician Helps the People of Nepal

"When Yoji Matsuda first came to Nepal in 1993, he didn’t have an inkling that he would end up visiting the country 48 times and still hoping for more visits. Little did Matsuda know that by 2010, he would have provided free eye care to over 5,700 Nepali people and cash donations of $6,000 to orphanages and a women’s empowerment group. All this for one simple reason, he said: 'I love Nepal and her people.'" So goes the post on JapanToday.

The WikiLeaks Eye Care Connection

The JamaicaObserver reports that "the United States sought to discredit Cuban healthcare including eye care treatment given to Jamaican patients, which was criticised locally, revealed in leaked United States diplomatic cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and published by The Guardian" newspaper today.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From the Ghost of Optics Past

"If the ghost of a Florentine monk who died in 1317 had appeared in Chicago last week, it could have pointed a spectral finger at 59 men and one woman, members of the American Academy of Optometrists, and intoned: 'Your means of livelihood you owe mostly to me.' In a Vienna museum stands a statue of this medieval monk, with a pair of glasses in one hand and bearing this inscription: Here lies Salvina D'Armato degli Armati of Florence, the inventor of spectacles. May God forgive his sins," according to a post from a 1936 issue of Time.

AAO with New Eye Apps

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is collaborating "with Cloud Nine Development, LLC, to enhance its free iPhone application, the Eye Handbook. The application, created for ophthalmologists by ophthalmologists, offers ophthalmic calculators, clinical videos, study tools and more. Through the partnership, the Eye Handbook now features select Academy Summary Benchmarks for Preferred Practice Pattern® Guidelines, patient education videos and a link to the Academy's latest online clinical offering, the EyeWiki," according to a post on MedicalNewsToday

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BBC Program Takes on Britain's Optometric Industry

"The daytime consumer programme [BBC One's Rip Off Britain], ...focused on what it claimed was the disproportionate price of spectacles compared to the price of manufacture...The programme took its findings on to the street to ask the public their opinions, which were negative. One patient exclaimed that the BBC’s findings made owners 'worse than bankers,' and another said spectacles were 'a blatant rip off.'" For more on the story, go to Optometry Today and BBC One. Is there a moral for American eye care professionals?

Another B&L Recall--Not USA

"Contact lens giant Bausch + Lomb has issued a voluntary recall on three lots of its ReNu Multi-Purpose Solution across Europe, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion," according to a story OptometryToday.

Scientists Make Discovery Related to Corneal Thickness

"A team of scientists from Singapore has discovered two genes from the collagen family which demonstrate strong association with Central Corneal Thickness (CCT). CCT is a risk factor of glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide." That's the report from MedicalNewsToday.

Optician Jumps from Perfectly Good Plane

"An optician jumped 10,000ft from a plane for charity. Laura Pacey, who works for Wardale Williams in Halstead, was keen to raise money for Fight For Sight, a charity dedicated to funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease. The 21-year-old from Sudbury said: 'I was so nervous I didn’t realize how cold it was until after the jump.'" So went the report from the Gazette-News.

Alcon Now Part of Novartis--Finally

YahooFinance posted the following: "Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG said Wednesday it has reached a deal with minority shareholders of Alcon Inc. to complete its $51 billion takeover of the eye care company, the largest such deal in Swiss corporate history. Novartis said the cost of acquiring the remaining minority stake in Alcon of 23 percent will be $12.9 billion -- or about $1 billion dollars more than it had originally offered."

Forbes headlines the deal: "Novartis Is Eye-Care King After Acquiring Alcon."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Optician Scales Kilimanjaro

"A Hammersmith optician has passed one of the greatest physical tests known to man by reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Shak Hirani, who works at Specsavers in King Street, Hammersmith, defied chronic altitude sickness and temperatures of minus 20 degrees to scale the famous peak, raising £5,000 for eye care in Africa in the process," according to a post on FulHamChronicle.

Vision Products--Growing Field

ContactLens News reports that "The worldwide market for vision care devices has now reached $20 billion (£12 billion), according to the latest study. A report published by Global Data, entitled Vision Care (Contact Lenses and Spectacle Lenses) - Global Pipeline Analysis, Opportunity Assessment and Market Forecasts to 2016, claims that this market is set to top $24 billion within six years, with contact lenses playing a significant role in this growth. Currently, the spectacle lens market is valued at $2.4 billion, but the contact lens sector is now worth $2.3 billion and expected to overtake glasses lenses by 2016."

Take Care Driving. Your Customers Ain't Wearing Their Glasses

A recent survey commissioned by Essilor of America, Inc.,revealed 20 percent of eyeglass wearers sometimes drive without their prescription glasses and instead wear non-prescription sunglasses, making day-driving unnecessarily treacherous.

Lazy Eye Solved with a Pin Prick

MedicalNewsToday reports that "acupuncture may eventually become another optional treatment apart from patching for lazy eye, also known as amblyopia, especially among older children who have a poorer response to patching, say researchers from China in Archives of Ophthalmology. Approximately 0.3 to 5% of people globally are affected by lazy eye, the authors report as background information."

Bulgarian Opticians and Optometrist Protest

"Opticians and optometrists protested Monday in front of the Bulgarian Health Ministry against the amendments to the Healthcare Act, which were adopted by the parliament in the beginning of December. According to the protesters, the new rules, which state that only eye care professionals could perform examinations in optics, will leave optometrists without jobs and will make the work of opticians more difficult," according to a post on Novinite.

FTC Prohibits Claims of Eye Benefits

Stopping bogus health claims, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a settlement requiring major marketers of children's vitamins, NatureSmart and Rexall Sundown, to stop making false and unproven claims that their supplements promote healthy brain and eye development in children.  The companies have agreed to pay $2.1 million to provide refunds to consumers who purchased certain multivitamins in their Disney and Marvel Heroes line. For more click here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eye for an Eye

"An Iranian man who blinded his lover's husband is to suffer a similar fate in a tit-for-tat sentencing - by having acid poured into his eye. Iran’s Islamic code allows for ‘an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth’ retribution - known as 'qisas' - in cases of violent crime," according to the DailyMail.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Taking Your Job for Granted? Think Twice!

When asked which sense individuals would least want to lose, they answer sight. Our language reveals this sentiment. Go to Google News and type in the word eye. When the results come up, click Last Day link on the left hand side. Almost 57,000 references to stories pop up. And you can then see how writers use the word eye--not referring to optics--but as a metaphor regarding understanding and knowledge.

CEO and CFO of ABO/NCLE Accused of Embezzling $1.5 Million

Carletta Stewart, the former CFO of the ABO/NCLE who was fired in August, has been accused of embezzling $1.5 million from the association. Investigators believe that Stewart and Robey Hughes, the former CEO of the association who was arrested on four counts of embezzlement in June, inflated the association's expenses and pocketed the difference, according to a story posted on WashingtonPost. ABO fired Robey earlier this year. His detention led to the seven charges against Stewart, who turned herself in Thursday past.

Mac D Preventable More Often

FoxNews reported that "a large fraction of elderly people have age-related degenerative changes in their eyes that put them on a path to blindness — but could be preventable — a new study finds. Eye exams given to more than 5,000 elderly Icelanders found that over one in 10 people in their 60s and nearly one in four in their late 70s have an early form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Optical Industry Lagging Behind General Retail

VisionMonday reports that "while purchasing activity for general retail goods is moving up significantly from 2009 levels, purchasing activity for the optical industry is only increasing slightly in response to the continued weak improvement in the economy, according to the latest VisionWatch Economic Survey, just issued by The Vision Council in a report to its members."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Optic Nerve Key after Heart Attack

After a heart attack and the victim stops breathing, a process of irreversible brain damage starts within 3 to 4 minutes. Must it?  While researching cardiac arrest, Jeffrey Dobkin read about a boy drowning in icy waters.  Although submerged for over half an hour, the boy was rescued, resuscitated, and recovered completely.  No brain damage. 

What delays brain damage in drowning victims?  In an emergency can it be applied to heart attack victims?  Dobkin's research pointed to yes. He believes brain damage that occurs when someone's heart stops beating can be delayed for up to an hour.It relates to the optic nerve. Read on.

New Vision Screening Software Released

VTA has released a new version of its vision screen software, called VERA3. VTA claims the software offers "a model of a much-needed national standard for school vision screening, one which identifies more students with routine vision difficulties, helps to complete their referrals, and saves other students whose vision affects learning" from being referred to programs designed for students with intellectual disabilities.

CL Cartel? Someone Thinks So.

"Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) on Wednesday said it made unannounced on-site investigations at the offices of several companies on suspicion of cartel activity on the contact lens market on Tuesday," according to RealDeal.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Size Does Matter, Says New Study!!!

MedicalNewsToday reports that, contrary what you may have heard, size does matter. There's proof. British scientists measured it after asking participants to perform specific tasks:
Wellcome Trust scientists have shown for the first time that exactly how we see our environment depends on the size of the visual part of our brain.

We are all familiar with the idea that our thoughts and emotions differ from one person to another, but most people assume that how we perceive the visual world is usually very similar from person to person. However, the primary visual cortex - the area at the back of the brain responsible for processing what we see in the world around us - is known to differ in size by up to three times from one individual to the next.

Now, researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) have shown for the first time that the size of this area affects how we perceive our environment. Their study is published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

New Way of "Seeing"? That's What He Said

"University of Manchester scientists have found that a new type of light sensitive cell (photoreceptor) in the eye helps the brain measure brightness, " according to the MedicalNewsToday post "Manchester Scientists Discover New Way of Seeing." The posting goes on: "This mechanism, which works alongside the rod and cone photoreceptors, may be important for people with certain types of blindness."

Retailer Goes Private Label and....

"After founding SEE in 1998, Richard Golden sold his previous retail eyewear chain to the parent company of LensCrafters. He learned a lot from that earlier venture. Luxury frames look great, but the brand-name markup is steep and leaves little profit for the retailer..." What happens next? Read the Fortune article.

Avoidable Eye Injuries Cost $300 Million Annually

Each day many workers "bypass" vision safety precautions. At the end of the day, almost 2,000 are going to the hospital or home with eye injuries that were avoidable, according to a new study from The Vision Council and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). The study, called Eye Safety At-a-Glance: Protecting Your Vision at Work, notes that those injuries cost American business about $300 million annually in medical bills, compensation and downtime but not including lost productivity.  The study also points out that private industry employees lose about 27,000 days at work--never mind the time they lose with their families as they recuperate.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Online Optical Merchant Arrested by NYPD

"Cyber-bullying initially landed Vitaly Borker, the Brooklyn eyewear merchant who goaded customers into posting scathing online reviews, with a better position on Google searches," goes the story posted by the Los Angeles Times. "Now it’s landed him a trip to jail. After bragging last month to the New York Times that he had discovered and was exploiting a glitch in Google’s ranking system, Vitaly was arrested Monday and charged with cyber-stalking, making interstate threats and mail and wire fraud." For background on the story, go to this link.

Surgeon Goes with Retail Promotion

You are having trouble with your vision. You're tired of eyeglasses and CLs. You opt for surgery. How would you pick your surgeon? Ask if he/she is giving away an HD LED TV? No? 

Consider: Optical Express is giving Scots one more thing to celebrate this holiday season. Each week during December, to celebrate superior vision, everyone who attends a free laser eye surgery consultation at Optical Express, based in Glasgow, Scotland, will be automatically entered into a draw to win one of  four "fantastic 46-inch Samsung FULL HD LED TVs." [Unfortunately we did not have a chance to ask why the TV was fantastic, and was there a difference between high-definition LEDs and FULL HD LEDs. If there was, would the company show us half an HD LED TV?] The draws will take place weekly from 9th December, where winners will be announced via the Optical Express website

Wells Fargo Finance New Financing Provider for AOA Members

Wells Fargo Practice Finance, formerly known as Matsco, announced today an agreement to become the preferred provider for optometric practice and equipment financing for American Optometric Association (AOA) members, according to a press release. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Aging Boomers Good for Optical Industry

"The American population is quickly becoming more elderly. So demand for visual aids is expected to grow considerably. But eye-care technology is improving as well, allowing each optometrist to care for more patients. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects more than 24 percent growth, or 8,500 new jobs, for the profession through 2018," according to a story in U.S. News & World. Logically one could easily assume what's good for the goose is also good for the gander, meaning that opticians and op-tech should also watch as their opportunities blossom during the next eight years.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Monofocal Lens That Eliminates Multifocal Lens Out in a Year

Xceed Imaging claims it will be selling its new EDOF lenses by the end of 2011, according to a statement reported on Israel21c. The monofocal lens "can focus light from between 13 inches away up to the horizon. The lens is engraved with special patterns which shifts the phase of light waves, enabling clear focus on objects both near and far." The company is calling it an interferometric solution, meaning that it combines the best of refractive and diffractive lenses. The lens "consists of a single lens that enables wearers to see more clearly, no matter what their vision problem (presbyopia, astigmatism, etc.) or whether they wear glasses, contact lenses or intraocular lenses." The design has apparently been in the works for more than four years.

Dementia and Sight Loss More Common Than Thought

"Chairing the first national 'Dementia and Sight Loss conference' in London, Baroness Sally Greengross will announce that two per cent of people over 75 will have both conditions. They face double the burden when performing simple tasks like going to the toilet or moving around, and with perception," according to a post on MedicalNewsToday.

More on Google Clamping Down on Online Retailers

The following is a UPI report:
To its credit, Internet giant Google Inc. said this week it had tweaked an algorithm to dissuade companies from purposefully mistreating their customers.
Curiouser and curiouser, it turns out the owner of an online eyeglasses company,, had said for publication in a New York Times article that he abused his customers from time to time because it would provoke negative reviews, which in turn would increase his revenue.
This worked because Google treated negative reviews as equals with positive reviews when it ranked companies for searches. That is to say a mention is a mention and there was, in fact, no such thing as bad publicity in this case.'s profitable unpleasantness turned out to be near-sighted. Google caught wind of the Times article and changed the formula for ranking companies in the same week the Federal Trade Commission issued a 79-page report on guidelines for companies and regulators dealing with Internet privacy.

Coastal Contacts Expanding Next Year

Coastal Contacts Inc. , an online retailer of prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, is saying that it has placed orders for five eyeglasses edging systems. The company reportedly will install the state-of-the-art systems early next year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

EU Court OKs Online Sale of CLs

"A law banning the online sale of contact lenses on health grounds is incompatible with EU law, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has said. Health can be protected without a full ban on online sales, the Court has ruled," according to a post on Out-Law.

Economic Cost of Vision Loss in the U.S.--$51 Billion

  • Approximately 14 million Americans aged 12 years and older have self-reported visual impairment defined as distance visual acuity of 20/50 or worse. Among them, more than 11 million Americans could have improved their vision to 20/40 or better with refractive correction.
  • In 2002, the age—adjusted prevalence of self—reported visual impairment among Americans aged 50 years and older with and without diabetes was 23.5% and 12.4%, respectively.
  • Approximately 11% of Americans aged 20 years and older with diabetes had some form of visual impairment (3.8% uncorrectable and 7.2% correctable). Among those without diabetes, 5.9% had some form of Visual Impairment (VI) (1.4% uncorrectable and 4.5% correctable).
  • 3.4 million (3%) Americans aged 40 years and older are either blind (having visual acuity [VA] of 20/200 or less or a visual field of less than 20 degrees) or visually impaired (having VA of 20/40 or less).
  • 1,600,000 Americans aged 50 years and older have age related macular degeneration
  • 5.3 million people (about 2.5% of all people) aged 18 years and older have diabetic retinopathy.
  • 20.5 million people have cataract (about 16%) among Americans aged 40 years and older
  • 2.2 million people have glaucoma (about 2% ) among Americans aged 40 years and older
  • Only half of the estimated 61 million adults in the U. S. classified as being at high risk for serious vision loss, visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months
  • Approximately 8.2% of Americans with self-reported vision problems did not have health insurance. Only 4% of Americans without health insurance reported having optional vision insurance, compared with 58% of Americans with private health insurance, 44% of Americans with public health insurance, and 54% of Canadians.
  • American without health insurance had the lowest age-adjusted rate of use of eye care services (42%) compared with Americans with private health insurance (67%) or public health insurance (55%) and Canadians (56%).

Lose an Eye, No Problem

Israeli Police say they found no wrongdoing in the case of an American art student who lost an eye when hit by a gas canister in a West Bank protest, according to a UPI report.

Regenerating Optic Nerves Better and Faster

Scientists at Children's Hospital Boston report achieving the greatest regeneration to date in the mammalian optic nerve. Two molecular pathways, which can promote some optic nerve regeneration on their own, can work synergistically. By activating these pathways simultaneously in a mouse model, they attained about 10-fold the regeneration seen with activation of either pathway alone.

Jackie Chen Opens Eye Center

The Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan came to West China Hospital to unveil the "World Eye Organization Jackie Chan Children's Eye Centre of West China Hospital of Sichuan University". The founding of this centre should be attributed to the successful cooperation between the West China Hospital and World Eye Organization (WEO) on the "Welfare Programs for Blindness Prevention and Treatment", the proactive arrangements of relative parties and the great support extended by the famous Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan as well as the Chairman of the WEO Mr. Lin Wenjie. The Vice President of Sichuan University Mr. Bu Hong, Director of the West China Hospital Mr. Shi Yingkang, Vice Director Mr. Li Weimin and President of the WEO Mr. Lin Wenjie were also in attendance. The ceremony was presided over by Mr. Li Weimin.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Golfer Successful with Performance Eyewear

VedaloHD Performance Eyewear, Inc claims that “staff player Stacy Lewis continues her 2nd year success with two top-10 finishes in the month of November. Lewis shot a final round 68 to finish in 3rd place at the Mizuno Classic and followed that up with a tie for 7th at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.”

Stem Cell Treatment for Juvenile MacD

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Advanced Cell Technology's investigational new drug application to launch the first clinical trial using retinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells for treating Stargardt's macular dystrophy, the company announced in a press release, which appeared on theOSNSuperSite.

Eyewear Exec Gets 12 in Slammer

The Daily-NewsWire reports that “the former chairman of the listed eyewear company Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings Ma Baoji and his son Malie Jian were charged with inflating the balance sheet of the company and defraud the banks and investors. The father and son duo have caused a loss of about $4.5 billion dollars which is one of the worst financial scams in Hong Kong.”

New CL Cures Dry Eyes

A new type of contact lens has been developed which the creators claim can help to cure the symptoms of dry eyes,” says a post on ContactLenses. “According to specialists at Duke University in the US, the new lens is filled with fluid and works by moving over the cornea and landing on the white sclera of the eye, the Denver Channel reported.”

New Laser Surgery in Works

A WebMD posting notes that “an experimental image-guided laser technique could change the way cataract surgery is performed for decades to come. Experts say guided lasers will allow eye surgeons to perform cataract surgeries in less time with more precision, meaning that more patients could end up with 20/20 vision.”

Opticians Give Up Eyes for Grapes and Porcelain

Opticians don't always remain opticians forever. Take these two:

“Beads of sweat covered Lorraine Nedell’s forehead as ...[the former optician] bent over a cluster of merlot grapes one sunny fall morning at Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard in Peconic, N.Y., on Long Island. Inching along the row of vines, she grabbed the purple berries, snipped them with a clipper and dropped them, over and over, into a plastic bin.” Apparently this New York optician saw a new vision. Read more at NYTimes.s
Then there's the optician who crashed the China business: Helen Boehm was “a self-made businesswoman known as the Princess of Porcelain for her company’s elaborate sculptures, which have graced the coffee tables of royalty and heads of state for six decades,” so she was described in her obit by the NYTimes. She recently passed away at 89 died at her home in West Palm Beach, FL.

Coburn Goes Private

Gerber Scientific Inc. will sell Coburn Technologies to a Gerber board member and former Coburn officers, including Edward G. Jepsen, Alex Incera, and Wayne Labrecque. They will take the company private. So goes the report from CTNow, a Fox affiliate. Coburn Technologies makes equipment that makes eyeglass lenses.

Husband Wants His Eyeglass-Tattoo Parlor Back

According to Kens5 , Texans have an usual way of dispensing eyewear: “A local business owner accused of trying to have his wife killed is fighting to regain control of his shops. Since Michael Yuchnitz's arrest, his wife, Tina, has had control of their eyeglass and tattoo businesses.”

Another Eye Problem for Stroke Victims Isolated

A new study shows that stroke victims not only lose visual field but eye movement, making simple tasks such as reading difficult. The post on EurekaAlert notes that “research has often focused on visual field loss, caused by an interruption in the pathways that deliver an image from the eye to the brain for processing. Study led by scientists at Liverpool, however, has shown that damage to the nerve supply that controls eye movement is also a common problem after a stroke. Impaired eye movement can impact on the ability to follow a moving object or read words on a page.”

Omega 3 Diets Fend Off MacD

"Seniors whose diets are rich in omega 3 fatty acids have a significantly lower risk of developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration) compared to other people of the same age, scientists revealed in the journal Ophthalmology. Good sources of Omega 3s are cold water oily fish, such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel, herring and salmon, as well as several types of shellfish,” according to a post on MedicalNewsToday.

Another First in Optical Retailing

One key to successful retailing: Find a niche and ensure that your store serves that market. Here's a new one, which we found in CharismaMag.“Many Christian groups make it their business to try to cure spiritual blindness. But Eyes of Faith Optical in West Middlesex, Pa., seeks to address spiritual blindness by helping people with their physical eyesight first. The organization is the first faith-based company to be members of the Opticians Association of America.”

Yearling "Eye Factory" Wins International Award for Design

Eyeways reports that “Eye Factory took part in the latest edition of the international optical fair, IOFT 2010, where it won the 'Eyewear of the Year 2011' award in the 'Functionality and Design' category.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Altered Algorithm Puts Screws to Online Optician

Google announced on Wednesday that it had changed the way it ranks search results so that unscrupulous merchants would find it harder to appear prominently in searches,” acccording to an article posted on NYTimes . “The change was prompted by an article in The New York Times on Sunday about Vitaly Borker, a Brooklyn-based online seller of eyeglasses. [A link to the story appeared on this blog.] Mr. Borker claimed that he purposely shouted at and frightened some of the customers at because the online complaints actually worked in his favor in Google search results.” The article notes that Google's changes already squashed the search ranking for DecorMyEyes, knocking it off the first page of a Google search result and every page after that for the next 20. For more on this story go to NYTimes.

A Most Wonderful Time of the Year--I Guess

According to a company press release, “this holiday season, consumers are invited to join Pearle in helping the world see by supporting OneSight, a family of charitable programs dedicated to preserving and restoring clear vision for those in need,” which is a part of the Luxottica Foundation which is connected to Luxottica, which owns Pearle. “During December, customers can donate their gently-used glasses and help raise money by 'Liking' Pearle's Facebook page. Pearle will donate $1 for every 'Like' (up to $5,000) and will give all glasses collected to OneSight.” So it will pay a dollar for a 'Like,' and every Facebook 'Like' benefits Pearle with some viral marketing, but it will not pay more than five grand—even if there are 100,000 'Likes.' It is a wonder that Pearle finds time to celebrate the holiday season.

Acuvue Recalled in Japan and Europe--Again

A WallStreetJournal wire story reports that “Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has widened a recall of contact lenses in Japan and other countries because residual traces of an acid have caused stinging or pain in users' eyes...[It] recalled about 492,000 boxes of 1-Day Acuvue TruEye...This follows a recall of about 100,000 boxes of the same product announced in August...About 75% of the recalled products were distributed in Japan...Other countries in the latest recall included Australia, Hong Kong, U.K., France, Germany and Canada.”

Not Just Windows to Your Soul

By digitally photographing the tiny, hair-like blood vessels in the back of our eyes, researchers can now look directly at how small blood vessels like those that bring blood to the heart respond to air pollution,” according to MedicalNewsToday.

Eye Injury Stops Middleweight

BoxingNews reports that “WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Mikkel Kessler (43-2, 32 KO’s) is still having problems with his injured right eye. Kessler, 31, dropped out of the Super Six tournament recently due to his complaints of not being able to see well out of his right eye, which he injured in his first Super Six tournament bout a year ago against American Andre Ward in November 2009.”

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Transitions & AOA Launch Sweepstakes for Consumers

Transitions Optical, Inc. is collaborating with the American Optometric Association (AOA) to bring the 'Read the Green Sweepstakes' to consumers nationwide who value healthy sight as an important factor in their sports performance,” according to an item on the wire services. “Consumers can enter for a chance to win exclusive golf-related prizes, tying in with Transitions' focus on an active, healthy lifestyle and its role as the Official Eyewear of the PGA TOUR®, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour.”

New Eye Care Guidelines for Dementia Patients

Recently published guidelines...relating to sight tests among people with dementia go some of the way to addressing the specific needs of this group. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of improving the provision of eye care services and optimising the visual health of this group, says a new study published today by Thomas Pocklington Trust,” according to a MedicalNewsTodaypost.