Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Does the Thyroid Have to Do with Vision?

"What part does the thyroid gland have in vision?" asks MedicalNewsToday. " Thyroid hormone is crucially involved in controlling which visual pigment is produced in the cones. Previously, it was assumed that the colour sensitivity of the cones is fixed in the adult retina. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/M., together with colleagues at the University of Frankfurt and universities in Vienna, have now been able to show that in mature cones of mice and rats the production of visual pigment is regulated by thyroid hormone. It is assumed that this mechanism exists in all mammals, including humans. If so, the adult-onset of thyroid hormone deficiency would affect colour vision."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New CLs Keep Gibbons on the DL

"Jay Gibbons will begin the season on the disabled list after new contact lenses failed to fix the ongoing vision problems he's been having all spring, according to Tony Jackson of," according to a "Gibbons told Jackson that the new lenses improved his vision off the field, but failed to improve his eyesight at the plate because he 'had no depth perception.'"

New VEP Detection System for Glaucoma

"Diopsys, Inc. has launched the new Diopsys NOVA-DN VEP Vision Testing System to help optometrists and ophthalmologists detect optic nerve disease, including glaucoma and other neuro-visual disorders," says a company press release. With the system, clinicians reportedly came assess optic nerve disease earlier than traditional vision tests. The system is said to use Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) technology and proprietary software to evaluate the entire vision system from the eye to the visual cortex.

Brady Bunch Mom Hangs with Eye Docs

"Nearly 7000 eye surgeons have descended upon San Diego for the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Hundreds of surgeons found their way to global eye and health company Bausch + Lomb's booth yesterday to meet Broadway, TV and film actress Florence Henderson." That's the start of a NewsHacksReview
post. "Henderson is the spokesperson for Bausch + Lomb's premium intraocular lens, called the Crystalens. She has been sharing her experiences with surgeons from around the country who are attending the meeting at the San Diego Convention Center."

New Cataract Procedure in Britian

"Brits who use contact lenses may soon be able to benefit from a new system being developed in partnership by Bausch + Lomb and Technolas Perfect Vision GmbH (TPV)," according to Apparently the two created the first femtosecond laser. It reportedly performs "refractive and cataract procedures through a single platform."

New Treatment on Horizon for Keratoconus?

A potentially blinding disease called keratoconus may now be stopped and even reversed with a new process applying vitamin B2 eye drops and low-dose ultraviolet light to the diseased eye, according to a press release released by Robert Epstein, MD. The first FDA-monitored clinical trial in Illinois of what is called "corneal collagen cross linking" has begun and is enrolling under the direction of Dr. Epstein at the McHenry and Niles offices of Mercy Health System.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eye Safety Lands DOD Contract

Eye Safety Systems, Inc., Ketchum, ID, was awarded a $6 million contract from the Department of Defense Logistics Agency Supply Center in Philadelphia, according to the press release posted on The contract reportedly is for optical prescription lens carrier kits and is the largest volume direct contract the company has held to date.

Glasses Direct Largest Onliner in Europe

Jamie Murray Wells' Glasses Direct is now Europe's largest online retailer of eyewear. Why? It just purchased online retailer Sunglasses Shop, according to

Look at Rocky’s and Rambo’s Peepers

"Following in John Malkovich's footsteps, fellow actor Sylvester Stallone … will launch his own fashion range next year, according to "The line will be inspired by the star's two best-known roles Rambo and Rocky, catering both to "the rebel and the gentleman….Eleven years after having started to work with Italian and American tailors to work with his favorite patterns and fabrics, Stallone has now set up Sly Inc. that will distribute" outerwear, underwear, and eyewear.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Baylor Guard Recovers from Eye Injury

"When Baylor's Melissa Jones dived for a loose basketball on Feb. 27, it did not seem risky for a hard-nosed guard who played football in junior high, had gone skydiving and once acted on a dare by drinking a cup of hot sauce," starts the story. "This time, though, Jones collided with a player from Oklahoma, who landed on her. Jones's head slammed to the court just above her right eyebrow. She got to her feet quickly, but her vision in her right eye began to grow dim, as if the lights were being turned down. … On March 14, Jones began to see color and shapes with her right eye, though her vision remains extremely blurry."

CLs Monitoring Eye Pressure

"A miniaturised pressure sensor embedded into a contact lens is proving to be a hi-tech solution for improved monitoring and management of patients with glaucoma," reports

US Vision Sold reports "U.S. Vision Inc., which manufactures eyeglasses and sells them at more than 700 stores, has been sold to an investment group…ACON Investments purchased Refac Optical Group, U.S. Vision's parent company, from Palisade Concentrated Equity Partnership, which will retain a minority interest. No price was disclosed. William Schwartz Jr., who founded U.S. Vision with his father in 1967, said ACON plans to expand the company's retail operation, which includes stores-within-stores in Macy's, Boscov's, BJ's Warehouse Club, JCPenney and Kmart in the United States, and The Bay, a subsidiary of Hudson Bay Co., in Canada."

RNA Granules Affect Eye Development

"A Jackson Laboratory research team, working in collaboration with researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, show that RNA granules - key players in messenger RNA (mRNA) processing - can affect eye development, leading to juvenile cataracts in humans and mice," according to a MedicalNewsToday post.

Self-Adjustable Glasses Voted Likely to Succeed

"Professor Josh Silver's self-adjustable glasses have been voted the idea most likely to make the biggest impact on healthcare by 2020 at the Healthcare Innovation Expo," says MedicalNewsToday.

Brits and Chinese Look Different and Differently

"The team, working with Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, investigated eye movements in Chinese and British people to further understanding of the brain mechanisms that control them and how they compare between different human populations," reports MedicalNewsToday. "They found that a type of eye movement, that is rare in British people, is much more common in Chinese people, suggesting that there could be subtle differences in brain function between different populations."

Grocery Stores Now Competing with British Opticians

"Major supermarket chains have tripled their share of the optician retail market in the last six years, according to new research published on "Research from independent analysts Verdict suggest that non-specialists have increased their market share of the opticians market from 1.7 per cent in 2005 to 4.7 per cent this year. Grocers like Asda and Tesco have hugely increased the number of optical products and services they provide in recent years, threatening even the larger specialist stores such as Specsavers."

New Anthem Vision Care Plan

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is now offering Blue View Vision a vision plan providing access to more than 125 network providers across Maine and more than 50,000 providers and provider locations nationwide, according to a press release. Blue View network includes ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. In addition to private practitioners, Blue View Vision(SM)'s broad national network includes retailers like LensCrafters, Sears Optical and Pearle Vision locations.  

"According to a study from the Vision Council of America, vision disorders account for more than $8 billion in lost productivity for American businesses each year," said Dan Corcoran, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.  "Further, the study also states that uncorrected vision can decrease employee performance by as much as 30 percent.  That's why we're especially pleased to offer this new benefit to Maine employers.  Under the Blue View Vision(SM) plan, employees can receive access to the quality care they need quickly and conveniently."

Actor Struggles with CLs

"Robert Pattinson needs two people to put his contact lenses in," according to a ToNight post. 'The British actor hates having the lenses put into his eyes to transform his appearance into that of his Twilight Saga character, vampire Edward Cullen, and would love to find a way to 'kill' them now his work on the film series is almost complete. Speaking about the contact lenses, he said: 'My God, I'll be glad to see the last of those. I actually want to get some kind of plastic explosive. I want to reanimate them into something so I can kill them.'"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New CLs for Post Refractive Surgery Patients

"Metro Optics has launched new custom RevitalEyes Post-Surgical silicone hydrogel contact lenses. The lenses are specially designed for eyes that have undergone refractive surgery," reports

AOA Looking at Nintendo

"Now, the American Optometric Association (AOA) is looking into the new Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming system for its potential to help uncover subtle vision problems," according to

New CL Disinfectant

"A new contact lens solution has been described as a "next-generation" disinfectant by its manufacturer, Abbott," according to "According to the firm, its RevitaLens OcuTec disinfecting solution for silicone hydrogel and conventional soft contact lenses will help to revitalise the market when it is launched in Singapore."

Monday, March 21, 2011

CL Sweepstakes

"VisionDirect, Inc. has partnered with VISTAKON, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. on a Facebook sweepstakes where fans can win a free annual supply of contact lenses. This marks the first collaboration on a contest within social media for both and VISTAKON," according to a
post. The program started 28 Feb. 2011 and will end this week.

Help for People with Low Vision

"The VNA has announced the launch of a revolutionary clinical program designed to deliver state-of-the-art care to patients coping with vision loss," according to a post. "Millions of Americans lose some of their vision every year while our nation ages and age-related eye diseases become more common. Now a HomeSight-Certified Provider, the VNA will provide low vision patients with access to specific care method designed to reduce accidents and facilitate maximum independence at home."

Secial USAToday Vision Insert

Mediaplanet and the American Optometric Association (AOA) will the seventh edition special section report in USA Today entitled "Vision: Envision a Brighter Future For Your Eyes." The special section will reportedly raise awareness and educate the American public about the importance of vision health. Articles in the insert will address the impact of nutrition on vision, how to improve office well-being beginning with vision, and how routine eye exams can improve overall health care. Two highlights of the report explore the vision woes of Olympic Hurdler Lolo Jones and golf phenomenon Kyle Lograsso's courageous battle with the rare eye cancer retinoblastoma.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dodger Gibbons Gets New CLs

Recently OpticalCEU's blog ran a post about Dodger Jay Gibbons and his CLs. Here's an update from "Jay Gibbons, who is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had complained in the past that his contact lenses were causing him trouble as the one in his left eye kept popping out. He went to San Francisco this week for an eye test and to get some new lenses, which are not only a different size from his old inefficient ones, but a different prescription too."

US Congress Should Make UV Protection National Priority

Prevent Blindness America is demanding that Congress make UV eye protection a national health priority, according to its new white paper, UV and Our Nation's Vision.

One-Eyed Pitcher Finds Strike Zone

"Losing an eye — and with it conventional depth perception — might seem devastating to an athlete, like a pianist developing Parkinson's disease," goes a
post. "But less than two years after being fitted with an acrylic left eye, Underwood has emerged as the ace pitcher at Southeast Missouri State, a Division I program."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seeing with Sounds

"Dr. Olivier Collignon of the University of Montreal's Saint-Justine Hospital Research Centre compared the brain activity of people who can see and people who were born blind, and discovered that the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception can actually rewire itself to process sound information instead," according to a post on MedicalNewsToday.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

LA Dodger Gibbons Having CL Problems

"A leading contender for at least a part-time role as the Dodgers' left fielder, Jay Gibbons is leaving spring training for two days because of ill-fitting contact lenses," according to

Correcting Kids’ Vision in the Developing World

Dow Corning and the Centre for Vision in the Developing World (CVDW) are collaborating to correct the vision of children in the developing world. Dow Corning has committed $3 million of funding and materials expertise to the CVDW as part of an initiative called Child ViSion. The initiative will design, manufacture and distribute a child-specific version of self-adjustable eyeglasses to children in the developing world. The aim is to increase the effectiveness of classroom-based education by improving children's ability to see the blackboard from which they are being taught.

Another Acuvue Receives AOA UV Approval

Acuvue Advance Plus Brand Contact Lenses became the sixth contact lens in the Acuvue brand to receive the seal of acceptance for UV absorbing contact lenses from the American Optometric Association's (AOA) Commission on Ophthalmic Standards, according to

Monday, March 14, 2011

March is Workplace Vision Month

"Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has designated March as Workplace Vision Month by in an effort to educate corporations and their employees on the importance of vision health," according to a post on "Tell employers in your community that they can participate in the non-profit organization's Healthy Eyes Vision Wellness Program at no charge. The program includes printed posters to hang in common areas of the workplace as well as various eye health educational materials designed to encourage workers to make their vision health a priority."

Omega-3 Could Reduce Mac D

"Regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in women, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals." That's the post on

Eyeglasses a Thing of the Past

"According to futurist Ray Hammond, glasses will be worn by fewer and fewer people over the next two decades as they seek out more permanent means of correcting poor eyesight, which can reduce or eliminate the need for spectacles," says

Keratoplasty—Good after 20 Years

"Penetrating keratoplasty performed for various indications, especially keratoconus, yielded high graft survival rates and good visual outcomes after 20 years or longer, a speaker said here," says

PA Assn. for Blind Push for Vision Care Coverage

"The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind is encouraging employers to consider Vision Care as an added benefit for their employees," says "According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), two-thirds of all adults report wearing some type of eyewear and nearly one-quarter report they have an eye condition or disease. An estimated 11 million Americans have uncorrected vision problems."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Need a Hotel Room for the OpticalCEU's Conference

Some attendees are looking for an alternative to hotel accommodations at Foxwoods Resorts. There are two options: Hilltop Inn & Suites in North Stonington and Bellissimo Grande Hotel, both of which have shuttle service to the MGM.

Hilltop Inn & Suites, 373 Norwick-Westerly Rd., N. Stonington 866-538-0187
Bellissimo Grande Hotel, 411 A & B, Norwich-Westerly Rd., N. Stonington, 866-538-0187

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mapping the Optic Circuits

"The properties of optical stimuli need to be conveyed from the eye to the brain. To do this efficiently, the relevant information is extracted by pre-processing in the eye," reports MedicalNewsToday. " For example, some of the so-called retinal ganglion cells, which transmit visual information to the brain via the optic nerve, only react to light stimuli moving in a particular direction. This direction selectivity is generated by inhibitory interneurons that influence the activity of the ganglion cells through their synapses. Using a novel microscopy method developed at the Institute, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg have now discovered that the distribution of the synapses between ganglion cells and interneurons follows highly specific rules. Only those dendrites that extend from the cell body of the amacrine cell in a direction opposite to the preferred direction of the ganglion cell connect with the ganglion cell."

Training Yourself to See

"Our brains process many more stimuli than we become aware of. Often images enter our brain without being noticed: visual information is being processed, but does not reach consciousness, that is, we do not have an impression of it," starts the post from MedicalNewsToday. "Then, what is the difference between conscious and unconscious perception, and can both forms of perception be changed through practice? These questions are important not only for basic research, but also for the treatment of patients with perceptual deficits due to brain lesions e.g. following a stroke. Scientists at the MPI for Brain Research in Frankfurt/Main could now show that seeing can be trained. Their tests revealed that the brain regions underlying the learning effects on conscious perception are different than the ones underlying the learning effects on the mere processing of stimuli."

Women Wins Suit against British Optician

"A pensioner who claimed her eyesight was damaged after being misdiagnosed by optician giant Specsavers has received a payout," says the BirminghamMail. "Anne Holt, aged 64, from Solihull, said she was left with limited vision after classic symptoms of retinal detachment were missed."

VisionSpring and Ray-Ban Work Together

"VisionSpring (VS) is showing in partnership with Ray-Ban to bring greater attention to the need for quality eye care and encourage participation in the global effort to provide more eyewear to those in need. For the next month, people who donate $160 or more to VisionSpring will receive a free pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses," according to a VS post. "This offer kicks off today Friday, March 11 at 12am EST.  Tomorrow morning VisionSpring CEO and Founder Dr. Jordan Kassalow is scheduled to appear on Good  Morning America to discuss the organization's charitable cause (check your local listings for times and channels to watch or DVR the show). The Ray-Ban promotion will last until 11:59pm EST on Monday, April 11."

CEA Creating Standards for 3D Glasses

"If you buy a 3D TV that uses active shutter glasses, right now you're pretty much limited to buying 3D glasses that are made by the same manufacturer as the manufacturer of your TV. The Consumer Electronics Association wants to change that," according to TGDaily.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

iPad Apps for ECPs

Eyemaginations has launched six new LUMA Eye Care Apps for iPad. With easy-to-understand videos, vision simulations, and closed captions, the LUMA Apps reportedly help eye care professionals explain eye conditions and treatments to patients within the office. The software is said to allow ECPs to present complex information to their patients in an engaging, easy-to-understand manner, helping patients visualize explanations.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lucenetis Snub by Brit’s Health Dept

"Just weeks before the publication of a pivotal trial in the U.S. that could jeopardize sales of eye care medicine Lucentis, Britain's health services cost watchdog Friday denied reimbursement for the drug in cases of a diabetic-related eye disease," reports "The medicine, which was developed by Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) and Novartis AG (NVS), which markets it in Europe, is under pressure from regulators, who are wary of the drug's high price amid attempts from doctors to use Roche's cheaper cancer treatment Avastin to treat vision loss. Although the final verdict is still pending, the U.K.'s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, said that while Lucentis is effective in treating diabetic macular oedema, the drug's elevated price was problematic."

Eyewear with Video Cameras

"Eyez embeds an HD 1080p video camera within the frame of the eyeglasses to record live video data," according to a post. "The recorded data can be stored to the 16GB of flash memory within the Eyez™ glasses, transferred via Bluetooth or Micro USB to a computer, or wirelessly transferred to most iPhone or Android devices. After a one-time download of the 'Eyez' smartphone and tablet app, users can wirelessly broadcast the video in real time to their preferred social networking website."

State Agency Warns about Colored CLs

TheRepublic is reporting that the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is warning state residents that color contact "lenses that are popular, particularly among teenagers, are often sold at malls and flea markets from vendors who are not adequately trained. The agency says it is illegal for anyone other than licensed eye care professionals to sell the lenses. The agency says it has ordered beauty supply stores and flea markets to stop selling the lenses without a prescription and has fined vendors that do not have the proper health care license up to $10,000."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tips for Eye Health from AOA

"Age plays a major factor when caring for vision. To treat current conditions and combat future diseases, patients should take the appropriate age-related steps to help keep their vision as healthy as possible," reports MedicalNewsToday about recommendations from the American Optometric Association (AOA). You can download a copy of the tips here to give to patients.

Link between Dry Eye and Weather

"Springtime may be just what the doctor orders for individuals suffering from dry eye condition, a disorder resulting from insufficient tear production or altered tear film composition," reports MedicalNewsToday. "According to a study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, a temperature less than 30 degrees Celsius on the eye and eyelid could be the cause for the onset or worsening of the disorder."

World Glaucoma Week in NYC

Joining an international effort to raise awareness about the threat of glaucoma, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has officially proclaimed March 6-12, 2011 as World Glaucoma Week in New York City.  The week is observed around the globe by awareness and educational events organized by eye care institutions and local patient support groups worldwide, as listed on

Prez Proclaims Save Your Vision Week

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim March 7 through March 13, 2010, as Save Your Vision Week. During this time, I invite eye care professionals, teachers, members of the media, and all organizations dedicated to preserving eyesight to join in activities that will raise awareness of eye and vision health." That's the proclamation from the White House for Save Your Vision Week. You may want to download the proclamation as a promo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Artificial Retina Coming to America

"For 20 years Eric Selby lived in darkness after a genetic eye disease robbed him of his sight. But now he can see flashes of light thanks a revolutionary 'bionic eye.' The Coventry grandfather is one of the first people in the world to have an artificial retina fitted." That was the story a week ago in the CoventryTelegraph.

All heck broke out yesterday, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is moving to approve it, according to a post on CBSNews, which also posted a video of an individual using the artificial retina that relies on a camera posted to eyeglasses.

Here's a description found on the TorontoSun:

Called the Argus II, and made by Los Angeles-based Second Sight Medical, the device has been in the testing phase for years.

After a successful clinical trial on 30 blind patients, the European Union on Wednesday approved the device's use in the European Economic Area.

Patients who use the device are first fitted with an implant on the outside of their eyeball. The implant is attached via a cable to the retina -- light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. A tiny camera mounted on a pair of glasses then transmits information to the implant.

While it doesn't allow blind people to see fully, it does allow them to recognize general shapes, light and movement.

In an interview with Reuters last year, Barbara Campbell of New York City said that after 16 years of total blindness, she can see shapes, the light on her stove top and letters on a computer screen just four months after being implanted with the then-experimental device.


Marchon Comes Out with Its 3D Glasses

"Marchon Eyewear…debuted a new sub-brand of passive 3D glasses called EX3D this week at the CeBit tech fair in Hannover, Germany," according to a CNET post. "The curved, scratch-resistant lenses offer full UV protection, and the glasses minimize peripheral light intrusion with a variety of wraparound designs. Passive 3D glasses usually have open sides, which can make nearby ambient light a big distraction. The EX3D glasses come in 25 styles; their above-average design makes these shades craveworthy, as does the very reasonable price of $35."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CLs Safer for Athletes

"People who wear contact lenses are less likely to suffer an injury than glasses wearers when taking part in sporting activities, one source has pointed out," says "When playing contact and ball sports in particular, glasses can pose a danger to people due to their propensity to smash, Price claims."

Visual Cortex Can Change Function

"Now, a study from MIT neuroscientists shows that in individuals born blind, parts of the visual cortex are recruited for language processing," says MedicalNewsToday. "The finding suggests that the visual cortex can dramatically change its function - from visual processing to language - and it also appears to overturn the idea that language processing can only occur in highly specialized brain regions that are genetically programmed for language tasks."

Churchill’s Eyeglasses for Auction

"A pair of tortoiseshell glasses that once perched on the end of Sir Winston Churchill's nose are to be sold at auction, reports the DailyMail. "The plastic-framed reading spectacles were made in 1954 for the former prime minister, who was often seen wearing glasses when appearing in public."

Luxottica Expands in Latin America. It's Still Growing

"Luxottica, the world's largest premium eyewear maker, is looking to buy small retail businesses in Latin America this year to offset slower growth in mature European markets, its chief executive told Reuters," according to a Reuters post. "The company behind Ray-ban eyewear and the Sunglass Hut chain has been ramping up investments in Latin America, one of the world's biggest markets for sunglasses, to strengthen its global reach."

The company "also reported a 34 percent rise in earnings per share for the year to EUR0.88.

Net income rose 34.5 percent to EUR402.2 million from EUR299.1 in fiscal 2009," says CompaniesandMarkets.