Saturday, April 30, 2011

Optician Gets Jefferson Award

Highmark Inc. recently gave 12 employees Jefferson Awards for Public Service. Highmark serves as a Jefferson Award Champion. It is one of only three companies with the privilege to recognize its employees with this prestigious award. Hector Gonzalez, a retail operations director for Eye Care Centers of America, a subsidiary of Highmark Inc., in Hialeah, Fla., will represent Highmark at the National Jefferson Awards ceremony this June in Washington, D.C. He worked to fight hunger among the homeless.

VSP and J&J Team Up for an Acuvue Promotion

VSP Vision Care's 56 million members now can try Acuvue lenses with a new guarantee. Should they not like them, up to $60 of their vision benefit will be reinstated. That's the arrangement between VSP and Johnson & Johnson, as reported on ContactLensHeadline. "The contacts must be obtained through a VSP provider, who will need to contact VSP within 30 days of the start of the trial if a reinstatement is desired. Members can use their reinstated benefit toward glasses or a different brand of contact lenses.
VSP members also are eligible for an additional $25 rebate on the purchase of a year’s supply of Acuvue lenses, on top of the current national Acuvue rebate program. For more information about the satisfaction offer and rebate program, visit"

Measuring the Visual Performance of Athletes

"The use of valid and repeatable visual acuity and contrast sensitivity tests is essential for measuring the differences in visual performance among athletes and nonathletes. The ability to improve already–normal visual acuity is unclear although contrast sensitivity can improve with fast–paced video games. Tinted contact lenses help reduce discomfort glare and speed up adaptation but do not have an appreciable effect on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity." That's the MDLinx abstract of study that appeared recently in Eye and Contact Lenses.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Soccer Officials Get Optical Sponsor

During football (soccer) matches throughout Great Britain, it's common to hear fans shout: "Should have gone to Specsavers," a leading Britsih optical retailer. "So it may amuse supporters that Haine & Smith to sponsor the match officials for the Wiltshire League cup finals, being played at Corsham Town on Saturday," goes the post on the SwindonAdvertiser. "General secretary Jim Thorn said: 'Some might see some irony in their sponsorship of the match officials. However, we are extremely grateful that, in these difficult financial times, they are able to support the league.'”

Surgeon Fixes Wrong Eye

CNNHealth reports that "Early one morning in April, Tasha Gaul and Dale Matlock took their young son, Jesse, to a hospital in Portland, Oregon, for surgery to correct his lazy eye. It was supposed to be an easy procedure: Jesse, who was 3 at the time, wouldn't even have to spend the night at the hospital. The surgery was indeed quick and simple. The problem was, it was on the wrong eye."

Avastin Beats Lucentis for AMD

"Results from the first year of a two-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trial show that Avastin, a drug approved to treat some cancers and is commonly used off-label to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is as effective as the more expensive FDA-approved drug Lucentis for treating AMD," goes the post from MedicalNewsToday. "The report, from the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT), was published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. David M. Brown, retinal surgeon at The Methodist Hospital, oversaw the study, part of a multi-centered, single-blind, randomized clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the NIH." For more information, go here.

Consumers Will Opt for Passive 3D Eyewear Says Oakley CEO

"Passive eyewear will emerge as the preferred choice of the consumer from the confusion around the 3D eyewear market, according to Oakley chief executive Colin Baden." That's what he reportedly said to OpticianOnline. "His comments followed proposals from the Consumer Electronics Association of America to standardise 3D active eyewear to ensure all 3D active glasses sold are compatible with all 3D TVs.Baden said the design limitations imposed by the electronic components of active eyewear, coupled with the higher price tag, means consumers will naturally opt for passive glasses."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kids' Eye Problems Being Missed

WebMD reports that "avoidable and lifelong problems with vision could be going undetected in children according to the consumer magazine Which? An estimated 10 to 20% of children are likely to have a significant vision problem that could be detected by a simple three minute test. NHS funded sight tests are free to under 16s; however, freedom of information (FOI) requests submitted by Which? revealed that one in ten primary care trusts (PCTs) do not arrange eye tests for four to five year olds.  A further 42 did not respond to the FOI requests, and therefore the figure could be much higher. Even when screening is offered, uptake ranged from 99% to just 35%."

Making Eyewear in Shop--Faster

"Vision technology company QSpex Technologies raised $6 million of a targeted $12 million in an equity offering," according to a post on CityBizList. That brings the company halfway to what its officials imply will be an optical revolution on the retail level. 

Dr. Kai Su, the company's chief scientific officer who invented SoftColors CLs and Opti-Clean clearner, has developed a system and the materials that reportedly  would enable an optical shop to produce eyeglasses in less than 30 minutes (including those with photochromic and polarized lenses). The company's CEO is Steve Martin, founder of Ciba Vision and Ciba Vision Ophthalmics.

So You Want to Be Either an Optician or Roustable

What are the best and worst jobs for 2011? What about optician? CareerCast discovered the answer to these questions in a recent study, and the company posted the results. Opticianry came out 63 of the top of the 200 jobs analyzed, beating out careers such as mechanic engineer. Why? The work environment (317.7) is comfortable unlike that of a roustable (1731.45). Contrary to what opticians may tell you, they live a stress-free life (15.43), according to CareerCast, which states that it's about half that for a roustabout. The physical demands for a roustabout are about four times that for an optician. What about pay? It pays the same, more or less, but CareerCast's number reflects the national average for licensed and non-licensed opticians. So on the next tough, opticians remember this: You could be rousting for the same.

College Kids Help with Dry Eye

"Rice University bioengineering students responded to an ophthalmologist's cry for help with a device to diagnose dry eye, the itching and burning sensation that results when a person doesn't produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quicklym,"so starts the  MedicalNewstoday post. "A team of five seniors made a portable unit that controls the air around a patient's eyes so doctors can study and treat those who suffer from this painful condition. ...'He wanted a way to control temperature, humidity and air flow all around the eyes and record it over time so he could track changes in their dryness,' said Daniel Hays, a member of Team ClimaTears, the student group that included Austin Edwards, Amanda Shih, Anastasia Alex and Michelle Kerkstra"

Artificial Retina Has a Long Way to Go

“In this month's Physics World, Richard Taylor, professor of physics, psychology and art at the University of Oregon, warns that artificial retinal implants - a technology fast becoming a reality - must adapt to the unique features of the human eye in order to become an effective treatment,” reports MedicalNewsToday. “The gap between digital camera technology and the human eye is getting ever smaller, in terms of both the number of light-sensitive detectors and the space that they occupy. A human retina typically contains 127 million photoreceptors spread over an area of 1100 mm2. In comparison, today's state-of-the-art CMOS sensors feature 16.6 million photoreceptors over an area of 1600 mm2. Despite the impressive progress of camera technology, several differences still remain, which is why, Taylor states, camera technology cannot simply be incorporated into the eye to restore the vision of patients with damaged rods and cones.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Are the Drawbacks to Glaucoma Therapy, Doctors Ask

"The side effects and drawbacks of long-term medical therapy in glaucoma patients should be more carefully considered by specialists, according to a panel of surgeons speaking at a meeting" in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, according to a post on the OSNSuperSite.

Vitamin D and Mac-D

“High concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D may protect against early age-related macular degeneration in women younger than 75 years, according to a large observational study,” posted on the OSNSuperSite.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

OpticalCEU's Spring 2011 Conference Sold Out!

OpticalCEUs has again sold out its Spring 2011 Continuing Education Conference for Opticians at the MGM Grand in Foxwoods. OpticalCEUs is no longer accepting reservations online, by phone, or via mail. 

OpticalCEUs plans to hold its Fall 2011 Continuing Education Conference for Opticians. Look for announcements here or at 

May Is Healthy Vision Month

"May is the Healthy Vision Month, an annual observance established by the National Eye Institute," as we are reminded by MedicalNewsToday and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. "As part of Healthy Vision Month, Mass. Eye and Ear is encouraging people to schedule comprehensive dilated eye exams with their ophthalmologists. In addition, people are urged to become knowledgeable about their family's eye health history. Do the following to help keep your eyes healthy and protect them from trauma:"
  • Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids- proven to be beneficial in eye health;
  • Wear protective eyewear;
  • If you're a smoker, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start;
  • Wear sunglasses year-round;
  • Rest eyes every 20 minutes from staring at a computer or television monitor;
  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling or changing contact lenses; and
  • Always practice workplace safety as part of the healthy vision mission.

Acuvue Runs Facebook Contest for Consumers

ModernMedicine reports that “People can enter to win prizes in Vistakon’s Acuvue 1-Day Contest through May 23 by submitting a photo and a one-sentence caption about their aspirations at; see the site for details.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

European CL Marketing Growing

“A new report on soft contact lenses and lens care in Europe has found that the market grew in 11 major markets – including the UK and Ireland – by 5.6% in 2010,” starts a report from OptometryToday. “Strongest growth among the reported countries was Spain (+9.7%), UK-Ireland (9%) and Italy (7.2%), with Denmark the only one of the 11 to decline in value (-5.2%). All 11 countries showed a growth in wearers, with daily disposables ‘again the driver’, up 6.9%, with weekly/bi-weekly and monthly growing 4.1% and conventional soft lenses growing too.”

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Manufacturers Awarded for Frames

"Top industry names Rodenstock and Luxoittica were amongst the winners of the  OptraAwards for the most inspiring frames of 2011 at Optrafair," according to OptometryToday. "

"Luxottica achieved four accolades while International Eyewear and Marchon each achieved two. The winner of the female ophthalmic frame category was Luxottica with the Chanel black gloss acetate 3201 C501 with a delicate temple logo. Second was The Eyewear Company with Vanni V1084 C518, and third was Fashion Eyewear International with Dilem OFO53."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Poor Vision Leads to Multi-Million Dollar Career

One woman's struggle with eyewear and contact lenses turns into a fortune. The Irish Times reports that "female comedian [Tina Fey] who had to wear glasses to read the autocue [cards] – there is a brief but grisly account of her attempts to put in contact lenses – Fey's life was changed on August 29th, 2008, when John McCain selected Sarah Palin as his running mate." And she was paid $6 million to put it in a book.

The Difference a Lens Makes to an NCAA B-Baller

ESPN reports that "though her prodigious basketball talents have been crystal clear for some time, until recently, much of the world seemed to Alexis Prince as, well, a little blurry. The No. 14 prospect in the 2012 class wears glasses off the court and had gone without visual aid on it, until last August. What a difference a pair of contact lenses makes. Before, everything looked blurry and farther away. 'I thought the court was bigger than it was,' said Prince, who is from Maitland, Fla., and plays with the Essence club girls' basketball team. 'Now I can see things.'

Baseball Story of Guts

"Jordan Underwood's life shifted in the instant the line drive smashed into his left eye," reports the Statesman. "'Your first thought was, "Is he alive?"' said Ky Burgess, Underwood's catcher that day….Though the Seminole State College pitcher was alive, doctors couldn't save his eye….Two years later, he is Southeast Missouri State's ace and one of the top pitchers in the Ohio Valley Conference."

Insurance Group Asks States to Include Vision Care

"The National Association of Specialty Health Organizations is calling on state and federal officials to consider insurance for vision care, dental, physical therapy and other services when drafting rules for health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals," goes the post on InsuranceNewsNet. "The Affordable Care Act did not specifically address these services, with some exceptions for dentistry and eye care for children, so specialty providers want to ensure they have a role in the exchanges now being formed. The association sought to bring attention to its members' services, including hearing, pharmacy benefit management, behavioral health, chiropractic and radiology management, in a letter to members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Health Insurance and Managed Care Exchanges Subgroup."

Field Hockey Folks Particular about Protective Eyewear

After the recent ruling about protective eyewear and high school field hockey players, did you think you had a ready-made marketplace? Maybe not. You should look at the protective eyewear approved by the International Hockey Federation and USA Field Hockey at

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hospital Recognizes Optician’s Service

Tia Nunn, optical manager at Clarkson Eyecare's Creve Coeur location, had the honor of being acknowledged for her outstanding service to Ranken Jordan pediatric hospital in St. Louis. In 2008 the hospital contacted Clarkson Eyecare asking if someone would assist in fitting or dispensing glasses at the hospital. Many children at the hospital are disabled, or their conditions make it difficult for them to travel. Nunn offered to help in any way she could. If a Ranken patient had Missouri Medicaid he or she would receive a full eye exam, the Clarkson Eyecare Lab would make lenses for the frames, and Tia would travel to Ranken to dispense the new glasses.

WSJ Suggests You Invest in World Eye Care

"Ninety percent of blind people in the world live in poor areas of developing countries. Eighty percent of them could see again if they had adequate eye-care services," so goes a recent Wall Street Journal
post. "Thought of as a business proposition, the potential for eye-care services is huge — as is the amount of good that could be done. And it's that type of thinking that some investors are acting on. The Acumen Fund, for example, …has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in eye-care centers in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa through a program called UHEAL." Read more.

Mysterty Shoppers Find Mixed Levels of Service

According to a post in OptometryToday, "an investigation on how well opticians meet and greet their public has found a mixed level of retail service…A significant number of practice teams were found to be inattentive when the researchers entered the stores…In all, however, 40% of the sample's staff approached the mystery shoppers immediately, and 19% were greeting their customer within two minutes, with a similar amount making contact between 3-4 minutes." How well would your shop do?

CL Solutions Affect Corneal Cells

Scientists discovered that multipurpose solutions have an impact on corneal cells: "Our results indicate an increase in cytotoxicity with borate-based MPS solutions in vitro when compared with both phosphate-buffered saline and borate-exposed lenses, suggesting that biocides and/or additives play a role in the observed cell reaction. Moreover, the mechanism of in vitro solution-induced toxicity appeared to be mediated by lens type, suggesting differences in the preferential adsorption/release profile of certain compounds." The study appeared in the journal Optometry and Vision Science. That's the word from

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Luxottica Pushes the Asian Market

"Italian eyewear giant Luxottica is trying to make its shades cool in China," according to the
Wall Street Journal.
"To do that, the maker of sunglasses bearing such brands as Ray-Ban, Ralph Lauren and Prada has recently started making glasses in China specifically tailored for the Chinese. Part of their strategy is making technical tweaks to better suit Asian facial characteristics, such as a lower nose saddle, where glasses rest on the face, and prominent cheekbones."

Old Guy Happy. No Longer Going Blind!

After suffering for 60 years with the rare Stevens-Johnson syndrome, Richard Galla was going blind. A few days ago, Kimberly Sippel, MD, replaced his damaged cornea with a synthetic. There's more to the story in the DanburyNewsTimes.

UK Docs Perform First Bi-Focal LAL Eye Surgery

Physicians at "the London Eye Hospital…[recently] completed the world's first bi-focal Light Adjustable Lens (LAL) eye surgery, apart from clinical trials," reports MedicalNewsToday. "Typically used during cataract or clear lens extraction surgery, LALs are the only lenses that can be adjusted after they're implanted in the eye."

19-Year-Old Wins Acuvue Advertising Contest

Using a video camera he received as a Christmas gift, the device, the Salisbury University sophomore Max Millhausen filmed a 30-second promoting Oasys CLs, according to the university's press release. He entered the ad in Acuvue's advertising contest. Acuvue called a few weeks ago. His commercial was judged the best out of 41 entries nationwide, earning him the $7,500 top prize.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Protective Eyewear for HS Field Hockey Players Mandated

Some 64,000 high-school field-hockey players will wear protective eyewear starting with the 2011-12 season, according to a post on the National Federation of State High School Associations' website. The NFHS's sports medicine committee believed that the potential for injury warranted the requirement. The NFHS board, therefore, "voted to mandate the use of protective eyewear that meets the current American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard for field hockey." Here's the lingering question: How many other youth field-hockey groups will adopt the NFHS's recommendations.

Eye Exams Save Lives

"A new study released today shows that eye exams are often the first to detect chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension," according to a press release from Human Capital Management Services Group (HCMS). "The study, conducted by…[HCMS],…found that eye doctors detected signs of certain chronic conditions before any other healthcare provider recorded the condition—65 percent of the time for high cholesterol, 20 percent of the time for diabetes, and 30 percent of the time for hypertension."

Letting the Blind See?

"Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have developed a potential therapy for blindness that involves delivering a gene encoding a light-sensitive protein to inner retinal cells, enabling photosensitivity in these cells and restoring visual function in mouse models," according MedicalNewsToday.

Optician Saves “Barmaid”

"Eye test saves [British] barmaid's life after optician diagnoses brain tumour …[that] would have killed her within a fortnight," according to the

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NIH Hands Out 2011 HVCA Grants to 15

"Working in Appalachia and Harlem, serving toddlers and seniors, the 2011 Healthy Vision Community Awards (HVCA) winners are committed to making eye health and vision priorities in their communities. HVCA, sponsored by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, is a unique program that provides awards up to $10,000 to make a difference in communities across the Nation by supporting grassroots eye health education. This seed money supplies the spark that gets projects started, which are then sustained through community partnerships," so starts the NIH press release. Here's a list of the 2011 HVCA recipients:

  • Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind, Resea, Calif., for the Vision Screening and Education Program.
  • Tulare Community Health Clinic, Tulare, Calif., for the Healthy Vision Promotora Project.
  • Blindness Prevention Program of the Stout Street Eye Clinic, Denver.
  • J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center, Inc., Savannah, Ga., for the Diabetic Vision Health Program for the Homeless and Uninsured.
  • North Central Kentucky Area Health Education Center, Park Hills, for Hispanic Awareness Glaucoma Project/Proyecto Hispanico de Educacion en Glaucoma.
  • St. Joseph Health System, Tawas City, Mich., for the Don't Lose Focus project.
  • Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, Columbia, for Promoting Glaucoma Detection Screenings to the Hispanic Population.
  • Lighthouse International, New York, N.Y., for Empowering Senior Center Staff to Facilitate Retinal Exams in High-Risk Older Adult Communities in Harlem and East Harlem.
  • North Dakota Optometric Association, Bismarck, for Eating for Your Eyes II: Diabetic Retinopathy.
  • New View Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, for the Adapted Type 2 Diabetes Education Program for Persons with Vision Impairment.
  • El Paso Diabetes Association, Brentwood, Texas, to conduct the Diabetic Eye Disease Education and Poster Contest.
  • TEAMability, Inc., San Antonio, for Implementing Rehabilitation for Children Having Cortical Visual Impairments: CVI Challenge.
  • Fourth Street Clinic, Salt Lake City, for the Diabetes Eye Disease Education and Prevention Program for Homeless Utahns.
  • Rural Health Outreach Program, Arrington, Va., of the Blue Ridge Medical Center.
  • The Larry Joe Harless Community Center, Gilbert, W. Va., for the Rural Appalachian Vision and Eye Screening (RAVE) program.

Visit for more information about the HVCA program and to learn more about these projects.

New iPhone/iPod-Touch App Helps Visually Impaired

"ZoomReader will be a combination video magnifier and OCR app. It uses the built-in camera on an iPhone or iPod Touch to zoom in on printed materials, apply color filters, and to take a picture of something and have the text in that image read out loud," according to a company news item. "One woman at ATIA even cried when she saw what ZoomReader could do; one of her family members has Down's Syndrome and ZoomReader will open up a brand new world for him - one where he will be able to read street signs, restaurant menus, and any printed material that he would otherwise need help reading."

In addition to ZoomReader, its manufacturer Ai Squared ( offers a variety of products intended to make the lives of the visually challenged easier. Check it out. You just might want to refer customers to the site.

CL Patients Can Win a Chance to Appear in a Charice Video

Three Charice fans could win a trip to Los Angeles and appear in the video for her new single, "One Day." The lucky threesome will be the winners of the Acuvue 1-Day Contest, sponsored by Vistakon, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., according to a company press release. Fans enter the contest by surfing to between now and May 23. They might win the chance to have their photos in a Charice video or another prize. Tell you CL patients.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time Is Running Out: Register for OpticalCEU’s Spring Seminar—NOW!

Registration deadline for OpticalCEU's Spring 2011 Seminar approaches: April 22. Reservation slots are moving quickly, according to Linda Conlin, founder of OpticalCEU's. "After the 22nd we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accept a reservation," notes Conlin. "Of course we will try. I just cannot promise." She urges individuals to register online or by calling 203-366-5991. For more information go to

Eyewear Mfr.’s Offer Japan’s Optical Shops Support

According to the website Eyeways, "International [eyewear] manufacturers' associations…[will offer] support for the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami [in Japan]…Anfao and Federottica did it for the people of Abruzzo and now, following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the world's most important associations of eyewear manufacturers such as Eurom I, The Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association (HKOMA) and The Vision Council, have written to Mr. Iizuka, director of the Japan Association of Optical Stores, stating that they are united in offering their help and support for the people involved in this tragedy. The members of these organizations have declared that they are ready to guarantee any kind of support that will help to cope with this difficult situation. The associations are now waiting for more information in order to organize support operations in the areas involved."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Two Opticians Help with Discovery

A few days ago this blog related a news about describing how University of Granada researchers extracted pig corneal cells and replaced them with human stem cells. There were four researchers: Professors Antonio Campos and Miguel Alaminos, histologists; Ophthalmologist Miguel Gonzalez Andrades; and opticians Ana Ionescu and Juan de la Cruz.

UK Opticianry Market to Grow with a Few But’s

"Following the market shrinking by 1.9% in 2009, the [British] opticians market has rebounded to grow by 0.2% in 2010, to be valued at £2.5 billion (less than $4.8 billion)," according to a report called UK Opticians Retailing. "While growth is set to become stronger over the next five years, the market will face a number of challenges, such as the growing presence of non-specialists in the sector and fewer opportunities for physical expansion."

B&L CEO Talks after One Year

Robert Reiss interviews yearly B&L CEO Brent Saunders. "For over 150 years Bausch + Lomb has led eye health innovation. However, the iconic company which focuses on three businesses: lenses and solutions, eye surgery, and pharmaceuticals and has more than 11,000 employees worldwide in over 100 countries, recently found itself in stagnation. To shake things up, Bausch +Lomb hired a new CEO, Brent Saunders, who at 41 years old was among the nation's youngest CEOs. Almost exactly one year after Brent took on his new role, I spoke with him about the progress the company is making, and the challenges it still faces."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vision Van Flies to Japan

"A state-of-the-art mobile eye clinic, transported by air from Miami, began offering much-needed services Friday in northeastern Japan for people with eye diseases and ailments who had no access to care after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami," reports MainichiDailyNews. "Vision Van, a large bus equipped with a comprehensive examination room, three screening stations, a waiting room and advanced ophthalmic equipment, will tour the tsunami-devastated coastal communities for three months, as its owner, the University of Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, has agreed to lend it for free."

Anne Hathaway’s Specs Make Waves

"Anne Hathaway is amazed by reports she's shot to the top of "geek chic" polls after wearing her spectacles to a film premiere," says (see her picture). "The Princess Diaries star, who is legally blind in one eye, ran out of contact lens solution before last Sunday's [10 April 2011] Rio screening in Los Angeles and had to hit the red carpet wearing glasses."

Awards Week at OptraFair

There were awards galore at the recent British optical convention called OptraFair. reported that various organizations and sponsors handed out 16 awards for everything from Best Contact Lens Practitioner to Best Dispensing Optician. Before the awards were distributed, "four Optician [OpticianOnline] couples had competed on the dance floor, strictly-style, in front of professional dancers from the show and former winner and BBC presenter Chris Hollins…[The] couples, drawn from Optician's readership, went toe to toe to the tango in front of professional dancers Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova and presenter Hollins."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eye Injuries from Spray Cans—Child Victims

"Children were the victims in more than half of the emergency room visits for eye injuries related to aerosol cans between 1997 and 2009, according to a new study by researchers at Brown University." That's a news item from MedicalNewsToday. "More could be done, they said, to prevent injury from the pressurized and often harsh chemical contents of the common products."

In a Pig’s Eye—Human Stem Cells

The expression "in a pig's eye" has taken on new meaning, at least in Granada, Spain. "Researchers at the University of Granada have made progress toward bioartificial organs by extracting pig corneal cells and replacing them with human stem cells," says ScienceDaly. "This method, known as decellularization and recellulation, allows scientists to maintain the basic structure of the cornea and replace its cellular components."

Zeiss Launches New Photochromic Lens

"Carl Zeiss's has just released a new self-tinting lens that they say darkens in 15 - 30 seconds and is clear again in five to 10 minutes, eliminating the need for people to swap between sunglasses and eyeglasses when moving between outdoor and indoor environments," says an The Australian website reported that the lenses "are produced in-house, react up to two times faster from dark to clear than previous photochromic lenses by Carl Zeiss Vision."
noted the company introduced the lens globally at Optrafair a few days ago.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Let Our Children See

The "School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision" issued a joint stating backing "comprehensive eye exams for school-aged children as a foundation for a coordinated and improved approach to addressing children's vision and eye health issues and as a key element of ensuring school readiness in American children," according to the summit's press release. The American Optometric Association (AOA), with support from HOYA Vision Care, gathered together doctors, nurses, educators and other children's health advocates for the first-ever gathering in Washington, DC. The specialists examined alarmingly high-rates of learning-related vision issues now plaguing America's.   

The statement was signed by representatives for American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Federation of Teachers, American Optometric Association, American Public Health Association, Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, Council for Exceptional Children, Foundation for Eye Health Awareness, HOYA Vision Care, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, National Association of School Nurses, National Commission on Vision and Health, National Education Association's Health Information Network, National Head Start Association, National Rural Health Association, Prevent Blindness America, and the Vision Council.


Packing Middle-Age Lb’s Bad for Men’s Eyes

"Research has suggested that gaining weight in middle age could notably increase a man's risk of going blind in later life, which may interest men already wearing glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision," goes the post from "According to scientists at the University of Melbourne, piling on the pounds puts men in danger of contracting age-related macular degeneration (AMD), though the risk to women appears to be unaffected."

NYC’s Gandhi Loses Glasses Yet Again

"Some peace-hating vandal yanked the eyeglasses off Union Square's Gandhi statue -- but at least Mahatma's got a replacement," writes the New York Post. "The bronze eyewear gets ripped off the face of the monument so often that the Parks Department has to keep a supply of backup specs for the statue, installed in 1986, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe told The Post."

Bachmann Gives LensCrafters Unwanted Publicity

"Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) derided Planned Parenthood as "the LensCrafters of big abortion" earlier this week during a stop in Iowa, and it seems that the comparison left the prescription eyewear company less than pleased," reports the Huffington Post. "Roll Call
relays word from a LensCrafters spokeswoman, who signaled to the publication that a request was made to the congresswoman's office that she no longer use the company's name."

Prada Goes Made to Order

PRADA has launched an online version of its Made To Order service, according to Customers now can order footwear, eyewear, bags and luggage bearing their initials or name. The service is pricey.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bieber Tosses CLs for D&G’s

"Over the weekend, Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) threw a special party for … 17-year-old [Justin Bieber] after his sell-out My World show at the Forum di Assago in Milan and it was all eyes on what were framing his puppy-dog peepers," reports "Bieber arrived at the gathering in a thick-rimmed pair of black D&G spectacles, tossing aside his usual contact lenses in favour of the geek-chic look with which he is occasionally associated."

Tiger’s Promising Reliever Hopes CLs Solve Problem

"Ryan Perry isn't exactly blind, but the 24-year-old reliever admitted Monday he's pretty darn close, according to a post. "Perry is scheduled to visit an eye doctor Thursday and will attempt to wear contact lenses for the first time since infection and inflammation in his left eye required the club to place him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 5. Tigers athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Perry also has a corneal abrasion on his left eye that has prevented him from wearing corrective lenses."

New Consumer Website for NEOX and SOLFX

Transitions Optical Inc. has launched a new microsite on its Web site to inform consumers of the features of a line of sun lenses (NEOX Transitions SOLFX), says The sun lens line is available exclusively at the 35-lab network of Walman and Soderberg, divisions of Walman Optical. The microsite,, includes an eye-care professional (ECP) locator that allows prospective patients to find a local ECP that offers the line. ECPs wanting to listed on the site should call 877-863-2759.

What’s Better—Lasik or CLs?

The 23-year-old, not-for-profit Cornea Research Foundation of America is conducting a national clinical study comparing the results of Lasik surgery with contact lenses, according to a press release issued by one of the participating physicians. This reportedly will be the first prospective study to follow these two popular methods of vision correction for nearsightedness, astigmatism, and farsightedness simultaneously. For more information about the study, or to see if they qualify, candidates should call 1-800-NEW-VISION.

Kids Ain’t Learnin’ Cause They Ain’t Seein’

With about one-in-four school-aged children suffering from an undetected or untreated vision problem, the American Optometric Association (AOA), with support from HOYA Vision Care, gathered together doctors, nurses, educators and other children's health advocates for the first-ever School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision, according to the group's press release. The two-day session, convened by the AOA in Washington, D.C., reportedly examined alarmingly high-rates of learning-related vision issues now plaguing America's children and produced a bold healthy vision and learning blueprint to replace a broken system that is leaving millions of children to endure the effects of diseases that are treatable and vision loss that is preventable.

Standardizing 3D Eyewear?

"The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is seeking proposals for standardizing 3D active eyewear that uses an infrared (IR) synchronised interface from consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers," according to Electronic Product Design.

Marchon3D Expands Line

Marchon3D reportedly has added two items to portfolio of circular, polarized 3D eyewear.  It also is said to have received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for U.S. Patent Application No. 12/495,754 on April 4, 2011.  Two days later the office issued a NOA U.S. Patent Application No. 12/350,092.  The applications under patent consideration are said to protect the innovative curved lenses that are configured to decode passive three dimensional content. Marchon3D expects that USPTO will issue patents for these inventions within the coming weeks.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Triathloner Wins with One CL

"Edmonton's Paula Findlay needed only one contact lens to capture the opening women's race of the International Triathlon Union's championship series Sunday," says Canada Press. "Findlay outsprinted 2010 Sydney winner Barbara Riveros Diaz of Chile to cross the finish line in two hours one minute 21 seconds…'This is amazing. It was unexpected again, but really exciting and so cool,' said Findlay. 'My contact (lens) fell out again so I raced half the day blinded so I think I need laser eye surgery or something.'"

Humana Expands Its Optical Network

Humana Inc. added optical locations to its HumanaVision Vision Care Plan (VCP) network. The network now includes LensCrafters, Sears Optical, Target Optical, JCPenney Optical, and most Pearle Vision stores.

Psychological Impact of Glaucoma

"Fear of the unknown is one of the greatest issues facing patients with glaucoma the second leading cause of blindness worldwide after cataracts according to research in the April issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing," according to MedicalNewsToday. " People also worry about how the eye disease, which can be hereditary, will affect other members of their family."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Women More Prone to Eye Troubles

Here are some intriguing statistics compiled by the, one of the sponsors of April as Women's Eye Health and Safety Month:

Some 37 million people are blind, and around 124 million have low vision.

Two-thirds of both blind and visually impaired people are women.

Most blind and visually impaired people (80%) live in developing countries.

Major risk factors for poor vision are age, gender, and socioeconomic development.

In the U.S.
Experts estimate that more than 1 million individuals (70% women) are legally blind.

Of the 3.4 million Americans suffering from visual impairment, about 2.3 million are women.

A higher percentage of women suffer visual impairment because women usually outlive men.

There's also the possibility that women are biologically, hormonally, or immunologically predisposed to some eye diseases.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

VSP Offers Mobile App

"VSP Vision Care today launched the mobile version of that allows members to access their vision care information from anywhere. Using a smartphone device, VSP members have access to features including: find a doctor, check your benefits, access your vision card and browse the eyewear gallery," according to NewsMedical.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Earn Your ABO/NCLE Credits on May 1

Are you looking for ABO and NCLE continuing education credits for your license? OpticalCEU's has an opportunity for your. You can earn one credit or seven credits at OpticalCEU's Spring Seminar being held Sunday, May 1, at the MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods. A full-day program costs only $125 and includes an elegant lunch.

For more details about the seminar, go to, email for information at, or call at 203-366-5991. You can also register online at Contact OpticalCEUs soon because seats are running out.

New Treatment Slows AMD

"A phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of a severe form of age-related macular degeneration called geographic atrophy (GA) has become the first study to show the benefit of a therapy to slow the progression of vision loss for this disease," according to a MedicalNewsToday
post. "The results highlight the benefit of the use of a neurotrophic factor to treat GA and provide hope to nearly one million Americans suffering from GA."

Independent British Opticians Face Trouble

"A new market report on UK opticians – available for a 10% discount to OT readers – suggests tough times are ahead for those independents unprepared for the challenges of the future," according to OptometryToday.

Charging for Services?

"With the increase in Internet sales, you're not alone if you're wondering whether you should be charging for services such as taking measurements or making adjustments, doing repairs, or putting lenses in frames purchased elsewhere," so starts Erinn Morgan's EyecareBusiness article.

Friday, April 8, 2011

PixelOptics Gets $45 Million reports that Safeguard Scientifics Inc., Wayne, NJ, is plopping $25 million into PixelOptics, a Roanoke, Va., medical technology company developing electronically focusing prescription eyewear called emPower. "Safeguard, a holding company that buys stakes in growth-stage life sciences and technology businesses, is part of a group of investors that put $45 million into PixelOptics."

According to a press release about the deal, "The financing is comprised of $35M equity investment and $10M venture debt.  Participating venture capital organizations include: Safeguard Scientifics, Delphi Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Longitude Capital, and Stark Investments.  Horizon Technology Finance (Nasdaq: HRZN) provided the venture debt funding."

New Public Eye Care Policy? New Marketing Opportunity?

Some times changes in public policy can mean new marketing opportunities. Here's a possible one for ECPs. According to a recent press release, eye and vision problems among school-age children in the United States is an urgent national public health challenge which can directly impact a child's ability to succeed in school and later in life. To confront and help combat this growing problem, influential advocacy organizations, educators, policy makers and parents, have come together with leading doctors in the field of pediatric eye and vision care for a two-day summit aimed at highlighting the important role that vision and eye health play in school readiness. Emerging from the summit, these public health and education leaders will unveil a new national strategy aimed at combating high rates of learning-related vision problems in school-age children.

Here's one great idea but it does lack an apparent marketing opportunity. "Some 30,000 Chicago Public Schools students will learn about eye health in a pilot program aimed to get children and their parents to take vision more seriously," says the Chicago Tribune. "Prevent Blindness America, based in Chicago, gave the district 1,000 kits of its new Star Pupils eye-health curriculum for kindergarteners, first- and second-graders. With four 10-minute lessons, the curriculum is intended to be easy for teachers and straightforward for students."

Creating a Retina In Vivo

"A breakthrough new report by Mototsugu Eiraku, deputy leader of the Four-dimensional Tissue Analysis Unit and colleagues in the Laboratory for Neurogenesis and Organogenesis (Group Director, Yoshiki Sasai), as well as the RIKEN VCAD Program, and Kyoto and Osaka Universities, describes how mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are able to differentiate and assemble into an optic cup, capable of giving rise to a tissue exhibiting the stratified structure characteristic of the retina in vivo." That's the word from MedicalNewsToday. "Published in Nature, the study used a cutting-edge three-dimensional tissue culture system not only to demonstrate this self-organizing capacity of pluripotent stem cells, but the underlying cell dynamics as well."

Eye of the Beholder or the Beheld?

"Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but a new study reveals that the reverse is also true; unattractiveness is in the eye of the beheld," according to MedicalNewsToday. "Research published in Ethology finds that people with bloodshot eyes are considered sadder, unhealthier and less attractive than people whose eye whites are untinted, a cue which is uniquely human."

Britain Removes 203 ECPs

"Following last week's GOC [Britain's General Optical Council] retention deadline for optometrists, dispensing opticians and bodies corporate, 203 practitioners have been removed from the registers," reports OptometryToday. "Those who failed to complete registration on time but wish to continue practising must now pay the regulator £340 [about $700] to be restored."

Online Retailer Working with ODs

British has hired licensed Optometrist Carl Fredrik Kanington in order to develop partnerships with eye care practices and to expand the information available to LensOn's customers, goes the company's press release. A live chat function The company reportedly has implemented a live chat function so customers can ask questions about anything related to contact lenses and eye care. The company plans also to develop services for booking eye exams at your local optometrist through

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Retail Market Improves

Did you have a strong March? So did others in the retail market. "Shoppers shrugged off higher gas prices and cool temperatures to give retailers a surprisingly strong March," according to the HuffintonPost. "The retail revenue figures released Thursday extend the streak of solid spending from late last year and indicate that recent job growth is tempering worries about higher pump prices. A broad range of stores from Costco Wholesale Corp. to Victoria's Secret parent company Limited Brands Inc. reported revenue gains that handily beat Wall Street expectations. Target Corp. reported a smaller decline than Wall Street expected."

Controlling Computers with Your Eyes

"On a handful of prototype PC's, your look is your command." So starts the NYTimes story about eye controlled computers. "With eye-tracking technology embedded in the lid of a laptop, right, a computer user can guide the cursor just by looking at the screen. There's no more fiddling with the mouse on these computers. Just look at a particular location on the screen, and the cursor goes there instantly, ready for you to open a folder or to send an e-mail (at which point you need to use old-fashioned keys)."