Friday, November 30, 2012

Luxottica Signs Deal for Alain Mikli International

Luxottica Group S.p.A. has signed a purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Alain Mikli International. The execution of the agreement follows the positive outcome of the consultation process with the Alain Mikli Works Council. The transaction, with an enterprise value of approximately Euro 90 million, was previously announced on November 2, 2012.

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Sears Optical Goes Online with the Kardashian Kollection

Sears Optical has launched its online boutique with Kardashian Kollection Eyewear.  The collection is composed of prescription-ready eyewear and sunglasses. The website  ( will offer eight Kardashian Kollection Eyewear pieces in six color ways. The collection will offer round, square and cateye frames available in black, brown, tortoise shell, gold, silver and nickel to appeal to a variety of shopper tastes. All sunglasses will be sold with a non-prescription sun lens with UV protection, featuring clear plastic anti-reflective lenses. Read more.

New from Mykita

"Debbie is part of Mykita Collection No. 2, and its deliberately oversized dimensions make it a fashionable accessory for both male and female trendsetters," says Midwest Lens. "The designs in this collection play heavily with frame forms, while also constantly varying the thickness of the outer contour and the size of the lenses. The newly developed and patented resilient, screwless hinge system is the result of a new technique using metal injection molding." Read more.

New from Plume Paris

"Nice is a two tone stainless steel frame inspired by the city in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast," according to Midwest Lens. "The Nice frame was directly inspired by the avant-garde type fashion found throughout the city. With this frame, you’ll find bright color combinations to this vintage inspired metal frame that is an unusual concept in the market." Read more.

New from L’Wren Scott

Midwest Lens notes, "This Fall sees L’Wren Scott’s debut in eyewear. At once spectacular and understated, the collection defies seasonal trends. Timeless, flowing elegance, yet resolutely cutting edge, these pieces can be worn to any occasion, enhancing the wearer’s sensuous femininity. Here elegance meets individuality." Read more.

Projections for the World's Eyewear and CL Markets--a Combined $125.4 Billion in Five Years

Within five years, the world's market for eyewear, contact lenses, and CL solutions could top $125 billion, according to two reports from Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA). It's a growth driven by vanity and technological innovation, especially as the Baby Boomer and Millennial generations age--not just in the U.S. and Europe but Asia as well.

The global market for eyeglasses could reach $113.2 billion by 2018, according to one GIA report. A summary of the report notes what most opticians have witnessed for the past year. For example, it says that shifting fashion preferences reportedly will drive the growth as consumers opt for trendy and sporty eyeglass frames. It adds that consumers are shifting from rimless frames and are purchasing frames with brighter, bolder, multi-colors, with rectangular shapes, or made from natural materials. Frames with crocodile patterns and animal skin prints are finding favor among nature enthusiasts.

The shift to style, though, is driven in part by advances in the field. The reports says that new materials for lenses and frames, as well as other technological advances, have resulted in designs with better aesthetic appeal, style, and quality. Eyeglasses with lightweight material frames, such as monel and titanium, and the use of polycarbonate lenses have become immensely popular. Read an executive summary of the report.

Contact Lenses and Solutions
In a similar report about CLs, the analysts report that the CL and solutions market could exceed $12.2 billion by 2018. Again the report's insights reflect what most opticians witness with their patients. For example, the report states that vanity is driving the increased usage of CLs. Favorable demographics, rapid penetration of high-value products, growing occurrence of myopia, and reduction in wearer dropouts also account for the healthy growth forecasts. Among the developing economies, Asia is expected to account for majority of the growth. Soft contact lenses represent the largest segment. Among soft lenses, silicone hydrogel CLs--with their  higher oxygen permeability and water content--have revolutionized the extended wear market. With sales of silicone hydrogel lenses increasing worldwide, several CL manufacturers are developing and patenting their own silicone hydrogel material.  The reports adds, however, that the multi-focus lenses segment of the market is growing the quickest. The marketplace for contact lens is highly concentrated with handful of players operating. Declining prices and high entry barriers have prevented new companies from entering this market. Key players profiled in the report include Abbott Medical Optics Inc., Alcon Inc., Bausch & Lomb Inc., CooperVision Inc., Ginko International Co., Ltd., and Vistakon. Click this link for an executive ummary of this report.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New from Clariti Eyewear

"Reframe your outlook on life and your entire wardrobe with the new Mademoiselle Collection from Clariti Eyewear," notes Midwest Lens. "These European inspired fashion accessories effortlessly accentuate your beauty and give you the couture look at affordable prices. Top quality titanium, Swarovski gems and metallic gilding, sparkle like La Tour Eiffel on a warm Parisian night. The Mademoiselle frames are sophisticated and delicate, adding a touch of haute design to whatever you’re wearing. You’ll have people saying, 'Oh la la!' And you’ll be just as pleased by the price tags as you are with your new look." Read more.

Medical Electronic Record "Vulnerable," Says Report

"The conversion to electronic medical records — a critical piece of the Obama administration’s plan for health care reform — is “vulnerable” to fraud and abuse because of the failure of Medicare officials to develop appropriate safeguards, according to a sharply critical report to be issued Thursday by federal investigators," according to a New York Times post. "The use of electronic medical records has been central to the aim of overhauling health care in America. Advocates contend that electronic records systems will improve patient care and lower costs through better coordination of medical services, and the Obama administration is spending billions of dollars to encourage doctors and hospitals to switch to electronic records to track patient care." Read more.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ClearVision's 2013 for BCBGMAXAZRIA, Ellen Tracy, Cole Haan, Marc Ecko Cut and Sew, IZOD, and Jessica McClintock

"ClearVision Optical’s 2013 sun collection boasts some of today’s hottest looks, all trend right for the 2013 sun season and perfect for building a bright and successful sun dispensary. Featuring over 40 new styles including several Petite Fit and XLFIT™ designs, the ClearVision 2013 sun collection shines with something for everyone!" That's the word from Midwest Lens. "ClearVision brings fresh new sun styles for BCBGMAXAZRIA, Ellen Tracy, Cole Haan, Marc Ecko Cut & Sew, IZOD, and Jessica McClintock. Cole Haan’s contemporary retro shapes and colors are inspired by downtown trendsetters, while BCBGMAXAZRIA showcases luxe sophistication inspired by the eclectic style of glamorous fashionistas. The Marc Ecko Cut & Sew collection boasts rugged, cool styles inspired by stealth military and hipster city vibes." Read more.

Lightec Offers New Alpha 21

"Lightec is thrilled to roll out a new concept for men featuring TR90 fronts and stainless steel temples. Alpha 21 offers men an ultra-light frame which does not jeopardize aesthetics for comfort. Three clean lined, structured eye shapes are combined with stainless steel temples for a look which is both sophisticated and contemporary," says Midwest Lens. "Alpha 21 juxtaposes materials and colors to create unique contrasts for bold yet understated frames. Translucent fronts have a frosted or gloss finish and are available in dark, classic colors like blue, grey, red and brown. The fronts contrast beautifully with the galvanized finish of the temples." Read more.

Rosemary May Help with AMD/NEI Says Changes in Immune System Affects Development of AMD

"Researchers report that carnosic acid, a component of the herb rosemary, promotes eye health," according to Science Daily. "The team found that carnosic acid protects retinas from degeneration and toxicity in cell culture and in rodent models of light-induced retinal damage. Their findings suggest that carnosic acid may have clinical applications for the outer retina, including age-related macular degeneration." Read more.

Meanwhile the National Eye Institute reports that changes in how genes in the immune system function may result in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study identified decreased levels of DNA methylation, a chemical reaction that switches off genes, on the interleukin-17 receptor C gene (IL17RC). The lack of DNA methylation led to increased gene activity and, in turn, increased levels of IL17RC proteins in patients with AMD. IL17RC is a protein that promotes immune responses to infections, such as fungal attacks.The study appears in the Nov. 29 issue of Cell Reports.
Read more.

'Argo' Inspires New Eyewear Look

"After seeing all the thick, dark-framed eyeglasses in Ben Affleck's '70s espionage thriller Argo, Fash Track is not the slightest bit surprised that a modern eyewear trend has been started," according to the Hollywood Reporter. "Nor are we surprised to see two top trend-setting actresses wearing updated versions of the period eyewear." Read more.

'Luxottica Sees Itself as King,' Says Forbes Post/Luxottica Spends $58.3 Million for Minority Stake in Salmoiraghi & Vigano

"You’ll likely need to fork out over $350 for luxury eyewear – a price that’s framed through one lens of an $8.5 billion public company majestically shielded in the mountains of Italy...More than 80% of major eyewear brands, including the world’s No. 1 seller, Ray-Ban, are designed and retailed (over 7,000 stores US alone) by Luxottica, raising questions about brand authenticity, price and customer choice," goes a recent post in Forbes. "Products exist in the mind and brands live in the heart: Luxury brands conjure up lifestyle interpretations we want to buy into. More than 500 million people don Luxottica’s products and CEO Andrea Guerra insists that 'customers have the brand choice for their lifestyle'...If you owned 80% of the high-end eyewear market and were doing what any CMO desires – achieving brand growth, relevance and revenue–you’d say that too, right? That may be the 'business' of brands, but if the product itself has had zero design input from the name on the frame, what of authenticity and brand promise? Recently the Economist quoted Rodney Collins, a director at advertising agency McCann, saying, 'above all else brands must appear to be "authentic" if they want to succeed.'" Read more.

Fox Business News reported yesterday that "Italy's eyewear giant Luxottica...has agreed to pay 45 million euros ($58.3 million) for a minority stake in Italian eyewear retail group Salmoiraghi & Vigano. In a filing to the Italian stock exchange, the company said it will buy newly issued shares of Salmoiraghi & Vigano representing a 36% stake in the eyewear retailer. Salmoiraghi & Vigano owns approximately 500 stores across Italy and its net sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 stood at some EUR170 million." Read more.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"Sonar Vision" System Helps People Blind from Birth

"A 'sonar vision' system that enables people who are blind from birth to perceive the shape of a face, a house or even words and letters, is being developed by a team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Using this device, the researchers have shown that, in people that are blind from birth, the areas of the cerebral cortex normally devoted to reading become activated in response to stimulation," according to a Science Daily post. "The results of this study, conducted in conjunction with researchers at the ICM Brain and Bone Marrow Institute Research Center (Inserm/UPMC/AP-HP) and NeuroSpin (CEA-Inserm), were published in Neuron." Read more.

New from Koali

"The pitcher plant, also known as Nepenthe plant, is a mysterious carnivorous, tropical plant, with a vase shape. This beautiful and very unique plant is the inspiration behind Koali’s most recent concept." That's the start of a Midwest Lens post. "The frame temple evokes the silhouette and movement of the pitcher plant with two delicately worked stainless steel strands which are interlaced in a two-toned spiral. The clean temple lines set off the handcrafted acetate fronts of the collection’s rimmed and semi-rimless models." Read more.

Bascom Palmer Eye Receives $10 Million

World prominent philanthropist donated $10 million to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He wants the eye hospital at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to establish an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to eradicating blinding injuries and lethal orbital malignancies. The gift came from the founder and chairman of Rashid Engineering in Saudi Arabia, Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, Ph.D. He lost vision in one eye as a child, but vision in the other eye was saved by David T. Tse, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Miami Miller School. Read more.

Check Beneath the Eyes

"They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, to get a real idea of what a person is up to, according to UC Santa Barbara researchers Miguel Eckstein and Matt Peterson, the best place to check is right below the eyes. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," according to a Science Daily post. "'It's pretty fast, it's effortless -- we're not really aware of what we're doing,' said Miguel Eckstein, professor of psychology in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences. Using an eye tracker and more than 100 photos of faces and participants, Eckstein and graduate research assistant Peterson followed the gaze of the experiment's participants to determine where they look in the first crucial moment of identifying a person's identity, gender, and emotional state." Read more.

US Assn of Blind Athletes Marathon Partners with VSP

With VSP Vision Care, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) will host the 4th Annual USABA National Marathon Championship this Sunday. It will be held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM) in Sacramento, Calif.  Some 30 blind or visually impaired runners from around the world will compete. Fifteen will run the full marathon. Last year, 18 participated.  Read more.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Coastal Contacts Starts Vision Plan

According to a press release on Yahoo! News,  Coastal Contacts Inc.has launched a new vision benefit plan. The Coastal Vision Plan provides each employee and their dependents with an initial Free pair of prescription eyeglasses in addition to significant ongoing savings on prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses. Other options exist that allow employers to customize the plan to suit their needs. The plan is particularly attractive to employers, who are seeking to reduce their benefits costs while providing their employees with enhanced vision benefits. Coastal is currently working with Benefits Consultants, Brokers and leading HR Professionals to bring the plan to market. Read more.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Patients and Customers

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Here's an idea for your patients and customers. Gift them gift ideas. Aside from buying eyewear from your operation, you could offer these ideas from the Calgary-based Operation Eyesight Universal (prices are in Canadian dollars):

  • For the bookworm, bring the world into focus for three children with the gift of brand-new, custom-fitted prescription eyeglasses. Your gift can help children enjoy reading for only $20.
  • For the person who travels, give a cataract surgery for just $30. Cataract, a common form of blindness, is easily treated with a straightforward surgery. Give the gift of sight today and open a world of new possibilities for someone in Africa or India!
  • For the teenager in your life who takes 20 minute showers, give the gift of water. The struggle against avoidable blindness can't be won without access to clean water, which is in scarce supply in sub-Saharan Africa. Gifts that fund water projects start at $50.
  • For the volunteer, give the gift of community eye care for $100. Often people who need care the most can't make it to a clinic or hospital. Community eye care brings care to them - reaching marginalized individuals and families right where they live.
  • For the teacher or student, give the gift of training. The training we fund gives locals the means to take care of their own people. Gifts of training start at $100.

Read more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

New from Totally Rimless

'Combining lightweight rimless design with art nouveau-inspired styling, the latest frames from Boutique by Totally Rimless create a glamorous look," says Midwest Lens. "Titanium frames and adjustable nose pads ensure the frame is lightweight and comfortable, while the jeweled accents and soft romantic colors increase the feminine aesthetic." Read more.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Braille Patterns Streamed Directly to Retina

"For the very first time researchers have streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient's retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device. The device, the Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects. It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation, and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina," according to Science Daily. "The study was authored by researchers at Second Sight, the company who developed the device, and has been published in Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics on the 22nd of November." Read more.

Word Recognition Patterns Change with Age

"Unique research into eye-movements of young and old people while reading discovers that word recognition patterns change as we grow older," says a Science Daily post. "The researchers [from the University of Leicester] conducted experiments that used very precise measures of readers' eye movements to assess how well they read lines of text that had been digitally manipulated to enhance the salience of different visual information. For instance, sometimes the text was blurred and other times the features of the individual letters were sharply defined. The results showed that whereas young adults (18-30 years) found it easiest to read lines of text when the fine visual detail was present, this was more difficult for older adults (65+years), who found it easier to read more blurred text. These findings support the view that older adults use a different reading strategy from younger adults and that they rely more than young adults on holistic cues to the identities of words, such as word shape." Read more.

Luxottica Buys Salmoiraghi & Vigano

Italy's Luxottica has bought 40 percent of the unlisted 900-store Salmoiraghi & Vigano chain of eyewear shops, Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday, marking Luxottica's entry into Europe's retail market," reports Reuters. "Eyewear manufacturer Luxottica has paid 40 million euros ($51.54 million)for the 40 percent stake, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the coming years for a total of up to 200 million, the paper reported without citing sources." Read more.

Canada's Health Department Approves Mini-Telescope for AMD Patients

VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc., has received a Health Canada Medical Device License  to market in Canada its implantable miniature telescope developed by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz in Canada. The telescope implant can help improve vision of patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD).Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses micro-optical technology to magnify images which would normally be seen in one's "straight ahead" or central, vision. The images are projected onto the healthy portion of the retina. Read more. Read more.

"Sunglasses' Ease Jet Lag

"Australian sleep researchers have developed a set of hi-tech 'sunglasses.' described as the world’s first 'time control' spectacles, which can imitate sunlight patterns," according to the Telegraph. A "team, from Flinders University, in Adelaide, say the glasses emit a soft green glow that helps a traveller adapt to changing sleep patterns and time zones in 'small steps.' It targets a part of the brain that regulates the human body-clock, by sending signals to the rest of the body that help it slowly realise it is in a different area of the world." Read more.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mapping the Rod Sensory Cilium

"Using a new technique called cryo-electron tomography, two research teams at Baylor College of Medicine have created a three-dimensional map that gives a better understanding of how the architecture of the rod sensory cilium (part of one type of photoreceptor in the eye) is changed by genetic mutation and how that affects its ability to transport proteins as part of the light-sensing process." That's the start of a Science Daily post. Read more.

NIH Grant for Hand-Held Vision Scanner

"A pen-sized eye scanner could improve access to vision-related health care in the US and around the world, thanks to a grant issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Lumetrics," according to Photonics. "The medical technology company received $973,000 from the NIH’s National Eye Institute to develop the handheld digital instrument for retina inspection....The camera’s development was led by Dr. Fillip Ignatovich, Lumetric’s chief technology officer, and Dr. David Kleinman, an academic retinal specialist at the Flaum Eye Institute, also in Rochester. It was made possible through a patent invented by Dr. Steven Feldon, director of the Flaum Eye Institute, and Dr. Geunyoung Yoon of the University of Rochester." Read more.

L'Wren Scott's Sunglasses

"L'Wren Scott experimented with texture when creating her sunglasses line," reports Yahoo! News. "The American designer has come up with a 21-piece collection of shades, which will be available to buy from February 2013. She was keen to offer something different to existing ranges, so played with fabrics; much like she does when designing her clothes line." Read more.

Mafrex Starts Sunglass Collection

"He may have missed out on a MOBO, but that’s not stopping Edinburgh-based gospel singer El Mafrex from looking to the future as he launches his own brand of eyewear." So starts the blog piece from Midwest Lens. "The 28-year-old, who lost out to Rachel Kerr for Best Gospel Act, said he was thrilled to rub shoulders with stars such as JLS, Emile Sande and Dionne Warwick at the awards ceremony. And in keeping with his busy lifestyle, the Nigerian-born performer, who moved to Inverleith three years ago, is now planning to launch a new range of designer sunglasses." Read more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Solstice Kicks-Off Its Wish More, Give More, Save More Promo

With the holidays just around the corner, Solstice Sunglasses has kicked-off its "Wish More Give More Save More" holiday promotion to get shoppers into the holiday spirit. Customers can earn up to $75 in Solstice gift cards as well as enter to win a luxurious Beverly Hills shopping spree getaway for two via the the sunglass manufacturer's Facebook page. Read more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CooperVision Starts Website for GIs

CooperVision, Inc., plans to launch a new website in partnership with the Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS), reinforcing the global contact lens manufacturer's commitment to serving the U.S. military community. With this new website, military personnel and their families can learn more about CooperVision's extensive product portfolio, purchase CooperVision's contact lenses affordably, and be assured guaranteed delivery wherever they are located around the world. Read more.

VSP Enters in Competition with ODs and Opticians

"Eyeconic, an online eyewear store for VSP Vision Care members and providers, today announced the new ability for VSP members to buy single-vision prescription glasses and the start of a test that may soon also allow the use of VSP benefits on," according to a Vision Monday post. "Since the launch of Eyeconic in 2011, both VSP members and non-members could use the website to buy contact lenses, browse eyewear and sunwear and find a VSP doctor. While selling prescription eyeglasses via the website has always been part of the plan for, it is only now that the capability is being fully implemented, according to a VSP spokesperson."Read more.

New from Jones New York

"Jones New York has been crafting superlative specs inspired by their sophisticated, polished, modern apparel for five years. Fall 2012 is no different. The new collection delivers on the promise of enduring quality and style." So goes the Midwest Lens post. Read about the new styles.

Eyewear for Lifting One's Mood during Winter's Lonely Nights

"For the depressed office worker facing a long dark, winter, they could be a ray of hope," reports the Daily Mail. "These bizarre glasses, developed by three Danish engineers, claim to be able to offer a dose of 'bright, white daylight' in just 30 minutes for those suffering in the seasonal gloom. They work using 6 light emitting diodes (LED's) that produce a powerful light field reflected into the eyes by a curved reflector." Read more.

Foster Grade Relaunches Its "Who's Behind..." Campaign

FGX International has launched a multi-million dollar national advertising campaign for its Foster Grant eyewear brand--featuring Brooke Shields, who was recently signed as the new face of Foster Grant. The television campaign launches nationwide this fall and will include multiple commercials for the Foster Grant sunglasses and reading glasses collections. In a nod to the brand’s history, the campaign will feature the well-known “Who’s that behind those Foster Grants?” tagline, which was recognized by Advertising Age as one of the Top 100 Advertising Campaigns of all time. Read more.

Luader Heiress Launching Eyewear Line

"Aerin Lauder, heiress to her grandmother’s Estée Lauder empire, has stepped out as quite the businesswoman this year," acording to SheFinds. "Not only did she launch her very own line of beauty products, she also just announced two new collaborations: Aerin Erickson Beamon, a collection of costume jewelry, and Oliver Peoples for Aerin, a line of sunglasses. Both collaborations will launch in early 2013, and will be available on Aerin’s website and in major department stores." Read more.

New from A-Morir

"Designed with the smart and sophisticated in mind, each pair of A-Morir sunglasses is a handcrafted one-of-a-kind statement. For those that have given up trying to be incognito, A-Morir eyewear is a godsend. Designed and crafted since 2008 by New Yorker Kerin Rose, the twice-yearly collection is as sought after as the concert tickets of the mega stars who wear them," says Midwest Lens. "Now officially accepted as a Swarovski co-brand, past A-Morir styles are set to remain firmly rooted in this crystal company’s history. Working under four different motifs, Retro Art Deco, Preppy Florals, Edgy Lucite and Rich Opulence, A-Morir brings together these opposing ideas through pristine craftsmanship and refined taste." Read more.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Okia Captures Three Awards for Its Designs

"A new sensational world-wide recognition has been achieved by Oki: three of its products have been awarded at the 14th Hong Kong Eyewear Design Competition, organized by the Hong Kong Travel Development Council (HKTDC) and the Hong Kong Optical Manufacturers Association. A really extraordinary goal, as for the first time Okia has won all prizes in the Professional Group section: champion, first runner-up and second runner-up," notes a post on Mido News 365. "The Champion piece, 'Mag Type,' is inspired by the appearance of a vintage typewriter and its distinctive sound. Infusing modern elements into the classic typewriter concept, this revolutionary frame uses no screws, is interchangeable and features a spring-hinge function." Read more.

New Night Vision Program from the CAOOA

"The Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Opticians Association of Canada [CAOOA] have launched a program called “Drive Away The Glare” to raise awareness of the problem and that there are solutions," goes a post from The Post and Mail. "A recent global study to determine the hierarchy of vision-corrected needs, called NSIGHT (Needs, Symptoms, Incidence, Global Health Trends) revealed that roughly half of all eyeglass and contact lens wearers experience halos and glare more than three times a week. It found that more than 80 per cent of people who experienced halos and glare found them bothersome." Read more.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Out-of-Staters Take California to Supreme over the State's Optical Code

In California, "state-licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists are allowed to conduct eye exams and sell glasses at their place of business, while commercial retailers—such as the national eyewear chains represented by the NAOO [National Association of Optometrists and Opticians]—are barred from furnishing on-site optometry services." So starts a Cato Institute blog post written by Ilya Shapiro. "The NAOO...sued California officials for discriminating against out-of-state retailers...The district court ruled in the group's favor...The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, however...On the case's second round in the Ninth Circuit, the court...again upheld the ban on co-location by out-of-staters. Cato now joins the Opticians Association of America and five individual optometrists on an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to take the case...We argue that California's laws are unconstitutional because their true purpose...was merely to protect in-state business interests." Read more.

OneSight Vision Van Helping Sandy Victims

OneSight's Vision Van is parked at a Red Cross shelter in  Oceanport, New Jersey. Helping victims of Superstorm Sandy, the van “EyeLeen” and its staff started their screenings and exams yesterday and will continue today. The staff dispensed eyewear and sunglasses  donated by Luxottica USA and Oakley.

OneSight is working with the Red Cross and its partners at the Fresh Air Fund to evaluate additional locations for Vision Van Clinics in New Jersey and New York. Powered by EyeMed Vision Care, EyeLeen, not to be confused with Iris that was recently transferred to the Essilor Foundation, is a vision clinic equipped with two doctor lanes for eye exams and an onboard lab to produce finished eyewear and dispensing area. The clinic is staffed by volunteers, such as optometrists, opticians and associates affiliated with optical retail operations owned and operated by Luxottica, such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical, Sears Optical. Read more.

University Gets $1.9 Million for Glaucoma Detection

"The University of Alabama at Birmingham will use a $1.9 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a glaucoma detection program," reports the Birmingham Business Journal. "The telemedicine program will work with independent optometrists located near two central Alabama Walmart Vision Centers. The program is primarily aimed at detecting glaucoma in African-Americans over age 40, who are among the most likely to develop the disease." Read more.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Variable Focus John Lennon Collection

"John Lennon’s iconic look would not be complete without his distinctive round shaped glasses. Inspired by his work, his life and his style, Adlens has created a new range of variable focus eyewear." That's Adlens's announcement on its website. "Our Fluid-Injection technology allows the power of each lens to be adjusted with the turn of a dial. Once set, the system can be sealed by rotating the red lever and removing the dials. This creates instant prescription eyewear." Read more.

Essilor Foundation Takes Over Iris Vision Clinic Van

After more than 15 years, 200,000 miles and thousands of children helped, Iris has earned her retirement! However, OneSight’s first-ever vision van isn’t heading for the Florida sun, but instead has found an exciting new home and purpose.

Recently sold to Essilor Foundation, Iris will continue giving back to those in need by becoming a vision van for clinics throughout Texas and surrounding states. Essilor Foundation currently has mobile doctor lanes and is excited to welcome Iris as their first van with a semi-finished lab inside.

Launched in 1995, Iris revolutionized OneSight programs by taking vision care directly to communities in need. Highlights from her rich history include:
• Traveling from “see to shining see” across the US, Canada and Mexico
• Aiding in critical disaster relief efforts from hurricane Katrina and tornados
• Hosting volunteer Mary Wilson, of the “Supremes” at a Krohn Conservatory Clinic
• Logging over 200,000 miles including a trip down the famous route 66
• Celebrating her final trip for OneSight in November 2010 at a Clinic in Vancouver, Canada

Verizon Sponsoring OneSight Clinic

Verizon may be best known for their tag line, “Can you hear me now?” but after generous sponsorship of a recent Optical Clinic Verizon employees were asking students, "Can you see me now?" Verizon® and OneSight® recently partnered to provide free eye care and eyewear to 1,200 children in need during a OneSight Clinic held in Cincinnati. In addition to a $15,000 grant toward Clinic operations, several dedicated employees volunteered their time to help students through the exam process. Read more.

My Free Throw for a CL

"Greg Monroe wouldn't let a little thing like temporary blindness get in his way," notes the Huffington Post. "The Pistons center was poked in the eye by the 76ers' Spencer Hawes, causing one of his contact lenses to become dislodged in the second quarter of Detroit's 94-76 win over Philadelphia. Despite being able to see out of only one eye, Monroe attempted and made the first free throw before adjusting his contact. Ironically, he missed the second shot after regaining full vision." Read more and see video.

New from Chloé Eyewear

"Launching in Spring/Summer 2013, Chloé Eyewear debuts a sunwear collection that embodies the iconic elements seen throughout ready to wear collections," according to a post from Midwest Lens. "Soft shapes and classic colorations complement the feminine silhouette. Graceful details like the metal zipper, the “petal” cut and mirrored treatments adorn frame fronts and temples. Modern and sophisticated, the SS13 Chloe Eyewear Collection is playful and timeless." Read more.

Video Gamers Teach Surgeons a Thing or Two

"What can high school and college-age video game enthusiasts teach young surgeons-in-training?" That's the question posited on a post from Science Daily. "According to a new study from researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) -- a world leader in minimally invasive and robotic surgery -- the superior hand-eye coordination and hand skills gained from hours of repetitive joystick maneuvers mimic the abilities needed to perform today's most technologically-advanced robotic surgeries.

"To offer insight on how best to train future surgeons, the study placed high school and college students head to head with resident physicians in robotic surgery simulations. The results, presented at the American Gynecologic Laparoscopists' 41st Annual Global Congress on Minimally Invasive Gynecology in Las Vegas, were surprising." Read more.

Hoya Takes Control of Seiko Epson's Eyeglass Lens Operations

"Hoya Corp said on Friday it will take control of Seiko Epson Corp's eyeglass lens development and manufacturing business as part of a partnership to expand sales of eyewear products globally." That's a recent post from Reuters. Read more.

Seiko Epson reported that the two companies commenced negotiations in April 2012. As a result, Epson will transfer its eyeglass lenses business to Hoya. According to the terms of the deal, the two companies' related businesses will be merged and leveraged worldwide. Hoya also concluded an alliance with Seiko Holdings Corporation over the sale of eyeglass-related products.

Marcolin & Timberland Plant Trees

Eye Surf  reports that "Marcolin is proud to announce Timberland has partnered with Trees for the Future to execute a sustainable initiative. Starting November 1st, with each purchase of a Timberland frame, a tree will be planted in an area ravaged by deforestation. Eco consciousness is at the core of the brand’s DNA as seen in the optical collection." Read more.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Communications Website for the Visual Impaired

Americans who have combined vision and hearing loss can now access technology that will allow them to connect with people around the corner and across the world by logging on to The newly launched website accommodates users with low vision, people who use screen readers and features video that is both audio-described and closed captioned. From screen enlargement software and videophones, to off-the shelf products that are accessible or adaptable, offers a vast array of new communications technology. Assessment, training and equipment are available free of charge to those who meet federal eligibility guidelines.The launch advances the iCanConnect campaign mission to raise awareness about the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). Mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established this new program to ensure every person with combined hearing and vision loss has access to modern communications tools and the training necessary to use them. Perkins and the Helen Keller National Center in New York City are overseeing the iCanConnect campaign.

Wine Bottle Double as Eyewear

"The Poland-based design firm Luksemburk created this clever branding concept for the Californian wine manufacturer Pink Glasses," according to Midwest Lens. "The orientation and size of the glasses on the label invites the customer to turn it sideways and look through the soft pink 'lenses.' Each variety of wine is decorated with a different set of glasses ranging from horn rims to cateyes." Read more.

Some States Struggle Setting Up Insurance Exchanges

"The days since President Obama won re-election have been marked by tension and angst in Republican-led states like Iowa, where Gov. Terry Branstad has waited until the last minute to decide whether to create a crucial tool for people to get medical coverage under Mr. Obama’s health care law," according to the New York Times. "'There has been a total blackout of information,' said State Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat who vented his frustration at a news conference here this week. 'We’re behind schedule, we’re at a disadvantage, and I don’t know what our governor’s plan is to reposition Iowa.' States are supposed to tell the Obama administration by Friday whether they want to create their own health insurance exchange — a deadline that many had bet might never come to pass, choosing to sit on their hands for months in the hope that Mitt Romney would win the presidency and the health care law would be repealed." Read more.

Arnette Releases the Catfish

"Sunglasses brand Arnette was born in an Orange County garage back in 1992, and quickly grew into one of the most popular sunglass companies among the new generation. At the time, their Black Dog and Raven silhouettes were a staple... and then they released the Catfish," says Baller Status. "As described in a press release, the frames were a 'cultural identifier for those who went against the grain.' 20 years later, in celebration of their 20th anniversary, Arnette is re-releasing the Catfish in four colors, in limited quantities worldwide. The re-issued version of the shades feature a retro-inspired Arnette logo and some of the throwback colorways that it was infamous for -- including the original Gloss Black, along with vintage Havana, trippy Inked Green, and 90's-soaked Silver with a red mirror lens." Read more. 

Maxx Licenses More College Sunwear Lines

Under a licensing agreement with Licensing Resource Group (LRG), Maxx HD Sunglasses  will develop a line of sunglasses with matching school colors and insignias for colleges and universities using LRG as its licensing representative. With the LRG agreement, Maxx will expand its line of college and university sunglasses. Read more.

New Safety Eyewear from Wiley X

"Workers in need of stylish, comfortable eye protection have a bold new choice — the new Climate Control WX Gravity from eyewear innovator Wiley X, Inc.," according to Midwest Lens. "Wiley X’s Rx-ready, Climate Control sunglasses combine an attractive, wraparound style frame with Wiley X’s patented, removable soft foam Facial Cavity™ Seal. This unique design was developed to block out wind, dust and debris, providing protection unmatched by other eyewear. This exclusive feature creates a comfortable, climate controlled “protection zone” for the wearer’s eyes. And because it’s removable, it’s like getting two pairs of glasses in one. With Wiley X’s shatterproof lenses and frames, the WX Gravity protects the wearer?s eyes against a wide range of occupational dangers." Read more.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

OneSight Launches Pilot Program in Cincinnati

OneSight is preparing to launch OneSight Vision Center at CityLink, a new community-based program created to eliminate vision care as a barrier for the working poor. OneSight is setting up the pilot program about 20 miles from Luxottica's North American headquarters in Mason, Ohio. Cincinnati is actually the third poorest city in the United States. One in four people in Cincinnati live below the poverty line. This incredible need inspired multiple organizations to come together to create CityLink Center, a new holistic facility that brings essential support services together under one roof to help people climb out of poverty. According to Dr. Jason Singh, OD, Vice President and Executive Director of OneSight, vision care nearly topped the list of needs. "In a survey of prospective CityLink clientele, 71% ranked the need for Vision and Dental Services as critical to their success. In fact, only Job Help ranked higher (74%) in terms of essential support,” he said. Read more.

New Light-Sensitve Molecule Stimulates Retina and Brain

"Chemists and vision scientists have designed a light-sensitive molecule that can stimulate a neural response in cells of the retina and brain -- a possible first step to overcoming degenerative eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, or to quieting epileptic seizures," according to a Science Digest post. Read more.

The Hundreds Fall/Winter Collection

"The Hundreds unveil this year’s cool weather collection with the primary focus on the Phoenix frame,:" reports Stupid Dope. "The popular model returns in three new looks with colors ranging from navy, purple and black. Each include mirrored lenses while blending premium materials and stylish design cues. Tonal Hundreds slant logo branded appears at the front of each arm. Look for the collection in stores and online November 15th." Read more.

Smart Glasses Wins Innovation Award from CES

Vuzix Corporation's Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 was selected as an Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering best of innovations honoree and picked as the best new technology in the Wireless Handset Accessories product category. In addition, Vuzix Smart Glasses also received the honoree distinction in the Personal Electronics category as well. The awards were given by the organizers of the Consumers Electronics Show, which runs in January.

The device is described as the world's first enhanced hands-free display and communications system that can access data from a smartphone and the Internet. Its virtual display operates using an Android OS and connects to a compatible device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also runs applications and games on its own, and its integrated camera enables a user to take a picture or to record a video. The device includes an integrated head tracker and GPS for spacial and positional awareness. Read more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Artificial Lens Nearly Identical to an Eye's Lens

Drawing heavily upon nature for inspiration, a team of researchers has created a new artificial lens that reportedly is nearly identical to the natural lens of the human eye. The lens, made up of thousands of nanoscale polymer layers, may provide a more natural performance in implantable lenses to replace damaged or diseased human eye lenses, as well as consumer vision products, claims the researches. It also may lead to superior ground and aerial surveillance technology. This work, which the Case Western Reserve University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and PolymerPlus team describes in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express, also provides a new material approach for fabricating synthetic polymer lenses. Read more.

Eyelash Size Drainage Device Helps Glaucoma Patients

"A tiny medical device no larger than an eyelash may significantly reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients and allow some to stop using eye-drop medications, according to year-one clinical trial results for the device," says Science Daily. "Results of the HYDRUS I clinical trial indicate successful control of eye pressure in all study participants." Read more.

Run for Vision Raises $17K for EBAA

The 27th Annual Run for Vision 5K benefit run/walk, held Sunday at Grant Park in downtown Chicago raised almost $17,000 for the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA). The charity run, which had more than 350 participants, was co-sponsored by Bausch + Lomb, which has been a part of the event for nearly three decades. Since the race's inception, it has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars in support of the EBAA.  

Michelle Keagle, and her two sisters, Christy Gault and Kathy Lewis, traveled to Chicago from Nebraska, Colorado and Virginia with their own special reason to participate. In 2007 their brother, Ryan Otte, died in an Iowa hospital at the age of 21, following a tragic farm-related accident in northeastern Nebraska. One of Otte’s corneas was successfully transplanted to Rebecca Koltveit, a then 16-year old student from Pontiac, IL, whose sight was threatened by a serious corneal infection in her right eye. The day before the run, Koltveit, now a senior at Eureka College, finally got to meet Otte’s sisters at a gathering facilitated by the Iowa Lions Eye Bank. Together, they participated in the Run for Vision, oblivious to the morning chill. Read more.

AOA Helps ODs after Super Storm Sandy

In the aftermath of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, administered by Optometry Cares-the AOA Foundation, is ready to assist optometrists whose practices and/or homes were damaged. The AOA has received several reports from optometrists who sustained damage from the superstorm and expects the number to rise. Read more.

3D Printer Sunglasses by Mykita

"The next time someone asks where you got your glasses from, wouldn’t it be fun to say, 'From the presses of a 3D printer'? High-end eyewear designer Mykita is now offering you that very opportunity with its new line of glasses called 'Mylon' created using a 3D printer," reports "The process used to manufacture the glasses is called Selective Laser Sintering (SRS). In layman’s terms this is just another form of 3D printing, but it is more sophisticated than the cheap plastic-manipulating machines that get most of our attention. SRS allows the use of many different types of materials, from nylon to steel, and it uses a laser beam for the extrusion part of the manufacturing process." Read more.

Frequent Headaches in Children Do Not Indicate Need for Eyewear, Says Study

"A new study provides the first clear evidence that vision or eye problems are rarely the cause of recurring headaches in children, even if the headaches usually strike while the child is doing schoolwork or other visual tasks," says Science Daily. "Many parents assume that frequent headaches mean their child needs glasses, so they ask their doctor to refer their child for an eye exam. This study was conducted by pediatric ophthalmologists who wanted to find reliable answers for parents, family doctors and pediatricians facing this common health question." Read more.

Study Explores Alleles of AMD

"A report that describes the relationship of age and risk alleles (variant gene forms) with the incidence and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) during a 20-year period suggests that the overall five-year incidence of early AMD was 9.1 percent and late AMD was 1.6 percent, according to an article published Online First by Archives of Ophthalmology," notes a Medical News Today post. Read more.

More on the Protective Eyewear Study

A new study conducted by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools, and Boston Children's Hospital has found that high school field hockey players competing in states with mandated protective eyewear have significantly lower rates of head, eye, and facial injuries when compared to players who compete in states without protective eyewear mandates.

Each academic year, an estimated 63,000 girls participate in high school-sanctioned field hockey in the United States. Head, facial, and eye injuries are common among field hockey players, and, occasionally, are catastrophic. In recent years, there has been ongoing debate among coaches, players, parents, rules committees, and medical professionals regarding the efficacy of protective eyewear in preventing these injuries.

The study, currently online and appearing in the December 2012 print issue of Pediatrics, examined injuries among high school field hockey players 14-18 years of age during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 scholastic seasons, just prior to the national mandate by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) requiring the use of protective eyewear for all high school field hockey players which went into effect during the 2011-12 season.

Researchers found that the rates of all head and face injuries (including eye injuries and concussion) were significantly higher in states with no protective eyewear mandate compared to states with protective eyewear mandates. Players from states with no protective eyewear mandate were more than five times more likely to sustain an eye injury than players from states with mandated protective eyewear. In addition, a larger percentage of injuries sustained by athletes from states with no protective eyewear mandate required more than 10 days to return to activity (32 percent) compared to athletes from states with mandated protective eyewear (17 percent).

Read more.

Monday, November 12, 2012

First Anthem, Now Empire BC/BS with 1-800 Contacts

Just as Anthem announced last week, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has teamed up with 1-800 Contacts and The offer is more or less the same. Empire members can save $20 off a purchase of $100 or more, plus free shipping at 1-800 Conctacts and Empire members do not have to have vision coverage to take advantage of the deal. This offer is available to all plan members.Read more.

Digital Tablets Help People with Vision Loss

"People who have eye diseases that damage their central vision can regain the ability to read quickly and comfortably by using digital tablets, according to a recent study," reports Science Digest. "The research found that people with moderate vision loss could increase their reading speed by 15 words-per-minute, on average. Using a tablet with a back-lit screen resulted in the fastest reading speeds for all study participants, no matter what their level of visual acuity." Read more.

Drivers with Glaucoma Causing Accidents?

"The first study to compare accident rates for drivers who have advanced glaucoma...with normal-vision drivers found that the glaucoma group had about twice as many accidents," according to a post on Science Digest. "This study, which was conducted in Japan using a driving simulator, suggests that potential drivers should pass a visual field test to ensure adequate peripheral vision before a license is granted or renewed." Read more.

PTSD or TBI Lead to Chronic Vision Problems in Vets

Science Daily notes that "many veterans of the United States armed forces who have traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder also have undiagnosed, chronic vision problems, according to two studies presented today at the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, jointly conducted this year with the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology." Read more.

Field Hockey Eye Injuries Down

"Fewer high school field hockey players get head and face injuries when they're required to don protective eyewear, according to a new comparison of states with and without those policies in effect," according to Yahoo! News. "Researchers were looking into worries that the equipment, while preventing eye injuries, might encourage players to get more physical and violent overall - which they termed "the gladiator effect" - leading to an increase in injuries....However that did not appear to be the case, and concussion rates, for example, were similar in states where eyewear was and was not required during the study." Read more.

Find the Best CL for Your Patient

Searching through lens parameters, manufacturers, modalities, and materials, Johnson & Johnson's new Acuvue contact lens finder helps ECPs find the right contact lens, including brands other than Acuvue Read more. Visit the site.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FDA Approves Besivance to Treat Conjunctivitis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted additional labeling indications for Bausch + Lomb's Besivance (besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension) 0.6 percent eyedrop. It is now indicated to treat bacterial conjunctivitis infections caused by susceptible isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

From Safilo

The new Safilo eyewear collections for next season reflect careful research into the latest design trends and advanced technical solutions, the distinguishing traits of a brand that has always been a byword for quality and excellence. The new optical frames are the perfect combination of functionality and aesthetics, to meet specific rigorous needs. Read more.

The Smith Optics collection proposes new sunglasses and optical frames featuring unique shapes and made from innovative materials. The new models have a young and cool personality yet they ensure maximum comfort and utmost functionality: they are the perfect accessories for a fresh, original look.  Read more.

The new Oxydo eyewear collection presents its new sunglasses and optical frames that are the perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics.
A combination of technology and design gives a unique style to the new eyewear models: they are the perfect result of careful research into the latest design trends and keen attention to detail.

A refined, timeless style with sophisticated, retro-inspired touches for the new Max Mara eyewear collection. The new sunglasses and optical frames fascinate with their unique stylistic details and brand new colours, striking the perfect balance between classic elegance and a refined modern appeal.

For 2012/2013, Bottega Veneta adds four sophisticated new styles to its coveted eyewear collection. The new styles—three sunglass models and an optical frame--exemplify the brand’s refined and timeless aesthetic. Bottega Veneta’s distinctive design motifs, including its signature intrecciato weave, are enhanced with such innovations as a closing-block hinge. Constructed from the finest quality materials and proudly “Made In Italy”, these new styles feature the superb craftsmanship, functionality, and versatility that defines the Bottega Veneta brand.Read more.

The new Boss Black collection of sunglasses and optical frames celebrates the brand’s refined elegance, striking the perfect balance between contemporary design and classic inspirations. In line with the stylistic heritage of the fashion company, the new men’s and women’s models reinterpret the distinctive understated appeal of BOSS Black with clean, simple lines and refined details, that are never flashy.Read more.

The new Alexander McQueen eyewear collection highlights the brand’s classic yet unconventional aesthetic feel: iconic detailing such as metal studs and refined feather-like textures that is synonymous to the brand feature on the new range of luxury sunglasses and optical frames.Read more.

The new Pierre Cardin eyewear collection reflects the brand’s classic, refined style: the new sunglasses and optical frames stand out for their elegant, timeless personality.Read more.