Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Essilor to Acquire iCoat, Expanding Its Stake

Vision Monday reports today that Essilor intends to acquire $26-million prescription laboratory iCoat. The news item noted that current management will remain in place. Read more.

Recently, Essilor completed acquisition of During the past year, it has acquired at least a stake in the following organizations: Transitions Optical, the lab Katz & Klein, the wholesaler VIP Optical, sunglass producer Costa, sunglass manufacturer Xiamen Yarui Optical Company, R.D. Cherry, Plunkett Optical, and Frame Displays. It has set up partnerships with Jiangsu Youli Optics Spectacles, Riverside Optical, Benson Edwards Optical Lab, and CPS 360 Optical Lab. That’s not including its deal with Comprol and its move into managed care.

Alberta ODs Expand Scope of Practice

“The provincial government is extending the eye-care services provided by Alberta optometrists to reduce referrals to specialists,” according to a CBC News report. “’A key strategy in improving the health and well-being of Albertans is providing increased access to primary health-care services in communities,’ said Health Minister Fred Horne in a written statement. The changes, which come into effect this fiscal year, will allow optometrists to do the following: Prescribe certain oral and topical drugs, order lab tests, order and apply ultrasound tests, and treat certain types of glaucoma.” Read more.

Sunglasses that Your iPhone Tracks

“Everybody knows that the more you spend on a pair of sunglasses, the faster you lose them. Death, taxes and lost sunglasses: these three things are guaranteed,” goes the Time magazine post. “I can say with 99% confidence that I’ll never spend $350 on a pair of sunglasses. One, because I’m cheap. Two, because the last pair of $100+ sunglasses I owned were swallowed whole by the Atlantic Ocean before I even got my credit card statement….But – BUT! — the idea of a $350 pair of sunglasses that connect to your iPhone and alert you if you lose them seems to be a better use of $350 than a $350 pair of sunglasses that don’t connect to anything. These Tzukuri sunglasses will be available toward the end of the year for around $350,” Read more.

New Columbia Sunglasses from L’Amy

“L’Amy America, a division of global eyewear group TWC- L’Amy, announces the worldwide launch of the 2014 Columbia Performance sunglass collection,” says Midwest Lens. “Unveiling are 10 new models with designs specifically targeting the trail and road sport athlete, active women, and children. The new offering exemplifies Columbia’s core values of long-wear comfort and outdoor performance for men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.” Read more.

New Cole Haan and DuraHinge Eyewear from ClearVision

“ClearVision Optical’s Cole Haan eyewear begins its revitalization this spring with new sophisticated eyewear styles. Taking inspiration from timeless classics, the new release elegantly fuses tradition and modernity into its 14 new confident men and women styles,” notes Midwest Lens. “Men’s frames feature well-crafted shapes in Italian plastics and crisp metals like titanium. Women’s styles blend materials in unparalleled hues with a borrowed-from-the boys profile. Focusing on silhouettes and rich materials, the collection is ideal for today’s makers, creators, and innovators. Following is a selection of the key ophthalmic styles that join the Cole Haan collection.” Read more.

In another post, Midwest Lens notes that “ClearVision Optical introduces new styles to its best-selling DuraHinge collection this spring. Offering the strength and durability that the collection is known for, the new release also features trendy textured accents, youthful fronts, matte finishes, and tortoise temples, adding a stylish kick to the collection.” Read more.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why People Sometimes Don’t See the Obvious

“By using a novel technique to test brain waves, …[researchers] are discovering how the brain processes external stimuli that do and don't reach our awareness,” reports Medical News Today. “A paper about their results, "Dynamics of Alpha Control: Preparatory Suppression of Posterior Alpha Oscillations by Frontal Modulators Revealed with Combined EEG and Event-related Optical Signal," published this month in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, reveals how alpha waves, typically thought of as your brain's electrical activity while it's at rest, can actually influence what we see or don't see.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Mykita and Maison Martin Margiela

Glasses firm Mykita officially launched its new collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela and opened its latest global store Thursday in Bikini Berlin, the city’s most buzzed about retail space,” reports WWD. “It’s the second location in-town for the local eyewear innovators, who were looking to find a western counterpart to their successful shop in the eastern Mitte district. Mykita found a match in this new concept mall, which has been championed by leading city retailers Andreas Murkudis and Robert Klanten of Gestalten Verlag, both of whom have spaces in Bikini Berlin.”

New Sunglasses from Dita

“Dita Von Teese's new sunglasses are ‘intimidating.’” So starts the Yahoo! News post. “The burlesque beauty is set to launch a range of eyewear with Dita Inc., which will include ten unique spectacles. Describing a pair of shades called Femme Totale, Dita shared her inspiration behind the design….Dita Von Teese Eyewear will first debut in selected department stores in Italy, Spain and France, with prices ranging from $235 to $285. The star has had the help of her close friend John Juniper, who co-founded DITA Inc. and named it after her.” Read more.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cutting Edge Eyewear from Selima Optique

“Hiroshi Sugimoto has created ‘oculist witness’ – the first of two limited edition eyewear designs for luxury brand Selima Optique,” notes Design Boom. “The Japanese photographer debuts the glasses today, the April 25th opening of his solo show ‘lost human genetic archive’ at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where he will wear a prototype, providing guests with a sneak preview of the forthcoming specs that are being made in a limited edition of 25 pairs, available exclusively through Selima Optique later this spring.” Read more.

New Sunglasses from Diane von Furstenerg

“The Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2014 Eyewear Collection draws inspiration from DVF ready-to-wear and accessories,” according to Midwest Lens. “Colorful zyl wrapping the frames imitate movements of the iconic wrap dress. Many different iterations of the iconic DFV chain link are seen this season. New temple treatments feature temples made up of metal chain link. Color blocking, elegant logo plaques and DVF’s signature hardware each find their way into the collection through sleek and subtle details.” Read more.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Contact Lenses Coated with Peptides Reduce Infection and Are Safe, Says New Study

Contact lenses coated with a peptide lower the risk of infections, reports a study in Optometry and Vision Science. Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney evaluated the safety of wearing contact lenses covalently bonded with melimine, a cationic peptide.  Peptides, part of the immune system, can inhibit microbial growth. Their results indicate that melimine-coated CLs are safe and biocompatible. The coated contacts caused increased staining of the cornea. Patients rated the comfort of coated and non-coated lenses the same. There was no delayed reactions to wearing the coated lenses, such as red eye, and the peptide remained active a day after the lenses were removed. Read more.

New Video Promotes Miu Miu Eyewear

“The Spring/Summer 2014 Miu Miu eyewear collection has been given a fun and lighthearted interpretation via the release of its video for its Miu Miu SS14 Eyewear Collection video,” according to a post on the Fashion Times. Elle Fanning, Bella Heathcote, Lupita Nyong'o and Elizabeth Olsen make appearances in the video. “Take a look at the video below that was directed by Inez and Vinoodh while the music was by Porter Robinson and let us know your thoughts. Which piece from the SS14 collection do you like best? Do you think this video conveys the essence of the Miu Miu brand as you envision it?” Read more.

New Sunglasses from Costa

“Costa recently introduced two new lightweight-yet-durable styles for 2014, the semi-rimless Austin and the rimless Destin,” reports Midwest Lens.Both styles feature strong nylon frame construction, non-slip nose pads and temple tips, and sturdy integral hinges for a ‘forget-they’re-on’ fit.” Read more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Eyewear from Rolf

“Rolf Spectacles, a small, family run business situated in the heart of the Tyrolean Alps, has been producing hand-made, lightweight natural eyeglass frames out of wood, stone and horn since 2009,” says Midwest Lens. “One of the company goals is to set new trends in design and to implement new ideas. One of those ideas regarding the technical part is the patented ROLF glazing system, which allows to create thin and elegant shapes.” Read more.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Google Challenges Nonprofits about Google Glass

Yesterday Google challenged nonprofits to come up with ways of using its augment reality eyewear. Here’s what Google put on its special website for the challenge: “How would you use Glass to amplify your impact? Individuals who work at US-based nonprofits are eligible to receive a pair of Glass, a trip to a Google office for training, a $25,000 nonprofit grant, and access to developers to make your Glass project a reality. A team of Googlers, along with the Giving through Glass Explorers - World Wildlife Fund, Samasource, and - will select the five awardees. Read our FAQ and Rules, watch how World Wildlife Fund is exploring how Glass can help protect rhinos, and apply online by 11:59pm PST on May 20.” Read more.

Safety Eyewear Market Increasing—Slowly

Over the five years to 2014, Protective Eyewear Manufacturing industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 2.8% to $555.5 million, including an increase of 3.4% in 2014. The American Optometric Association estimates that 90.0% of these injuries could be reduced or prevented with the use of proper eye protection. The number of industry operators is estimated to increase at an average annual rate of 0.8%. Growth in the number of companies has been subdued due to major acquisition activity by the industry's largest players, 3M Company and Honeywell International Inc. Additionally, high manufacturing costs and rising prices for plastic materials have created an industry in which almost half of domestic demand is supplied through imports. Over the next five years, imports are expected to continue growing as domestic manufacturers focus on higher value-added products with increased functionality and design elements. Rising domestic demand will enable revenue to grow at a robust rate over the five years to 2019. Read more.

Optician Launches Eyewear Line Called Kite

“Launched by Asad Hamir, the 28th person in his family to become an optician (so he really knows his stuff), Kite was conceived as a ‘British brand with an international attitude.’ In practice, this means that the best bits of the eyewear industry from around Europe are utilized here – lenses from Germany, frames from Italy and design is 00% London-based,” notes Elle UK. “There are a couple of out-there shapes and shades, but Kite is more about the low-key and wearable – the round tortoiseshell Charlotte and slightly cat-eyed black-rimmed Broadway styles were favourites.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Blackfin

“A clear, distinctive personality is the hallmark of the Blackfin collection, the titanium eyewear brand, 100% made in Italy. Exclusive detail, essential design, innovative technical features and top quality materials, these are just some of the factors that make these frames unique. To this we add a product totally conceived, designed and produced with passion in Italy, the only possible end result is a collection with an absolute undiluted personality,” reports Midwest Lens. “The new models reflect all the style imperatives of this brand, expressed in a range of optical frames with an original, unmistakable character. Model BF704 Spectrum for men is the quintessential embodiment of the brand. Its square shape and taut, angular lines are Blackfin to the ninth degree. The model offers five different color variations, navy blue, opaque black and natural titanium on the outside teamed with an inside surface and edges in vibrant color or a natural metal finish all of which reinforce the strong personality of the brand.” Read more.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Warning Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy Discovered

“Indiana University researchers have detected new early-warning signs of the potential loss of sight associated with diabetes. This discovery could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, potentially impacting the care of over 25 million Americans,” according to Medical News Today. “These important early-warning signs were invisible to existing diagnostic techniques, requiring new technology based on adaptive optics. Stephen Burns, professor and associate dean at the IU School of Optometry, designed and built an instrument that used small mirrors with tiny moveable segments to reflect light into the eye to overcome the optical imperfections of each person's eye.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Diva

“With six new optical styles and five new sunglasses, Diva’s Spring release shows off a bevy of Austrian Swarovski Crystals in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes. Demonstrating the brand’s continued diversity, the sunglass release includes three acetate styles and two metals. Most intriguing is several new acetate colors that include animal prints and beautiful marble finishes. The shapes are interesting and angular but still wearable. Gradient fashion lenses are featured in each style,” writes Midwest Lens. “In optical, four monel and two acetate styles show off feminine, flowing décor in a wide variety of classic shapes with just the right touch of modern angles. Further defining the collection are the beautiful temple and endpiece designs that Diva is renowned for. Additionally, these models run all spectrums of the color palette as with such acetate combinations as Aqua-Violet, Rose-Cognac, and brown coral.” Read more.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Eyewear from Safilo’s Pierre Cardin

Reading glasses: For Spring/Summer 2014, Pierre Cardin showcases a capsule collection specially designed for sophisticated women who always want to look elegant and stylish. The frame features softly rounded lines and is characterized by a slightly elongated oval silhouette. The flex temples are embellished with a metal plaque bearing the Cardin logo. The color palette moves from classic tones of gloss black, cream, brown and blue, to bright shades of cyclamen and red.

Sunglasses: Cardin also has a a new Re-Edit eyewear collection. The new Spring/Summer 2014 sunglasses for women are inspired by the House’s vintage models. The new frame is the utmost expression of the futuristic avant-garde with a blend of geometric shapes and edgy color contrasts. These acetate sunglasses are oversized, square silhouette, combining twisting lines with clean-cut, sharp profiles. The temples are embellished with the sophisticated “PC” monogram, presented in a jewel-like bas-relief.

New Eyewear from L’Amy’s Nicole Miller

“Following in the footsteps of Nicole Miller’s successful ‘Storm Versailles’ runway presentation for Spring 2014, L’Amy America is launching five ophthalmic and six new sunglass styles for Spring 2014 which reflect Nicole Miller’s spring runway aesthetic.” That’s the word from Midwest Lens. Read more.

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Eyewear from Hugo

"The new Hugo eyewear styles combine cutting-edge design, contemporary inspiration and an avant-garde personality, reflecting the truly unconventional and contemporary essence for which the brand is known," reports Midwest Lens. "The optical launch collection features innovative technical details and minimalist shapes. Aesthetics is combined with functionality to ensure maximum comfort as well as a clear design language. A sophisticated color palette and refined transparencies highlight the models’ technical details and lend an aura of minimalist elegance. A new design element of two parallel lines creates a link to the brand name and the letter H." Read more.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sports Main Reason for CLs, Says Report

“As sports fanatics gear up for the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has reported research findings which reveal that sport is the main reason for people who require vision correction to consider contact lenses,” reports Optometry.Co.UK. “According to statistics from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, almost 74% of people aged between 16 and 24 regularly play a sport, while just 13% of them who require vision correction wear contact lenses.” Read more.

Creating Images of the Eye’s Internal Structure

By modifying an advanced imaging technique (known as optical coherence tomography or OCT) used for ophthalmology procedures, researchers at the Ophthalmic Biophysics Center at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in the U.S. are now able to provide images of the full internal structure of the eye. The advance not only promises to accelerate the development of an effective treatment for presbyopia, it may also be useful for surgeons in cataract removal, in the assessment of glaucoma treatments and in understanding the progression of short-sightedness in children. Read more.

Keratitis Survives for 4 Hours in CL Cleaning Solution

“Researchers from The University of Liverpool and The Royal Liverpool University NHS Trust tested different strains of the keratitis-causing bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa for their ability to survive in a commonly used contact lens cleaning solution. The team compared nine clinical strains of P. aeruginosa, taken from hospital patients in the UK, with P. aeruginosa strain 9027, the standard strain used by lens solution manufacturers.” That’s part of a post on Science Codex. “The results showed that the majority of clinical strains tested were killed within 10 minutes of being immersed in the contact lens solution, comparable with the standard reference strain. However, one clinical isolate, P. aeruginosa strain 39016 – associated with a more severe case of keratitis with a prolonged healing time – was able to survive for over four hours, much longer than the reference strain.” Read more.

VP Joe Biden Loves His Shades

“Vice President Joe Biden joined Instagram with a bang today -- posting a photo of his famous/infamous Ray-Ban sunglasses in the foreground while the Veep read papers in the background.  ‘Follow @VP for the latest from the Vice President, and the occasional aviators pic,’ reads his Instagram account page,” according to a post on the Washington Post. “This is FAR from the first time Biden has put his shades in the limelight. (See what we did there?) As far back as 2009, Biden was rocking the Ray-Bans (+ a scarf!).” Read more.

New Eyewear from Lucky Brands

“Recognized for their kicked-back American style, Lucky Brand has three new optical styles for Spring/Summer 2014, one for men and two for the ladies, that encompass the lifestyle brand’s casual cool vibe,” notes Midwest Lens. “It’s the details that make Lucky frames a delight to wear, with design features like the signature ‘clover’ logo on the temple tip, and the ‘Lucky You’ logo plaque on the inside temples that make each frame uniquely yours. With these fresh styles expect to see sleek profiles with beautifully textured patterns and seamless color combinations that make each frame pop while staying true to the brand’s southern California roots.” Read more.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sunglass Thieves Caught on Facebook

“West Jordan police have arrested two men who allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of sunglasses from a LensCrafters store,” according to Fox 13 Now. “According to a press release from WJPD, 33-year-old Joseph Welch and 34-year-old Travis Dominguez stole approximately $2,700 in merchandise. The suspects were identified after police received several tips from members of the public. ‘Tipsters even provided screen shots of one suspect’s Facebook page where he was offering the stolen sunglasses for sale,’ the press release said.” Read more.

Michael Kors Signs 10-Yr. Deal with Luxottica

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. signed a 10-year licensing with Luxottica Group. Starting in January 2015, Luxottica will begin to produce eyewear for both the Michael Kors Collection and Michael Michael Kors lines. The first collection will be for Spring 2015. Michael Kors stores, department stores, select travel retail locations, independent optical locations and Luxottica’s retail stores will carry the two collections. Read more.

Cate Blanchett in New Silhouette Ad Campaign

“At 44-years-old she is one of the most beautiful and best dressed actresses in Hollywood,” touts the Daily Mail. “So it's unsurprising that Cate Blanchett cuts a smouldering figure in a brand new eyewear campaign. The Oscar winning star poses in a series of sultry black and white snapshots for Austrian brand Silhouette.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Badgley Mischka

“Combinations and contrasts abound in the newest Badgley Mischka Eyewear collection to create three fashion-forward, couture looks for modern women,” says Midwest Lens. “Gia, Karine and Fiona feature bold acetates in fashion-forward eyeshapes with jewelry inspired details for a feminine look that is sure to please.” Read more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Google Patents CLs with Microcameras

"Add this one to the list of unbelievably cool things Google has in the works: It has patented a contact lens system that would include built-in cameras," notes Yahoo! Tech. "The technology could potentially allow Google to shrink its wearable face computer — known as Google Glass — into the size of a single contact lens. Rather than be controlled by voice, those wearing the contacts would command their device through, as Patent Bolt analyzes it, “a sophisticated system” of “unique blinking patterns.” In other words, people wearing these contacts may look even weirder than people in Google Glass." Read more.

Patent Bolt reports that "One of Google many patent applications regarding future smart contact lenses generally relates to systems and/or methods for capturing image data representing a scene in a gaze of a viewer via a thin image capture component integrated on or within a contact lens, processing the image data, and employing the processed image data to perform functions locally on the contact lens or remotely on one or more remote devices. The term "images capture component" simple means a camera. For example, a thin (image capture) camera component can be embedded on or within a contact lens such that it does not substantially affect thickness of a conventional contact lens. Furthermore, the camera component can be aligned such that it tracks and generates image data of an image of a scene corresponding to the gaze of the wearer, without obstructing the wearer's view." Read more.

Soft Contact Lens Market to Grow 5.94%

Analysts forecast the global soft contact lens market to grow at a CAGR of 5.94 percent over the period 2012-2016, according to a report from Research and Markets. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing prevalence of eye disorders. The market has also been witnessing the increasing adoption of product bundling strategy. However, the lower durability of soft contact lens could pose a challenge to the growth, say the analysts of "Global Soft Contact Lens Market Report."  Vendors are bundling products. For instance, vendors are providing soft contact lens cleaning solutions, lens cases, and other items. Read more.

New Eyewear and Sunglasses from Nine West

"The Nine West Spring 2014 Collection captures the brand’s belief in the power of fashion by offering exceptional designs that are trend-right and set dynamic style in ophthalmics and sunwear, " says Midwest Lens. "The brand’s modern approach to design translates in the details, patterns and colors that define confidence and individuality with an optimistic spirit!" Read more.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Digital Marketing for ECPs Made Simple

CooperVision's subsidiary WebSystem3 LLC recently created a program that provides digital marketing to eye care practices. Called Eye Care Prime Premier, the program provides a consultant who creates a digital quarterly marketing program that spans social media, the Web, and other forms of digital marketing. The program reportedly does the following:
  • Engage more with patients on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ensure that a practice’s website works seamlessly on laptops, desktops, and smartphones and tablets. 
  • Monitors digital reviews of a practice and coaches how to request referrals and feedback.
  • Offers methods to attract new patients and resolve complaints.
  • Manage appointment scheduling, automated reminders, e-mail marketing, and social media-enabled cross-selling.
  • Analyze the progress against an industry index.
For more information, visit or call 1-888-218-4777.

"Who Made That Contact Lens?"

We don't know why, but the New York Times Magazine published a short article entitled "Who Made That Contact Lens?" It starts as follows:
In 1887, a German doctor named Theodor­ Samisch saw a patient whose lower eyelid had been destroyed by carcinoma, leaving his cornea exposed and desiccated and his lashes curling inward. To preserve the patient’s vision, Samisch contracted with two brothers who specialized in artificial eyes. They made a protective shell of handblown glass, transparent in the middle and opaque around the edge, with reddish threads for blood vessels. “I have worn the glass supplied by you continuously, day and night,” the patient wrote the brothers 21 years later, “and my eye has always felt very well with it.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Salvatore Ferragamo

"The Salvatore Ferragamo Eyewear Spring/Summer 2014 Collection is characterized by designs full of elegance and personality, in a reworking of the label’s distinctive styles," reports Midwest Lens. "The women’s range features creative reinterpretations of the Gancino, Vara and other iconic details, both in terms of materials, by combining them with elements in leather, and in terms of color, presenting novel contrasts such as translucent coral and turquoise. The men’s range is distinguished by classic shapes, enhanced by brand new features, such as multi-layered acetate in contrasting colors. The same aesthetic language is applied to the men’s and women’s collections of optical frames, where details inspired by the iconic Gancino and Vara designs embellish frames available in new color options, complementing the sunglasses collection." Read more.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Long–Time Fan Finally Meets the Great Mariano Rivera

For some 18 years, Linda Conlin, founder of F.E. Enterprises and the OpticalCEU continuing education seminar for opticians, breathed easier when her now-famous New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera stepped onto the clay. Thanks to Eyefinity, she met her baseball hero at the recent Vision Expo East. The Irvine, CA,-based company set up a waiting area at its booth at two in the afternoon. Scores of fans, including Linda Conlin, waited for two hours. Then “Enter the Sandman,” the anthem played at Yankee Stadium when “Mo” took the mound. Conlin admits that she was a bit tongue-tied when she approach the Hall-of-Fame bound closer. She did say, “God bless you.”  And he offered the same blessing to her. It was not until a few hours later that her hands stopped shaking.

Jewish Guild and Lighthouse Merge to Form Lighthouse Guild

The Jewish Guild Healthcare and Lighthouse International, two respected vision care organizations, merged to form the Lighthouse Guild.  Recognizing the contributions of the organizations for more than 200 a combined 200 years, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and City Council Members Daniel Garodnick and Helen Rosenthal proclaimed today as "Lighthouse Guild Vision Awareness Day." The guild with its 850 staff members provides access to quality programs and services and builds awareness about and advocates for issues affecting those suffering vision loss. For more information on Lighthouse Guild's programs and services, please visit

Getting a Tax Refund; Order Google Glasses

“Google Inc. will take online orders for its Glass wearable gadget on April 15, in its biggest push to get the $1,500 wraparound Web-ready glasses out to the U.S. public.” That’s the news from a Reuters post on Raw Data. “For a limited time starting Tuesday, Google will make the wearable device available to more than just the select group of users such as apps developers in its Glass Explorer program. In a blogpost, Google did not say how many pairs it would sell, just that the quantity would be limited.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Zyloware

“Zyloware expands the Via Spiga Eyewear Collection with new releases for Spring 2014,” according to Midwest Lens. “The releases are comprised of 6 new styles and 14 skus inspired by Via Spiga’s latest trends including animal prints, mosaic, geometric and hardware including stones and rivets.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Opthalmologists Pull in the Big Medicare Bucks

"More than any other specialists, ophthalmologists — not cardiologists, cancer doctors or orthopedic surgeons — were the biggest recipients of Medicare money in 2012," according to the post "Eye Doctors Say Their Profits Are Smaller than the Data Makes Them Look" in the New York Times The 17,000 providers, most of whom are concentrated in Florida, Texas, California and New York, accounted for 7 percent — $5.6 billion — of the reimbursements to doctors and other providers. Included in the amount is $929 million for cataract surgery, about $1 billion for an expensive eye drug and $707 million for eye exams." Read more.

The article misses a point, though. The patients of cardiologists and oncologists die from heart disease and cancer, limiting the time the physicians can treat them. AMD, cataracts, and most retinal diseases do not kill patients, so ophthalmologists must treat their patients for longer periods, leading to higher overall billings.

Ophthalmologist Leads in Political Donations

"Two Florida doctors who received the nation’s highest Medicare reimbursements in 2012 are both major contributors to Democratic Party causes, and they have turned to the political system in recent years to defend themselves against suspicions that they may have submitted fraudulent or excessive charges to the federal government," according to the New York Times article entitled "Political Ties of Top Billers for Medicare." "The pattern of large Medicare payments and six-figure political donations shows up among several of the doctors whose payment records were released for the first time this week by the Department of Health and Human Services. For years, the department refused to make the data public, and finally did so only after being sued by The Wall Street Journal. Topping the list is Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, 59, an ophthalmologist from North Palm Beach, Fla., who received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone." Read more.

Physicians Using Google Glasses in Boston Hospital

"Doctors at a major hospital in Boston have become the first in America to use Google Glass for everyday medical care despite privacy fears about the device," says the Daily Mail. "Medics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre are using the controversial eyewear to keep their hands free, which they see as the ‘holy grail’ of hospital technology. Doctors are looking up patients’ records on Google Glass and checking things online whilst they walk around rather than wading through big files." Read more.

Dita Von Teese Designs Sunglasses for Dita

Women's Wear Daily reports that "Dita Von Teese has inked a deal with Los Angeles-based eyewear maker DITA Inc. to produce a signature line [of sunglasses] that will debut next month in select department stores and chains including Alain Afflelou in France, Italy and Spain. Dita Von Teese Eyewear features 10 styles ranging from classic cat-eye to edgier cut-out metal and acetate frames retailing from $235 to $285." Read more.

New Eyewear from Converse

"Famous for its creative color combinations and daring eyewear designs, Converse announces the exciting release of seven new eyewear styles – for both men and women, in the popular Converse All-Star collection," says Midwest Lens. "The high quality eyewear line, known best for its originality and bold personality, is designed for the creative individual who desires a look that is new, but never trendy. The All-Star optical frames feature design elements like two-tone color blocking with vibrant colors that pop, and textured pattern detailing using silk screening processes to create a completely unique look that is sleek and modern, continuing the energetic lifestyle story of the Converse eyewear brand. New styles for the Converse All-Star collection are available now, and carry a competitive book price. With sleek profiles and eclectic colors, these frames are sure to have your customers excited to experiment with a new look!" Read more.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Eye Docs Benefit the Most from Medicare

In an article about Medicare payments to physicians, the New York Times reports that "in 2012, 100 doctors received a total of $610 million, ranging from a Florida ophthalmologist who was paid $21 million by Medicare to dozens of doctors, eye and cancer specialists chief among them, who received more than $4 million each that year. While more money by far is spent for routine office visits than any other single expenditure, one of the most heavily reimbursed procedures — costing a total of $1 billion for 143,000 patients — is for a single treatment for an eye disorder common in the elderly."Read more.

U.S. Vision Now Runs Meijer Optical Centers

Meijer has selected U.S. Vision, Inc., as its exclusive vision center in Meijer stores across the Midwest. U.S. Vision, based in Glendora, N.J., is currently a tenant in 50 Meijer stores in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, and has plans to open 19 more vision centers in Meijer stores this year. All of its vision centers will be renamed "Meijer Optical" by the end of the month. Read more.

James Franco Promoting Gucci in New Commercial

"Put your recent misgivings about James Franco’s pulling technique aside – the actor proves he knows exactly how it’s done in his newly-released ad for Gucci eyewear," writes Elle UK. "The newly-released Techno Color Sunglasses video features Franco cruising around LA in a ‘charming game of seduction’ with model Natalia Bonifacci, looking James-Dean-cool in his shades, which have coloured lenses that reflect the lush scenery." Read more.

New Eyewear from L'Amy America

"L’Amy America, a division of global eyewear group TWC-L’Amy, announces the worldwide launch of two new models in its Columbia Sportswear ophthalmic collection, expanding upon its highly successful Columbia Performance Eyewear series," says Midwest Lens. "The new combination models feature stainless steel fronts with H90™ injected plastic frame injection-molded temple stems." Read more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Boston's Middlebrooks Needs Vision Correction

"Will Middlebrooks was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2012 season and he did not disappoint, blasting 15 home runs with an .835 OPS in 286 plate appearances in the big leagues. He wasn’t nearly as good last season, slashing .227/.271/.425. As it turns out, Middlebrooks’ deteriorating vision might have been at least partially to blame for the lack of offensive output," notes NBC Sports Hardball Talk. "As Brian MacPherson writes for the Providence Journal, the Red Sox found this spring that Middlebrooks was seeing 20-25 in his right eye and 20-30 in his left. It’s nothing serious, but having his vision corrected with contact lenses allowed him to once again see the spin on the ball." Read more.

This past Sunday at OpticalCEUs spring continuing education seminar for opticians, Linda Conlin, founder of OpticalCEUs, demonstrated how corrected vision can improve athletic performance more so than working out or practice for professional athletes.

Alice Dellal Promotes Chanel Eyewear

Alice Dellal is "back for spring/summer 2014, and there's not a hint of black - or her signature undercut hairstyle. Instead she lies on an unmade bed wearing pastel cardigans and sugary bouclé jackets, with delicate flowers entwined in her hair," reports the Telegraph. "But as Lagerfeld captured the socialite (whose family is estimated to be worth several hundred million), it appears she hasn't lost her mischievous side. The behind-the-scenes images below show the one-time face of Agent Provocateur and Mango pose jokingly with a pair of Chanel frames over her cardigan-covered face." Read more.

New Eyewear from Ogi

"Ogi Eyewear, a globally recognized company that creates innovative, affordable luxury eyewear using premium materials and original design, announced the launch of their newest brand, Innotec," says Midwest Lens. "Innotec Eyewear fuses innovation with technology to form lightweight, yet durable frames that are the ultimate in modernism and sleek styling.  Beginning as a small collection of frames within the Ogi Eyewear brand, this innovative collection has grown widely popular throughout the optical industry with its standout hand-colored patterns, lightweight feel and durable materials. Formerly known as a series within Ogi Eyewear called the Evo-Tec Collection, Innotec Eyewear has been given a new moniker as it has evolved into its own brand. The name, Innotec, speaks to the philosophy that innovative design paired with technological advances in eyewear result in spectacular modern style." Read more.

Mia Hamm Promoting Copperton Polarized Lenses by Vision-Ease

"Elite soccer star, Olympian and mom Mia Hamm is helping Vision-Ease Lens score with consumers as the new face of Coppertone Polarized Lenses," according to the post on Midwest Lens. "The lens manufacturer inked an endorsement contract with the U.S. soccer legend to represent this premier line of sun lenses. The endorsement signals a breakaway for Vision-Ease Lens, as it reinvests in the Coppertone Polarized Lenses brand and strengthens marketing efforts focused directly on the consumer. Hamm will participate in various Vision-Ease Lens events throughout the year, and be featured on all consumer-facing brand materials, including video." Read more.

This past Sunday, Deborah Kotab of Vision-Ease Lens spoke at OpticalCEUs seminar for opticians at Foxwoods.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sell-Out OpticalCEUs Seminar Major Success

Linda Conlin, founder
of OpticalCEUs, presenting.
Yesterday, some 150 opticians from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania learned about contact lenses on the job and for athletes, fitting irregular corneas, the fundamentals of sight, diseases of the eye, and use of the slit lamp. They came to the ballroom of the Grand Pequot at Foxwoods Resorts in Connecticut.

Accredited lecturers Linda Conlin, Deborah Kotob of Vision-Ease and Joe Forte presented six courses enabling opticians to earn seven ABO/NCLE credits. For 15 years Linda, an NAO Fellow Ambassador, has provided continuing education and training for opticians at the state and national level. She is ABO and NCLE certified, licensed in CT, MA and RI, and has dwritten for 20/20 and EyeWitness magazines. Deborah, a sales consultant for Vision-Ease, creates and presents ABO seminars related to best practices. A Massachusetts-licensed optician, she has owned an optical business and was a sales representative for MODO and Luxottica.  Deborah has achieved ABOM and NCLE certifications. Joe, the director of contact lens services for Raymond Opticians, lectured at CUNY Tech, Vision Expo and Optifair. He was program director of the Interboro Institute College of Opticianry where he taught courses in various areas of contact lenses and optics.

No Trademark for You, Google Glass

“Still struggling to make a good name for itself with a skeptical American public, Google Glass is now struggling to get its literal name approved by the U.S. trademark office. The Wall Street Journal reports that the trademark office is pushing back against Google's plan to trademark the single word "Glass" for its wearable computerized eyeglasses.” That’s the post on The Wired. “Google already has legal claim to "Google Glass," but two issues are holding back the plans to trademark ‘Glass.’ For one, the term is too similar to other products and so could cause confusion among consumers. And secondly, the word is ‘merely descriptive’ of the actual product. ‘You couldn’t trademark the word “shoe” for a shoe you’re selling, for instance,’ the Journal notes. The trademark office's letter argues that Google Glass is made of glass, and so therefore it can't be trademarked.” Read more.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Scientists Find a Guardian Against AMD

"Scientists at Trinity College Dublin have made a major breakthrough with important implications for sufferers of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can cause central blindness in sufferers," notes Medical News Today. "The scientists found that a component of the immune system, 'IL-18', acts as a guardian of eyesight by suppressing the production of damaging blood vessels behind the retina at the back of the eye. In addition, in pre-clinical models, it was shown that 'IL-18' can be administered in a non-invasive way, which could represent a major improvement on the current therapeutic options that are open to patients."Read more.

New Sunglasses from Theo

"When Tim Van Steenbergen designed his latest collection of sunglasses for theo, he went back to...days...filled with big guitar sounds. Tim took inspiration from the sublime Fenders played by his musical heroes and together with theo designer Serge Bracke, came up with six intense models," reports Midwest Lens. "Theo big boss Wim Somers chose a palette of ‘shadow colors’, such as white, grey, black and dark blue, and dubbed them the ‘Shadows’, after his personal guitar heroes....Each [frame] is made up of different shapes and lines...with flaring on the temples in a different color for example – a reference to Fender – or ‘superimposing’ different materials, like on a Les Paul guitar. The detail in the ear tip refers to a guitar pick." Read more.

New Eyewear from Gotti

"Gotti Switzerland is getting a head start on summer with by launching new optical and sunglass styles that blend retro designs with a modern twist," says Midwest Lens. "The collection features lightweight acetate, titanium and stainless steel models that focus on sleek minimalist construction with contemporary textures and patterns." Read more.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Color Blindness in Children Highest Among White Males

"The first major study of color blindness in a multi-ethnic group of preschoolers has uncovered that Caucasian male children have the highest prevalence among four major ethnicities, with 1 in 20 testing color blind," reports Science Daily. "Researchers also found that color blindness, or color vision deficiency, in boys is lowest in African-Americans, and confirmed that girls have a much lower prevalence of color blindness than boys." Read more.

April Is Sports Eye Safety Month

"As millions take to the playing field this spring, the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons warns the public that thousands of people are blinded by sports-related eye injuries," reports Medical News Today. "In support of Sports Eye Safety Month this April, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds coaches, parents and athletes of the importance of wearing eye protection - whether for Little League or the Majors. Of the 100,000 eye injuries resulting from sports each year, an estimated 42,000 people are treated in the emergency room, and 13,500 end up legally blind. In fact, according to a January 2014 study of consumer product related injuries requiring emergency room treatment, sports equipment - including balls, bats, and rackets - was responsible for the following:
  • "41 percent of emergency room visits for children age 10 to 14.
  • 25 percent of emergency room visits for people age 15 to 24.
  • 20 percent of emergency room visits for children age 5 to 9.
"In addition to injuries from sports equipment, many also suffer eye injuries caused by another player's errant finger or elbow to the eye."Read more.

ABO/NCLE certified speaker Linda Conlin will present on this topic this Sunday at OpticalCEUs Annual Spring Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians at  Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Linda breaks down the benefits of contact lenses over spectacles for the casual and serious athlete, fitting considerations based on various types of sports, safety in the work place, and patient management for athletes. The seminar features five other courses giving opticians the opportunity to earn three ABO and four NCLE continuing education credits.

Sunglasses Made from Salvaged Louisville Sluggers

"Nothing makes a fashion accessory more interesting than a backstory, and Shwood's new limited edition line of sunglasses have a fascinating pedigree," reports Gizmodo. "They're all made from ash wood salvaged from actual Louisville Slugger baseball bats shattered during games played around the world." Read more.

Oakley Becomes Office Little League Sponsor

Through a partnership with Little League International, Oakley, Inc. has become the Official Eyewear Sponsor of Little League Baseball and Softball. Oakley recently introduced new sport performance eyewear for youngsters called Quarter Jacket. The eyewear offers interchangeable impact resistant lenses. Read more.

New Eyewear from Nautica

"The Nautica Spring 2014 collection is all about the water. Classic shapes with updated modern details describe a new casual approach to this great looking collection," writes Midwest Lens. "Sunglasses have been energized with new materials, finishes and colors, all inspired by the ocean around us. Still featuring polarized lenses in all sunglasses, Nautica delivers newness that combines fashion and function." Read more.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

OpticalCEUs Sells Out Spring 2014 CEU Seminar

So many opticians from the tri-state region (CT, MA, and RI) have signed up for OpticalCEU's continuing education on Sunday, April 6, that the conference has sold out. Two days ago on-line registration was closed. On Sunday, F.E. Enterprises will offer the following six courses in the Grand Pequot Ballroom, Foxwoods Resort and Casino: The Miracle of Sight by Deborah Kotob (2 ABO); Contact Lenses on the Job by Linda Conlin (1 NCLE)NEW!; Fitting Irregular Corneas by Joe Forte (1 NCLE) —Level III; Score with Contact Lenses for Sports by Linda Conlin (1 NCLE)– NEW!; Diseases of the Eye by Joe Forte (1 ABO); and Beam Me Up! Understanding the Slit Lamp by Linda Conlin (1 NCLE).

Directions to the CEU seminar for opticians: Foxwoods is located at 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, CT  06338, on Route 2 between I-395 and I-95.  You can get directions to the resort by clicking this link. Valet parking is free.  For accommodations, call Foxwoods at 1-800 PLAY BIG and by clicking this link.  Overnight reservations are not associated with the seminar.

Eyewear from Bobbi Brown

“When I first heard Bobbi Brown was expanding her eponymous line to include eyewear, I was a bit perplexed. Glasses designed by a makeup artist?…But it wasn’t until I saw the line in person at her NYC headquarters that I realized it was genius.” That’s the start of a report from Elle’s Megan Cahn. “The collection has 36 styles including sunglasses and optical frames (that will launch later this month) designed to complement different skin tones and face shapes. So, much like makeup, the glasses will accentuate and highlight your best features. When I walked into her light-filled Soho loft space I was initially struck by the unique colors mixed in with the classic black and wire frames laid out on the tables—a rich, smoky tortoise, a matte navy blue, and a range of nudes and pinks.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Luxottica’s Prada Line

“Luxottica has launched the Prada Eyewear Spring/Summer 2014 collection, introducing ‘Special Projects’ Prada Voice for women and Prada Society for men,” according to a post on Moodie Report. For example, “Prada Voice SPR 21Q: This cat-eye-inspired frame features hand-applied, asymmetrically cut crystals; colors include vermillion, mint, water blue, and sunflower and black. Prada Voice SPR 22Q [has]  new style with asymmetric, hand-applied crystals on the temples and the front; colors include Vermilion, Mint, Water Blue, Black and Ivory.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Charmant

“The newest release for ARISTAR women consists of four combination styles made with acetate and stainless steel,” reports Midwest Lens. “Each frame features a bold acetate frame front with layered colors; and stainless steel temples. As with every ARISTAR frame, they are made with Charmant’s superior craftsmanship and provide contemporary designs at exceptional price points.” Read more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Specsavers Offers Drone Delivery of Contact Lenses

Dutch News reports that  yesterday on April 1st, "opticians chain Specsavers offered to deliver new contact lenses to people by drone if they lose them while out and about." April Fools. Read more.

Why We Are Blinded to Subtle Changes?

"Ever notice how Harry Potter's T-shirt abruptly changes from a crewneck to a henley shirt in The Order of the Phoenix, or how in Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts' croissant inexplicably morphs into a pancake?" asks Medical News Today. "Don't worry if you missed those continuity bloopers. Vision scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered an upside to the brain mechanism that can blind us to subtle changes in movies and in the real world." Read more.

Bill Spoofs Hillary's Sunglasses Picture

"Former President Bill Clinton may have made it to the White House before his politically-inclined wife, but he's the one following her lead with a new Twitter profile photo that spoofs a popular snap of Hillary Clinton," reports CBS News. "The photo, which Bill Clinton posted on Twitter Monday night, shows the former president in sunglasses, perusing an oversized tablet. The image shares the same background as Hillary Clinton's profile photo, which features her scanning her BlackBerry, also in sunglasses, on a military plane with a stack of documents in front of her." Read more.

New Eyewear from Maison Martin Margiela and Mykita

"Having long been an object of affection when it come to brands at the center of collaboration, Maison Martin Margiela finds themselves yet the subject of another joint effect with the likes of Berlin-based brand Mykita," according to a post on Stupid Dope. "The exclusive eyewear collection features two models: the Essential, a lightweight yet durable metal framed piece with circular lenses, and the DUAL, a retro-inspired acetate frame that offers a nostalgic appeal among evoking an equally modern feel." Read more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maui Jim Gets Seal of Recommendation from Skin Cancer Foundation

Maui Jim, the premium polarized sunglasses company, has earned the Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation. Maui Jim is one of three sunglasses manufacturers to have earned the seal, which is a symbol of safe and protective sun protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation's Seal of Recommendation is granted to sun protection products that have been reviewed by and meet the specific criteria of an independent Photobiology Committee (experts in the study of the interaction of ultraviolet light and the skin).  In order for sunglasses to earn the Seal of Recommendation, they must filter out at least 99 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.  Read more.

Mollusk Shells—The Key to a New Age of Eyewear?

“Mollusk shells are tough - they easily withstand most attacks from predators. Yet, the shell of the windowpane oyster is also transparent. This odd combination has caught the attention of biologists for years, but researchers have just uncovered the mystery of their unique structure. This new discovery could signal the arrival of a new age of eyewear,” notes a post on TechTimes. “Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) subjected these mollusk shells to a diamond tip press. They used this tool to create indents in the target and examined the marks using an electron microscope and other instruments.” Read more.

FGX Expands Distribution

FGX International, a leading eyewear designer and marketer (think Foster Grant), will use Eby-Brown to distribute its eyewear and sunglasses to some 13,500 U.S. convenience stores. Read more.

New Eyewear from Safilo

“Safilo Group, the worldwide leader in the premium eyewear sector, and Jack Spade, the American men’s accessories and apparel brand, are proud to introduce the launch collection of Jack Spade men’s optical frames. The collection serves as the brand’s second entry into the eyewear category, following the recent sunglasses launch, and will be available Spring 2014 in North America,” says Midwest Lens. “Jack Spade is inspired by the enduring appeal of products that were designed with a purpose in mind, where every detail is considered and nothing is superfluous. It is a brand that celebrates the insights and the design innovations of everyday objects by incorporating them into the details of its products. These elements are about functional style and finding the extraordinary in everyday life.” Read more.