Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Eyewear from RetroSpecs

RetroSpecs & Co. has launched a new eyewear collection, called Cuthbert & Chen. Sesigned by Jay Owens and Marya Francis, the husband and wife team behind the company, the line features registered, hand-polished, buffalo-horn frames and customizable titanium frames with blonde horn nose pads. The collection debuts in 260 optical shops such as Morgenthal Frederics in New York City, Punto Ottico in Milan and Burri Optik in Zurich as well as in the RetroSpecs retail stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Seoul.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Linking Sunglasses and Cancer Research

"Three young men are linking sunglasses and cancer research," reports the Daily Pennsylvanian. "Launched in February 2014, Barring Eyewear is a Philadelphia-based company founded by three students aspiring to create high-quality and affordable sunglasses. The co-founders of the company, inspired by their mutual love for sunglasses and concern for cancer research, built Barring Eyewear to raise fundings for cancer research. Wharton junior Eric Fiore , College of Liberal and Professional Studies student Joseph Hwang and 2008 Villanova graduate Frank Tucci are the core forces behind the company." Read more.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stand Alone Vision Plans Not to Be Sold Through California's Exchange

"Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill [Assembly Bill 1877] that Rancho Cordova’s vision insurer, VSP Global, says was necessary to let it sell coverage through the state-run health care marketplace, Covered California," according to a report in the Modesto Bee. "Brown’s veto appears to tear open an old wound...In 2012, the governing board of Covered California, the electronic marketplace created in response to the federal Affordable Care Act, was finalizing its rules. It had decided not to let 'stand-alone' companies like VSP, which provide only vision care insurance, sell coverage to individuals. Lynch protested and said he was putting on hold a significant expansion of the company’s operations in the Sacramento area. A slew of elected officials and business leaders urged the state agency to reconsider. Eventually, the Covered California board reversed course and voted to let VSP and other stand-alone insurers into the market for individuals....But because of a wrinkle in federal law, the agency later realized that stand-alone vision plans couldn’t be sold through an exchange, according to a legislative analysis of AB 1877." Read more.

Designer of a Field's Test for Drivers with Glaucoma Wins Award

Glaucoma damages the visual field, and if the loss is severe, an individual can loss driving privileges. At present, no objective, office-based tests accurately estimates the impact of visual field loss on driving. So, Dr. Hannes Devos at Georgia Regents University has worked on a project entitled "Performance-Based Visual Field Testing to Detect Driving Impairments in Individuals with Glaucoma." For his efforts, Fight forSight and Prevent Blindness named as the recipient of the new “Fight for Sight-Prevent Blindness Public Health Award,” which comes with a one-time $20,000 grant for a year of full-time research.

According to the 2014 “The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report from Prevent Blindness, more than 2.8 million Americans ages 40 and older have glaucoma, with glaucoma and disorders of the optic nerve costing $6.1 billion annually.  Read more.

Alcon Asked to Cease Making Superiority Claims for Air Optix Aqua

The National Advertising Division has recommended that Alcon Laboratories, Inc., discontinue certain comparative superiority claims for its Air Optix Aqua Contact Lenses. The recommendation came following a challenge from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVC), the maker of Acuvue Oasys, according to a press release from ASRC Review, which along with NAD are administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation.

The claims at issue in JJVC’s challenge appeared in print advertisements, promotional materials and advertorial emails directed to eye care professionals, online videos directed to professionals and consumers and print advertisements directed at general consumers. They included:
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses provide “superior surface deposit resistance.”
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses possess “Unique Plasma Surface Technology for Superior Deposit Resistance.”
  • “Acuvue OASYS contact lenses attract up to 31x more lipid deposits.”
  • “Only Air Optix brand contact lenses have a unique surface technology that’s proven to … resist deposits better than other available two-week or monthly replacement SiHy lens.”
  • Air Optix Aqua lenses “Resists Lipids & Deposits.”
  • “Superior Surface with Moisture and Consistent Comfort.”
NAD also considered whether the advertising implied that Air Optix Aqua contact lenses offer superior vision and comfort when compared to other brands. At issue in this case was whether Alcon could support claims that its Air Optix Aqua contact lenses were better at resisting deposits of lipids, present in one’s tears, on the surface of the lens and better at resisting the absorption of lipids into the matrix of the lens.

JJVC maintained that the testing on which Alcon based its superior surface deposition-resistance claims did not measure deposits on the contact lens surface and argued that JJVC’s own head-to-head clinical testing showed that Alcon’s “31x claim” was without clinical relevance. JJVC also contended that a “Deposits Card” designed for eye-care professionals, distorted the deposits “encountered with OASYS lens and exaggerates the purported superior surface properties of AOA lenses.”

Alcon asserted that the challenged claims for its AOA contact lenses were truthful and wholly substantiated by reliable studies and data and via multiple reputable scientific authorities and sources. This evidence, Alcon maintained, provides more than a reasonable basis for its claim that AOA has superior lipid deposit resistance compared to OASYS. According to Alcon, having established a reasonable basis for its claims, JJVC has failed in its burden to show either a material flaw in Alcon’s evidence, or more reliable evidence demonstrating a different result.

Following its review of the evidence presented by the advertiser and challenger, NAD determined that Alcon could not support the challenged claims and recommended that the claims at issue be discontinued. NAD noted that the advertiser had voluntarily discontinued distribution of the “Deposits Card,” but recommended the advertiser discontinue distribution of promotional materials containing exaggerated images.

Finally, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precluded Alcon from promoting that its Air Optix Aqua lenses possess “Unique Plasma Surface Technology,” or that Air Optix Aqua lenses “Resists Lipids & Deposits.” Further, NAD noted that nothing in its decision precludes the advertiser from claims – in a stand-alone context – that Air Optix Aqua lenses possess unique plasma surface technology that resists lipids and deposits, offering clear vision and consistent comfort.

Alcon took issue with NAD’s analysis of its evidence but said that despite “these disagreements, Alcon respects the self-regulatory process and will take NAD’s recommendations into account in future promotional materials.”

New Eyewear from L'Amy's Columbia Eyewear

L’Amy America’s Columbia Eyewear has launched "four new models for the Fall, with design options in combination metal and stainless steel," writes Midwest Lens. "The new combination models, Jenkins Mountain and Mount Jackson feature stainless steel fronts with H90 injection-molded temple stems. The “Jenkins” frame is a rounded, sport-oval shape and Mount Jackson is a classic aviator sport shape. “Our legendary H90 frame material provides featherweight comfort, is flexible and durable, reacting very well to extreme temperatures. Pairing H90 with stainless fronts together create a frame perfectly suited for outdoor adventure and the urban commute alike,” said Worldwide Business Unit Manager Connie Reiss." Read more.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Slowing Down" That Fast Ball with Zeaxanthin

Hitting a 95 MPH fastball is said to be the hardest thing to do in sports, but a zeaxanthin can make it seem slower, according to a study published in Plos One. The study, conducted at the University of Georgia (UGA) Vision Sciences laboratory, measured the impact of high levels of dietary zeaxanthin (20mg and above) on the speed at which a person’s eyes and brain communicate to identify, process and respond to stimuli. The study found that after four months of taking the supplement, which is found in EyePromise, participants reportedly experienced statistically significant improvements in reaction time. It is said to be the first time a study has proven the ability to improve visual processing speed through dietary zeaxanthin supplementation. Read more.

New Eyewear from L'Amy America

"L’Amy America, a division of global eyewear group TWC- L’Amy, announced the launch of three new ophthalmic styles in the Balmain eyewear collection available now," according to a Midwest Lens post. "The three new ophthalmic styles include one for men and two for women. All three Balmain styles represent the brand with quintessential Balmain design elements such as rivets and metal details coupled with contemporary frame shapes." Read more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

History of Contact Lenses and Much More

"He would dab on a bit of cocaine to anesthetize his eyes first. Then, to prevent air getting in, Müller would insert the lenses with his eyes under water. And they would help his myopia … for about half an hour. Wearing them much longer was intolerable." That's the beginning of a Scientific American blog post about the history of contact lenses and the resulting infections. Read more.

New MX Transitions VII Lens from Seiko Optical

Seiko Optical Products of America has introduced a 1.74 finished single-vision MX Transitions VII with Surpass Easy Clean Plus AR coating, according to a Midwest Lens. Its blog post reads: "Seiko 1.74 Finished Single-Vision Aspheric Transitions VII features Surpass ECP AR with outstanding super hydrophobic and anti-static protection....Surpass ECP AR [reportedly] performs as well or superior to broadly promoted brands. It is engineered to counteract deterioration due to UV, humidity and normal temperature fluctuations." The lenses come in gray." Read more.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vision-Ease Expands Line of Photochromics

Vision-Ease Lens has added D28 bifocals, general purpose Novel, and short-corridor Novella progressives to its line of ChangeRx plastic photochromic lenses, reports Midwest Lens. "ChangeRx D28s are the first plastic photochromic bifocals from Vision-Ease Lens. The style offers a wide range of view for superior sight lines and vision. Novel and Novella ChangeRx combine the visual flexibility of progressives with added comfort by adjusting to various UV levels. ChangeRx lenses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, and are offered in gray and brown. ChangeRx D28s are available in 75mm diameter for -10.00 to +6.50 spheres, up to -4.00 cylinder. ChangeRx Novel and Novella progressives are available in 80mm and 75 mm diameters respectively, for -10.00 to +6.50 spheres." Read more.

Loss of Eyesight Has Greatest Impact

"Many Americans across racial and ethnic groups describe losing eyesight as potentially having the greatest impact on their day-to-day life, more so than other conditions including: loss of limb, memory, hearing and speech (57% of African-Americans, 49% of non-Hispanic whites, 43% of Asians and 38% of Hispanics)," reports Medical News Today. "When asked which disease or ailment is the worst that could happen to them, blindness ranked first among African-Americans followed by AIDS/HIV. Hispanics and Asians ranked cancer first and blindness second, while Alzheimer's disease ranked first among non-Hispanic whites followed by blindness. When asked about various possible consequences of vision loss, "quality of life" ranked as the top concern by non-Hispanic whites (73%) and Asians (68%) while African-Americans (66%) and Hispanics (63%) ranked "loss of independence" as number one." Read more.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Acanthamoeba Infections on the Rise

"Cases of eye infection with a type of amoeba called Acanthamoeba – which can irreparably damage the corneas – have doubled since 2010, said Professor John Dart, of Moorfields Eye Hospital in London," writes the Daily Mail. "He said the trend towards internet purchasing had contributed to the rise, because people do not undergo ‘vital’ eye checks so frequently. These are essential for spotting early signs of infection and to make sure people know about contact lens hygiene, explained Prof Dart." Read more.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

News Coming Out of Vision Expo West

Vision Monday has lassoed several stories popping up at the Vision Expo West:

Can Your Boss Predict thte Precision of Your Decisions? Yeap. The Pupils Tell All, According to a Study

"The precision with which people make decisions can be predicted by measuring pupil size before they are presented with any information about the decision, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational Biology," reports Medical News Today. "The study, conducted by Peter Murphy and colleagues at Leiden University, showed that spontaneous, moment-to-moment fluctuations in pupil size predicted how a selection of participants varied in their successful decision making. A larger pupil size indicated poorer upcoming task performance, due to more variability in the decisions made once the relevant information was presented. The authors also found that certain individuals who had the largest pupils overall also tended to be the least consistent in their decisions." Read more.

Sony Proposes Its Smart Eyeglasses

"Almost everybody who’s capable of producing tech eyewear is coming after Google Glass in a big way, and Japanese consumer electronics outfit Sony isn’t one to get left behind," according to Android Community. "It’s releasing the Sony SmartEyeglass (we guess people are running out of novel names for tech eyewear) to compete in this segment, although it doesn’t have software of its own as of now and is relying on third party developers to work with their SDK." Read more.

Friday, September 19, 2014

New Eyewear from XOXO

"Bright bold colors and abstract prints meet fun and flirty frames in the new XOXO Girl Collection," reports Midwest Lens. "Fave offers a double laminate frame with a modified rectangle shape. Multicolored acetate temples turn up the volume with touches of purple and red. Fave is also available in a multicolored Black and Blue. Celeb is on trend! Her bright frame pops with color while her temple tips offer a walk on the wild side with vivid prints. Celeb offers a delicate double laminate flirty uplifted rectangle frame and solid acetate temples. Celeb is available in Orchid and Indigo." Read more.

New Eyewear and Sunglasses from Carrera

Carrera has unveiled its upcoming eyewear collection for the Fall/Winter 2014/2015 season. The eyewear in this collection features ultra-slim profiles and striking color-blocking effects. This serves to introduce new sunglasses and optical frames that emphasize the urban, contemporary personality.

All of the innovations presented in this collection not only reveal the authentic spirit of the eyewear, but also its new and lively look. This all goes to show the use of premium materials in making this new eyewear and reveals the brand’s great passion for design and its meticulous attention to detail.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Registration Running Briskly for Fall 2014 Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians

This past spring opticians from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island celebrated OpticalCEUs 15th annual spring continuing education seminar. Scores of opticians will earn seven ABO/NCLE continuing education credits on November 2 at the Grand Pequot Ballroom when they participate in OpticalCEUs 15th annual fall continuing education seminar. They will participate in the following seminars.

  • The Full Spectrum of Prism Speaker: Deborah Kotob (1 ABO pending) 9am-10am – NEW! 
  • Night Vision Speaker: Deborah Kotob (1 NCLE) 10am-11am – NEW!
  • Contact Lenses on the Job Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 11am-Noon
  • Day By Day Speaker: Joe Forte (1 NCLE) 1pm-2pm – NEW!
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lenses, But Were Afraid to Ask Speaker: Joe Forte (1 ABO) 2pm-3pm – NEW!
  • Score with Contact Lenses for Sports Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 3pm-4pm
  • Reflecting on Refraction Speaker: Joe Forte (1 ABO) 4pm-5pm – NEW!

Register now to earn accreditation and some Foxwoods fun! You can sign up for a full day (7 credits) for only $135; morning only for $90; and afternoon only for $100.

Proteins Responsible for What Is Seen

"A collaboration between researchers from the Institute for Medical Physics and Biophysics (IMPB) at the Charité in Berlin and the European Synchrotron (ESRF) in Grenoble has uncovered a new common feature in the molecular processes that are responsible for senses such as taste, smell, and vision," writes Medical News Today. "The team discovered that what seem like structurally and functionally different proteins important in sight and smell in fact share a common component. This result, published in the journal Nature Communications, provides another clue in the search to understand how our senses work." Read more.

Study with Implantable "Telescope" Underway

Dr. David Boyer with Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group and Dr. Samuel Masket with Advanced Vision Careare participating in a nationwide, post-approval study of an implantable telescope, says a press release from the two practices. The device, developed by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz, has been approved by the FDA to improve vision for people living with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to Masket and Boyer.  The study reportedly will corroborate the safety data submitted to the FDA that led to approval and evaluate the patient care program in a commercial setting. Patients wishing to participate should contact one of the two practices. Read more.

Sunglasses from Adidas

"The Adidas Originals sunglass line introduces edgy bright-mirrored collections inspired by heritage and a futuristic attitude," reports Midwest Lens. "Sydney delivers a strong crossover frame that will be equally at home on the coast or in the mountains. The oversized frame is finished with a sleek embossed Trefoil logo. The classic pilot look is reinvented with the cool, sleek, minimalistic metal collections, Atlanta and Liverpool. Scaled up and oversized to make a statement, these two styles offer a twist of modernity with a range of vibrantly colored lenses that are sure to stand out." Read more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jonathan Adler Now Designing Women's Eyewear with REM

"Jonathan Adler continues to expand out of the interior design sphere, inking a five-year licensing agreement with REM Eyewear to create a line of women’s eyewear, due out in March 2015," according to Women's Wear Daily. "The new venture joins Adler’s growing list of branded fashion accessories that includes handbags, scarves, wallets, men’s neckwear and socks. “I’m obsessed with eyewear,” said Adler. “It fits my world perfectly.” Adler’s debut eyewear collection will include sunglasses, readers and optical frames. Styles will feature circular temple tips branded with “JA,” as well as custom acetate developed for the brand. Retail prices range from $58 for basic readers to $195 for optical frames. REM Eyewear’s brand portfolio includes Converse, John Varvatos, Lucky Brand, Jones New York and Cosmopolitan, as well as in-house brands Visualities, Surface, Lipstick and Indie." Read more.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eyewear to the Stars from Luxembourg

"What do Apple CEO Tim Cook, actor Sylvester Stallone and music legend Stevie Wonder have in common? They all wear glasses made by a small company in Luxembourg's north, Gold & Wood," according to a post on the Luxemberger Times. "Launched in 1995, Gold & Wood has become a market leader in luxury glasses and sunglasses – or as the company calls them, eyepieces. Made using precious wood, buffalo horn and other high-end materials, such as precious metals and diamonds, the brand is especially popular in the US, where 40 percent of company revenue originates. An expansion to Brazil, Turkey and China is on the to-do list for next year, when the company celebrates its 20th anniversary." Read more.

Same Day Eyewear Starts in Atlanta

Customers will receive finished eyewear same day with a new service launched recently by QSpex Technologies, according to a company press release on Yahoo! Finance. With this new program, customers order eyewear at a QSpex eye care provider, who then orders at a local QSpex Optical Service Center. The center produces and delivers the finished eyewear to wherever the customer chooses-same day. The first Optical Service Center was launched in the Atlanta metro area. The company plans additional locations. To date, scores of U.S. and international eye care providers reportedly have joined the QSpex network, and the Company will soon announce additional retail choices. Read more.

New Eyewear from Bongo

"Bongo Eyewear adds some shimmer and shine to its Fall 2014 collection with two new styles that feature dazzling accents including stone embellishments and sparkling colorations for the youthful and expressive lifestyle of today’s BONGO girl," according to Midwest Lens. "The new styles from Bongo Eyewear are the perfect accompaniment for the Bongo girl who wants to be bold and trendy in her apparel and accessories from head to toe." Read more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Luxury Optical Acquires Robert Marc Eyewear Brand

"Luxury Optical Holdings Co. has acquired the Robert Marc eyewear brand for an undisclosed amount," according to WWD. "Robert Marc has eight stores in New York City and a wholesale global business in 20 countries, with 500 points of distribution. Founder Robert Marc will join LOH as chief creative officer. LOH is owned by aPriori Capital Partners and Goode Partners. Ron Beegle, an LOH director and a Goode cofounder and operating partner, said, 'Combining the two companies creates a formidable player in the luxury segment of the optical industry.' LOH already owns the Morgenthal Frederics brand, and, with Robert Marc now under its umbrella, the 'transaction gives LOH additional market exposure. Robert Marc brings wholesale and distribution expertise to LOH,' said Paul Altman, a managing director at The Sage Group, which was the financial adviser to Robert Marc." Read more.

According to a press release appearing on Yahoo! Finance, Monroe Capital LLC  acted as sole lead arranger and administrative agent on a $47 million unitranche financing to support the acquisition of Robert Marc Eyewear by Luxury Optical Holdings. The acquisition is supported by private equity sponsors aPriori Capital and Goode Capital Partners.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NuPolar Polycarbonates Available in Gray and Brown

"NuPolar Gradient polycarbonate SFSV lenses [now] are available in gray and brown," goes the email received from Younger Optics. " Gradient lenses are highly desired by wearers; however, most do not offer the high-efficiency glare blocking power of polarization. NuPolar Gradient lenses offer a 98% polarization coefficient, which means blinding glare is blocked almost entirely. Ordinary gradient lenses are tinted on the surface using a painstaking process that can sometimes provide undesirable or inconsistent results. NuPolar Gradient lenses are different, because the gradient is encapsulated within the lens as part of the polarizing film. This patented Encapsulated Gradient Technology prevents fading and discoloration of the lens over time. It also completely removes the need to surface tint the lens, meaning consistent matching every time." Read more in a PDF from Younger.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Charlotte Free Models for Chanel Eyewear

"Move over Alice Dellal, a pink-haired lady has arrived to take your Chanel eyewear throne," reports the Telegraph. "Step forward Charlotte Free, the diminutive Los Angeles native whose shock of pink hair made her a favourite with catwalk casting directors in 2011, just months after she was first scouted. She's since become a Chanel catwalk regular, been picked by H&M and Benetton to add a rosy touch to its ad campaigns and modelled for beauty giant Maybelline." Read more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Education Helps Get the Visually Impaired to Work

"A brand new survey has revealed that education is important for getting the visually impaired into work. This challenges the current situation in which partially sighted students are now exempt from several upper secondary school subjects," according to a Science Daily post. "A new wide-ranging survey carried out by SINTEF has gathered the responses of nearly 1000 visually impaired people. The project 'Med jobb i sikte' (Work in mind) has included the first major survey of its kind since 1994. Whereas in previous surveys the emphasis was on facilitation and support schemes, focus has now turned to the factors that help and hinder the visually impaired from getting jobs." Read more.

"Novel cause" for Glaucoma Discovered

"Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a novel cause of glaucoma in an animal model, and related to their findings, are now developing an eye drop aimed at curing the disease. They believe their findings will be important to human glaucoma," reports Medical News Today. "A cure for glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S., has been elusive because the basis of the disease is poorly understood. ...The new study for the first time identifies the molecular building blocks needed to make the 'drainage' vessels, providing the necessary chemical tools to repair the eye's plumbing and restore normal drainage. Up until now, the molecular basis of the disease caused by an absent or defective canal was unknown. The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation." Read more.

AOA Disputes Study Predicting Shortage of Optometrists

"The AOA is taking issue with a new business research report asserting that there will be a shortage of optometrists over the next decade-a claim at odds with the National Eye Care Workforce Study released in June," according to a post on the American Optometric Assn. site. 'The bottom line is that optometrists continue to be well-positioned to meet the growing needs of Americans for medical eye care.' Published on Sept. 2, the report from the Conference Board...concluded 'among doctors, optometrists and podiatrists are the specialists most at risk of shortage, with the general physicians and surgeons category not far behind.' According to the Board's study, this is attributable to an overall increase in demand for health care providers due to an aging American population and an overall decrease in supply as practitioners retire." Read more.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

CDC Report Advocates Eye Exams for Children

Prevent Blindness America has noted that a new supplement of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documents "the potential benefits of selected clinical preventive services [such as eye exams] for infants, children, and adolescents; the challenges related to their underuse; and effective collaborative strategies to improve use." Read the CDC report.

New Eyewear from Persol

“For 2014, Persol launched Vintage Celebration with new colors joining those selected from its historical archive,” according to Midwest Lens. “Along with the classic, Virginia Tobacco, Coffee and Sienna, there are a number of extra colors that are inspired by the sixties era and emulate the mineral world. Obsidian, Cobalt, Garnet and Amber, which with special antiqued versions enhance classic and new Persol women’s and men’s models, both sun and optical.” Read more.

J&J Helps U.K. Opticians Market Contact Lenses

"A new range of promotional materials designed to help opticians attract, convert and retain contact lens patients has been released by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care," according to Optician Online. "The materials, available through the myAccount section on the www.jnjvisioncare.co.uk site, include point of sale tools such as counter cards, leaflets and posters. A range of direct mail and online solutions, including print advertisements, email templates and website banners is also available. All of the materials can be personalised with practice details." Read more.

U.K. Companies Team Up to Promote Eye Health

"A number of companies have joined together to form the Industry Vision Group (IVG), which brings together pharmaceutical and medical technology companies with an interest in eye health. The group is focused on overarching policy issues and aims to help secure greater prioritisation of eye health with policy makers and commissioners; and improve access to care, treatment and services for people with eye health conditions," reports Medical News Today. "The group is currently developing its work programme and looks forward to working collaboratively with the eye health community to make progress towards its stated aims." Read more.

Shortage of Optometrists in Near Future? Maybe!

"A new business research report put optometry top among health-related fields facing labor shortages in the next decade—a claim the National Eye Care Workforce Study does not support," according to an AOA (American Optometric Assn.) post. 'The bottom line is that optometrists continue to be well-positioned to meet the growing needs of Americans for medical eye care.' Published on Sept. 2, the report from the Conference Board—a global business membership and research association—concluded 'among doctors, optometrists and podiatrists are the specialists most at risk of shortage, with the general physicians and surgeons category not far behind.' This is attributable to an overall increase in demand for health care providers due to an aging American population and an overall decrease in supply as practitioners retire, according to the study. The Conference Board labor report tracked 464 occupations in the United States between 2012 and 2022. Earlier this year, a poll concluded the 65-and-older population will surpass the 15-and-younger group by 2030, growing to more than a fifth of the U.S. population for the first time. It's a fact that prompted the update of the AOA's manual, Optometric Care of Nursing Home Residents." Read more.

New Eyewear from Innotec Eyewear

"Innotec Eyewear introduces the Anton, Kensington and Orion into the Legacy Collection. Showcasing technology in a lightweight, durable design, these new styles unite modern complexity with a weightless feel," reports Midwest Lens. "The Anton demonstrates sleek masculinity with its double laminated TR-90 material, hand painted demi pattern and detailed hinges. As Innotec’s first ever cat eye, the Kensington enters into the collection as a bold statement of daring translucent colors and intricate hinges. The Orion unites tradition with innovation by embodying intellect and contemporary sophistication through its keyhole bridge and duel laminated TR-90 front. Each frame uses lightweight durability and revolutionary materials to evoke an original yet inventive look into the newly established Legacy Collection." Read more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Alcon Launches Media Campaign for Air Optix Colors

Alcon launched a national television, print, and online media campaign for Air Optix Colors contact lenses. The campaign, directed at women, features 15- and 30-second tv spots on major networks such as NBC, CBS, TNT, TBS, Lifetime, Oxygen and more. A full-page ad will appear in magazines such as Glamour, Seventeen, Nylon, Teen Vogue and OK! In the tv ads, brown-eyed model Sofia changes her eye color to sterling gray with Alcon’s contact lenses. Consumers see her eyes before and after. The ad encourages viewers “to try on” their perfect color at www.AIROPTIXColors.com or by visiting an eye care professional.The company launched the campaign not only to promote its product but to “ensure that patients understand that Air Optix Colors contact lenses are prescription medical devices that require a visit to their eye doctor,” said Lynn Smith, Head of US Marketing for Vision Care at Alcon. Read more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

America’s Best Survey: Price the Reason Most People Don’t Get Eye Exams

A survey, called Eye Health Awareness and Access commissioned by America’s Best, found that even though 93% said their health was import, 40 percent have not had an eye exam in the past year, and 10 percent have never seen an eye doctor. African-Americans were almost twice as likely to have never done so. That’s the word from an America’s Best press release appearing on Yahoo! Finance Canada. The top reason people give for why they have not recently visited their eye doctor is "No need – I am seeing fine," with 37 percent saying this, followed closely by "I cannot afford it," said by 34 percent. These same people say they expect to pay more than $90 for an eye exam, showing they are not aware of more affordable options.The majority of people also feel that their eyeglasses cost too much for what they got, with the cost of their eyeglasses averaging close to $200 for their last pair. Nearly a quarter paid more than $250. As a result of the survey, America’s Best came up with the Rickey Smiley frames, available for two-for-$104.95 deal with single vision plastic lenses and an eye exam. Price is cited as the most important factor when shopping for eyeglasses (74 percent of people said this), followed by quality (57 percent), location (47 percent), convenience (41 percent) and hours (19 percent). Read more. Watch comedian Rickey Smiley interviewing people about eye health.

New Eyewear from Modern Optical International

“Value eyewear leader Modern Optical International introduces 5 new styles to its Modern Art Collection for Fall 2014,” reports Midwest Lens. “A woman’s eyes are one of her most important features, which is why they deserve to be accentuated with beautiful eyewear… at an affordable price. Our Modern Art Collection makes elegance and sophistication accessible to all women. With ultra-feminine detailing and tasteful embellishments, this well-curated collection also incorporates many practical features such as spring hinges, deeper silhouettes and Summit Silicone nose pads. Every woman deserves her very own piece of Modern Art!” Read more.

Bausch+Lomb Increasing Production of Ultra Contact Lenses

“Chances are you can't get your hands on Bausch + Lomb Inc.'s new Ultra monthly contact lens,” writes the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. “The eye-care company has only one manufacturing line producing them, at its North Goodman Street plant. The lenses are available only in the United States, and not yet nationwide. And demand so far is outstripping supply. ‘We're selling every lens we can make,’ said J. Michael Pearson, CEO of B+L parent company Valeant Pharmaceutics International Inc. But all of that is changing. B+L and parent company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. on Monday cut the ribbon on what will become a major manufacturing addition to the company's Rochester plant. Along with the two Ultra manufacturing lines being installed there,…B+L will put in a third and fourth.” Read more.

A Glass of Wine and Some Chocolate a Day Keeps Glaucoma Away? Maybe

“It's not the most obvious  treatment plan for the serious eye disease glaucoma – which can lead to blindness – but symptoms could be improved by eating chocolate and drinking red wine,” writes the Daily Mail. “The condition could also be eased by drinking coffee and green tea and eating more fruit and vegetables, according to a new study that examined the effects of diet on glaucoma, one of  the most common eye complaints. They are all high in antioxidants which seem to improve retina  function in patients with the condition, at least in the short term, the study suggests. However, experts say the only hope for a cure for the irreversible disease is gene therapy.” Read more.

New Eyewear from Carter Bond

“Carter Bond is the natural world transformed. Using a combination of different materials from wood-finish acetates to natural bamboo and wood; Carter Bond’s approach to fashion is inspired by the power of make – and who made it,” according to Midwest Lens. “Eyewear to the core is the remarkable history of the Sceats family. Established in Sydney, Australia in 1925 by Filmer Sceats, his unique optometry practice quickly became renowned for its craftsmen and fine bespoke workmanship. Filmer’s son Jono Hennessy Sceats (www.jonohennessy.com) followed by pioneering fashion eyewear starting in the 80’s specializing in “modern-fashion” construction; the eyewear became a staple in the wardrobe of every fashion-conscious Australian.” Read more.

Monday, September 8, 2014

How We Focus on Color and Motion

“Despite the barrage of visual information the brain receives, it retains a remarkable ability to focus on important and relevant items. This fall, for example, NFL quarterbacks will be rewarded handsomely for how well they can focus their attention on color and motion - being able to quickly judge the jersey colors of teammates and opponents and where they're headed is a valuable skill. How the brain accomplishes this feat, however, has been poorly understood,” goes the Medical News Today post. “Now, University of Chicago scientists have identified a brain region that appears central to perceiving the combination of color and motion. They discovered a unique population of neurons that shift in sensitivity toward different colors and directions depending on what is being attended - the red jersey of a receiver headed toward an end zone, for example. The study, published in the journal Neuron, sheds light on a fundamental neurological process that is a key step in the biology of attention.” Read more.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Connection between Outdoor Activities and XFS, a Link to Cataracts and Glaucoma

“Outdoor activities may increase the odds of developing exfoliation syndrome (XFS) in the eyes, a condition which has been linked to cataracts and glaucoma,” according to Medical News Today. “XFS is a harmful aging of the eye associated cataracts, elevated intraocular pressure and retinal vein blockage. There is evidence that climate factors contribute to XFS. For example, aboriginal Australians who spend lots of time outdoors have a higher prevalence of the disorder. But the relationship between ultraviolet (UV) radiation (UVR) and XFS needs further study because some reports of a link have not been consistent. The authors examined the relationship between UVR and XFS in a study with clinic participants in the United States (118 cases, 106 control patients) and Israel (67 cases, 72 control participants). The authors analyzed the latitude where people lived and the average number of hours per week that they spend outside.” Read more.

Mice Research Leading to Gains with Wet Macular Degeneration

Science Daily writes, “Working with mice, a multicenter team of researchers has found a new way to reduce the abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the eye that accompany some eye diseases. The finding could lead to the development of new drugs for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.” Read more.

Safilo Opens School for Eyewear Design and Development

Safilo will establish next year the Safilo Product School to help young apprentices master the fundamentals of eyewear product development. It could also be a launching point for a career with Safilo as an eyewear product director. Entry into the program is open to individuals coming from technical institutes or universities. It combines on-the-job training and job rotation--including an international assignment in Safilo’s worldwide operations, coaching by experienced Safilo managers and experts, and regular classroom training. Read more.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

FGX Recalls 215,000 Children’s Sunglasses

FGX International has recalled 215,000 children’s sunglasses because of violation of lead-paint standards. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission press release, the paint contained excessive quantities of lead. Advise your patients to contact FGX International toll-free at (877) 277- 0104 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.fgxi.com and click on “Recall” for more information. Photographs of the sunglasses can be seen at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2014/FGX-International-Recalls-Childrens-Sunglasses/. A list of the sunglasses being recalled can be found at http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fgx-international-recalls-childrens-sunglasses-due-to-violation-of-lead-paint-standard-273941261.html.

Genetic Variants Associated with Glaucoma Identified

Medical News Today reports that “the identification of genetic variants associated with risk of developing glaucoma is reported in three independent studies published online this week in Nature Genetics. These findings may lead to better diagnostic tools or therapies for glaucoma.” Read more.

Luxottica Founder: Google Glass Would Embarrass Him

“The chairman of Google’s most important partner for Google Glass says it would “embarrass” him to wear the Web-connected eyewear, which now appears unlikely to be in consumers’ hands before next year,” goes the blog post in the Wall Street Journal’s Digits. “Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder and controlling shareholder of Luxottica, the largest eyewear maker in the world, criticized Google Glass in comments to the Financial Times [British sister publication of the WSJ] Tuesday. Luxottica is a key partner for Glass, since it plans to release versions of the smart eyewear attached to its iconic brands like Ray-ban and Oakley.”
“I have not used Google Glass,” Mr. Del Vecchio told the FT  in an interview. “It would embarrass me going around with that on my face. It would be OK in the disco, but I no longer go to the disco.”
Read more.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Guerra Gone from Luxottica/Almost Signs Deal with Essilor

"Italian eyewear company Luxottica Group S.p.A (LUX: Quote) said Monday that Andrea Guerra has stepped down as chief executive officer of the company after serving for almost ten years at the helm," according to RTT News. "According to media reports, Guerra has stepped down following differences with the company's founder and chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio. Luxottica, the owner of the popular Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglass brands, said it has now introduced a new management structure based on a co-CEO model that will allow it to 'take advantage of opportunities in a competitive global market of growing complexity and changing competitive dynamics.' The new structure will see the founder take on a more active role at the company." Read more.

A Reuters post said the company had "looked at a possible deal with French rival Essilor but decided not to pursue it and is no longer considering it, Luxottica's new co-chief executive said on Monday. 'A deal with Essilor was explored, about a year and a half ago, but it was concluded that there were not the right conditions to go ahead,' Enrico Cavatorta told an analyst call. ...Cavatorta took over as new co-CEO of the world's largest eyewear maker by revenue on Monday, as long-standing CEO Andrea Guerra stepped down after falling out with Luxottica's key shareholder and Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio." Read more.

Kering Creates Separate Entity for Its Eyewear, and Resigns with Safilo

"French luxury and retail group Kering ...is looking to strengthen its eyewear business by creating a separate entity that will fully control the eyewear value chain, from design to product development and supply chain, and from branding and marketing to sales," reports RTT News. "The owner of the Gucci and Saint Laurent brands currently manages nine of their 11 brands through license agreements with five different partners. It only receives royalty totaling about 50 million euros on these licenses." Read more.

Meanwhile Safilo and Kering said that they will continue their 20-year partnership. The two will go-steady with the Gucci license until December 2016 and product development until December 2020. Read more.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Register for OpticalCEUs 15th Annual Continuing Education Seminar for Opticians

Need to renew your state license and ABO/NCLE certification? You can with the best value in continuing education - a full-day, 7-credit program from F.E. Enterprises.
Pick up the latest ideas in the field - from preserving vision health to new contact lens applications.  The seven courses at the GRAND PEQUOT BALLROOM, Foxwoods Resort and Casino on Sunday, November 2 will help you:
  • Advise your patients about protecting their night vision
  • Provide top-notch patient care with an analysis of daily disposable contact lenses
  • Expand your knowledge of vision, spectacle and contact lenses
Register now to earn accreditation and some Foxwoods fun (http://www.opticalceu.com/RegisterNowFall2014.html)! You can sign up for a full day (7 credits) for only $135; morning only for $90; and afternoon only for $100. You can also custom design your program from the following:
  • The Full Spectrum of Prism Speaker: Deborah Kotob  (1 ABO pending) 9am-10am – NEW!
  • Night Vision Speaker:  Deborah Kotob (1 NCLE) 10am-11am – NEW!
  • Contact Lenses on the Job Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 11am-Noon
  • Day By Day Speaker: Joe Forte (1 NCLE) 1pm-2pm – NEW!
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lenses, But Were Afraid to Ask Speaker:  Joe Forte (1 ABO) 2pm-3pm – NEW!
  • Score with Contact Lenses for Sports Speaker:  Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 3pm-4pm
  • Reflecting on Refraction Speaker:  Joe Forte (1 ABO) 4pm-5pm – NEW!

Our LecturersFor 15 years Linda Conlin, 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 written for 20/20 and EyeWitness magazines. She is a speaker at OptiCon as well as an active participant in other areas serving opticians.
Deborah Kotob, the ECP Education Facilitator for Vision-Ease, creates and presents ABO, NCLE and JCAHPO seminars related to optics and best practices. A Massachusetts-licensed optician, she has owned two optical businesses and was a sales representative for MODO and Luxottica. Deborah has achieved ABOM and NCLE certifications. She will be lecturing at Vision Expo West 2014.
Joe Forte, the director of contact lens services for Greenwich Ophthalmology Associates, 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.
DirectionsFoxwoods is located at 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, CT 06338, on Route 2 between I-395 and I-95. Click this link for the directions provided by the hotel. Valet parking is free. For accommodations, call Foxwoods at 1-800 PLAY BIG. Overnight reservations are not associated with the seminar.

New “Simple” Test Detects Early Only nAMD

“A simple color test that could detect the early onset of a condition which accounts for over half of visual impairment certifications in the UK is being researched by scientists at Aston University,” reports Science Daily. “Dr. Frank Eperjesi, an optometry specialist at the School of Life & Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, will lead the study into whether neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), a common condition affecting 321,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales, can be identified before patients begin to show symptoms of having the disease.The study could have a lasting impact, particularly as the number of cases of nAMD in the UK is set to rise by almost a third by the year 2020 as the average age of the population increases.” Read more.

Scientists ID Variants Associated with Glaucoma

“The identification of genetic variants associated with risk of developing glaucoma is reported in three independent studies published online this week in Nature Genetics. These findings may lead to better diagnostic tools or therapies for glaucoma,” goes the Medical News Today post. “In one study, Zhenglin Yang and colleagues find variants near two genes, ABCA1 and PMM2, which are associated with glaucoma risk, with or without high inner eye pressure, in individuals from China and Singapore. Both genes have been previously implicated in other eye disorders, but not glaucoma. In a second study, Puya Gharahkhani and colleagues identify variants near three genes, including ABCA1, that are associated with glaucoma risk in Australians and Americans of European descent. A third study by Christopher Hammond and colleagues combines genetic data from 18 populations, including people of Asian and European descent, and also identifies ABCA1 as a risk gene for both high inner eye pressure and glaucoma. Two other genetic variants were also linked to both of these conditions in this last study.” Read more.

Scientists Discover How Neurons for Vision Come About

“New York University biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated,” writes Medical News Today. “’Our research uncovers a process that dictates both timing and cell survival in order to engender the heterogeneity of neurons used for vision,’ explains NYU Biology Professor Claude Desplan, the study's senior author.” Their study appears in the latest issue of Cell. Read more.