Monday, March 30, 2015

Myopia on the Rise Globally

Key scientists, researchers and clinical experts discussed the increasing prevalence of myopia and its visual, social and economic impact at a joint World Health Organization and Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) meeting. Health care experts reported that myopia is the leading cause of blindness in older people in Tajimi, Japan, and in Shanghai, China. A report from BHVI estimated that 5 billion people will have myopia in 2050, with almost a billion having high myopia. Professor Brien Holden said that “vision impairment and blindness was rising in children from uncorrected myopia and in adults from the pathological consequences of myopia later in life.” The participants also investigated the potential interventions. Dr Serge Resnikoff said that “a major contribution from the meeting was the definition and description of the retinal condition that causes blindness with myopia so that future surveys can accurately record the number of people with vision impairment and blindness from myopia.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Republicans Pass Medicare Bill--Decreasing Fees, Increasing Premiums, Extending Health Insurance for Kids

"The House...approved sweeping changes to the Medicare program on Thursday in the most significant bipartisan policy legislation to pass through that chamber since Republicans regained a majority in 2011," according to a March 26 New York Times post. "The measure, which would establish a new formula for paying doctors, increase premiums for some Medicare beneficiaries and extend a popular health insurance program for children, has already been endorsed by President Obama and awaits a vote in the Senate." Read more.

Co-Pilot of Downed Germanwings Jetliner Said to Have Vision Problems

"Andreas Lubitz, who was flying the Germanwings jetliner that slammed into a mountain in the French Alps on Tuesday, sought treatment for vision problems that may have jeopardized his ability to continue working as a pilot, two officials with knowledge of the investigation said Saturday," reported the New York Times today. "It is not clear how severe his eye problems were or how they might have been related to his psychological condition. One person with knowledge of the investigation said the authorities had not ruled out the possibility that the vision problem could have been psychosomatic." Read more.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Utah Bans Unilateral Pricing on Contact Lenses

Utah has become the first state to ban contact lens manufacturers from using Unilateral Pricing Policies (UPP) to set prices for contact lenses. Its legislators signed into law the Contact Lens Consumer Protection Act, according to a press release from 1-800 Contacts. The law will go into effect in May 2015.

UPP programs also are under investigation both by the Federal Trade Commission and by several State Attorneys General. During the past two weeks, attorneys are said to have filed 15 consumer class-action suits against the manufacturers.

Nearly 40 million Americans spend $4.2 billion annually for contact lenses. Johnson & Johnson, Bausch & Lomb, Alcon, and CooperVision began using UPP in 2013. Since then, contact lens wearers reportedly have seen some online prices increase as much as 150%. Read more.

MYKITA Sets Marketing Campaign in NYC

"The 2015 MYKITA campaign is set amidst the cityscapes of New York – at locations that open up unconventional perspectives of the metropolis: on a small city beach in Dumbo, across the roofs of Brooklyn and along the High Line, a now disused historic freight rail line elevated above the streets of Manhattan. The urban landscape comprising skyscrapers, linear facades and grey concrete provides the backdrop for the campaign, as well as an aesthetic contrast to the city’s greenery," notes Midwest Lens. "New York-based photographer and artist Mark Borthwick has been working with MYKITA for the last seven years. He invited family members, friends and professional models to become subjects for the 2015 campaign. The photographs are accompanied by poems in the traditional Japanese haiku form. British poet Nicholas Hogg composed them specially for the MYKITA lookbook, capturing three-line snap shots of a stroll through the city." Read more.

Fendi Celebrates Collaboration with Thierry Lasry

"Madison Avenue is not your typical late-night party scene. A route to a rowdier downtown destination, sure, but the site for a full-on, blowout bash starting at 10 p.m.? Not so much," reports WWD. "That is, until Fendi gets involved. On Thursday evening, the fashion powerhouse brought the party uptown, to its freshly minted store, for a late-night cocktail party celebrating its eyewear collaboration with Thierry Lasry. The fete was appropriately dubbed 'Midnight on Madison.'" Read more.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A "Fix" for Colorblindness Near at Hand?

Simulation of extreme colorblindness
"More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing red from green or blue from yellow, and there's no treatment for colorblindness." reports National Public Radio (NPR). "A biotech company and two scientists hope to change that. On Wednesday, Avalanche Biotechnologies in Menlo Park and the University of Washington in Seattle announced a licensing agreement to develop the first treatment for colorblindness. The deal brings together a gene therapy technique developed by Avalanche with the expertise of vision researchers at the University of Washington. 'Our goal is to be treating colorblindness in clinical trials in patients in the next one to two years,' says Thomas Chalberg, the founder and CEO of Avalanche." Read more or listen to the story.

New Contact Lenses Brightens Iris

The iris inspired patterns of the 1-Day Acuvue Define with Lacreon heightens the appearance and brightness of eyes, according to its maker, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. The pattern on the CL defines an outline around the limbal ring, amplifying the contrast between the iris and the sclera. The patterns also are said to add depth and dimension without changing the eye's natural coloring. Read more.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

OD's Enter Second Day of Hunger Strike

"The indefinite hunger strike by members of the Indian Optometry Federation (IOF) being held at Jantar Mantar entered its second day on Tuesday. The group is protesting against what they claim to be “unlawful change of duties of optometrists by the Central Health Ministry.” The group has also written to the Prime Minister demanding immediate relief," reports The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper. "R.S. Berwal, secretary, IOF, said: 'Blindness in India can only be controlled if optometry is considered part of the primary health care. We should be allowed to diagnose and treat patients for common eye ailments and refer patients who need specialised care and surgical intervention.'" Read more.

Google Awarded Patent for Smart Contact Lens

"Remember the Google X skunkworks project that saw the company imagining contact lenses that could monitor your glucose levels?" asks Slash Gear. "Sounded weird, and more like some means to an end for a bigger project. Then we found Google had a partner in Novartis, and the contact lens that could monitor your health seemed a bit closer to reality. It’s now even closer to being on your eye, as Google has been granted a patent to manufacture the lenses, which have multiple layers and their own chipset." Read more.

New Eyewear from Nautica

"Rich in performance, color and authentic style, the new Nautica Eyewear Collection continues to enhance classic looks with water-inspired details that reflect the brand’s heritage and spirit," notes Midwest Lens. "Masculine designs are completed with nautical elements, timeless color palettes, and sophisticated accents that appeal to the modern man who enjoys the outdoors." Read more.

New Eyewear from L’Amy America

"Sophisticated, and fun with an attitude, are the hallmark of the six new styles, three ophthalmic and three sun, L’Amy America is launching in their Nicole Miller Spring 2015 eyewear collection." That's the start of a post on Midwest Lens. Read more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FL Senators Examine Contact Lens Pricing

"Capitol insiders may have thought they’d seen the last of eye wars, which for years were a perennial fight between optometrists and ophthalmologists over scope-of-practice issues," according to CBS Miami. "But a new twist, with new players, in the turf battle over eye care surfaced Monday in a debate about contact-lens prices that pitted a former Senate president against the current Senate majority leader. The issue focuses on whether contact-lens manufacturers should be able to set minimum prices — known in the industry as 'unilateral pricing policy,' or UPP — for their products." Read more.

Women Vulnerable to Eye Disease; Prevent Blindness Fights Back

Women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind,according to the recent Prevent Blindness (PB) study. More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, and these numbers will increase, according to the study, called The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems.

Even though early treatment can lessen the effects of these diseases, an MD or OD had not examined in the past two years one in four women's eyes, according to an online PB survey. Cost was cited as the number one reason for both those who did and did not have vision insurance. Other reasons cited were transportation issues and simply being “too busy” to make an appointment.

PB called the survey's results alarming, especially in light of the PB survey conducted in 2014 conducted by Harris. It found the following:
  • Less than 10 percent of American women realize that women are at a greater risk of suffering permanent vision loss than men.
  • 86 percent incorrectly believe that men and women are at equal risk.
  • Five percent believe that men are at greater risk.
Prevent Blindness has designated April as Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. The group also created See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now to provide free education and resources on everything from eye disease to cosmetic safety to vision changes during pregnancy. Experts also write about the importance of eye exams and the effects of smoking on women.

New Eyewear from Modern Optical

Modern Optical has expanded "its Modern Art Collection to include four beautiful laser-engraved stainless steel styles," notes Midwest Lens. "Unique patterns texturize each frame surface from brow lines to the thin graduated temples. Matte-finished neutral tones along with varying shades of blue and purple welcome the warmer days ahead. All styles use silicone pads and two styles include spring hinges." Read more.

New Eyewear from Arnette

"Arnette Eyewear, curators of timeless eyewear, hold fast to their unexpected design and honored styles with the release of their Spring 2015 Collection," according to Midwest Lens. "Capturing key modern elements with Arnette’s iconic tone, the Spring 2015 collection launches five new sunglasses encompassing a variety of round and retro shapes, and four new optical frames consisting of bold and edgy designs alongside softer silhouettes." Read more.

Google Still Has Its Eyes on Google Glass

"Despite suspending sales of Glass and ending the Explorer program last January, Google is still actively developing its wearable eyewear technology, according to Eric Schmidt, quoted in the Wall Street Journal. After the relative disappointment of the first version, the Glass project's long-term goal remains unchanged: to develop a consumer-ready wearable with broad mainstream appeal," reports Yahoo! News. "On April 5, 2012, Google co-founder and X Lab director Sergey Brin set the internet abuzz by wearing the first connected glasses prototype in San Francisco. The Glass project advanced into the test phase, sparking the curiosity and enthusiasm of tech fans around the world." Read more.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Graphic Reveals the Nature of Eye Injuries in Athletes

Need information about eye injuries in athletes. Go to this AOA graphic and click.

Marchon Licenses MCM Eyewear

"Marchon Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear, and MCM (Modern Creation Munich), a global manufacturer of luxury leather goods, apparel and footwear, announced an exclusive global licensing agreement that will grant Marchon the rights to manufacture and distribute the sun and ophthalmic collections under the MCM brand," says Midwest Lens. "The first deliveries will launch in March 2015 with a “Made in Italy” sunwear capsule collection, available exclusively across the MCM worldwide boutique network. The launch represents the beginning of a partnership between these two global players in the fashion business." Read more.

Emporium Launching Batman and Superman Eyewear

"Emporium Eyewear is planning three different phased launches, with classic Batman and Superman branded eyewear scheduled to debut this summer. Justice League products will follow in October 2015 and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice eyewear is set to launch in February 2016," reports "In addition to independent opticians, the large multiples, including Boots, Vision Express, Optical Express and ASDA, will be stocking products from the various ranges." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Carrera

“'We own a shape.' How many brands in the world can say that without fear of contradiction? Owning an iconic, original shape is a privilege reserved for only a few and Carrera has earned its place among this elite few," according to Midwest Lens. "Unique and unmistakable, the Champion sunglasses, which date back to 1979, have since then set new standards in the eyewear industry, boasting countless imitations but nonetheless maintaining their distinctiveness. Today, these iconic sunglasses undergo an extensive “remastering” process and are now presented with new, perfectly balanced proportions and a revisited, snug fit. The front is slightly smaller, its profiles sleeker and its design lighter, thanks to the newly reshaped double bridge and well-balanced proportions." Read more.

New Sunglasses from Spy

"Spy is happy to introduce its 2015 Ken Block Livery Series—a collection of frames inspired by the bold patterns and highly recognizable cosmic color pallet of Ken’s 2015 livery. Overhauled for maximum smiles per hour, the collection arrives with the Happy Lens in several of SPY’s most popular styles—the Discord, Cyrus, Bowie, Logan, Dirk, Flynn—in addition to Ken’s signature Helm," says Midwest Lens. "Designed to complement Ken’s 2015 intergalactic Livery, each style burns bright with purple and blue hues offset against vibrant Spectra lenses. Available now in stores and online, the Ken Block Livery Series is available with Happy Grey Green with Purple Spectra, Happy Bronze with Light Blue Spectra, Happy Grey Green with Pink Spectra™ or Happy Grey Green lenses." Read more.

Fashion Eyewear as Seen by British Opticians

"If opticians used the language of dress designers, they might talk this year in terms of 'the winged look.' Most of the latest fashions in spectacles on view in the annual exhibition of the Northern Optical Congress which opened here today seemed to be based on a sloping winged shape, and one design even projected a pair of wings across the forehead," says The Guardian. "'Exotic' is the word the more conservative opticians used to describe the styles of the last few years, as if they regretted the passing of the old horn-rimmed, and 'exotic' most of this year’s exhibits looked, with names like 'Mischief,' shaped like lorgnettes, and good-looking girls to show them off, against a background of daffodils and the Southport boulevards." Read more.

New Eyewear from Leon Max

"After the successful launch of the Leon Max eyewear collection in 2014, Zyloware Eyewear extends the collection to launch the Leon Max Limited Edition collection with 4 styles and 8 skus," according to Midwest Lens. "Filling a niche in the market, this collection represents high-end luxury eyewear at an affordable price. The frames combine unique designs including rich materials and constructions creating more limited and exclusive styles. Styles include thick, sculptural zyl frames with intricate beveling and cutting features. Each frame in the collection incorporates the 7-barrel hinge, making the frames incredibly durable and strong while still embracing the on-trend vintage feel. All frames use the gold logo treatment inside the right zyl temple in a memorable way." Read more.

Ferragamo Extends License with Marchon

"The Salvatore Ferragamo Group and eyewear licensee Marchon Eyewear, Inc., have signed a five-year extension on their eyewear licensing agreement," reports WWD. "The deal enables Marchon to continue its design, distribution, marketing, and sale of Ferragamo-branded eyewear until 2021." Read more.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mobile App for Fitting PureVision 2 Contact Lenses

Bausch + Lomb created a mobile app for fitting its  PureVision 2 multifocal contact lens for presbyopia. It is designed to raise the success rate for fitting the lens. On average, fitting a multi-focal contact lens takes 2.6 attempts. Read more.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Transitions' Marketing Aimed at Younger Consumers

"Transitions Optical wants consumers to view it more youthfully," reports AdAge. "The manufacturer of the eyeglass lens that darkens when exposed to light is trying to update its image by reaching out to younger, more style- and tech-conscious consumers via music and events like SXSW (South by Southwest). Themed "See Life Through a New Lens," the push is aimed at broadening the company's primary market of people over 45, in order to change the perception of Transitions' adaptive lenses....The Pinellas Park, Fla.-based company hopes to update its image by bringing its message to unexpected places for eyewear campaigns, such as Rolling Stone and National Geographic." Read more.

Why the Eye Is Wired as It Is

"From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting in light scattering by the nervous fibers and blurring of our vision. Recently, researchers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology have confirmed the biological purpose for this seemingly counterintuitive setup," according to Medical News Today. "'The retina is not just the simple detector and neural image processor, as believed until today,' said Erez Ribak, a professor at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. 'Its optical structure is optimized for our vision purposes.'" Ribak and his co-authors described their work during the 2015 American Physical Society March Meeting, on Thursday, March 5 in San Antonio, Texas.Read more.

New Sunglasses from Victoria Beckham

"Victoria Beckham is placing new emphasis on her sunglasses collection," says Women's Wear Daily (WWD). "The designer, who launched eyewear in 2009, has enlisted a fresh roster of manufacturers to help “spice” up her collections. The collection was previously manufactured in partnership with Cutler and Gross. She will continue to use their services along with a bevy of other “specialists,” including lens producer Zeiss." Read more.

New Eyewear from Nike

"Nike Vision’s product line continues to expand with an array of new optical styles that maintain the same attention to detail and ultimate focus on the athlete, providing premium quality eyewear to help see sport better." That's the start of a Midwest Lens post.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Goodwin College Welcomes First Optical Class

First class in Goodwin College's Ophthalmic Science Program.
Seven students at Goodwin College, East Hartford, started their second semester in the school's new Associate-degree Ophthalmic Science Program. The school is administered by Program Director Maryann Santos and Practicum Coordinator Rebecca Soto, both licensed opticians in Connecticut. They have set up an optical training store, fabrication lab and contact lens clinic. OPS’s first year students are studying anatomy,
Soto and Santos in Goodwin's optical training store.
physiology and pathology of the eye, introduction to ophthalmic science, and ophthalmic fabrication and dispensing 1.

Physicists Figure Out How the Retina Filters Color

Activated Muller Glia Cells
"Physicists have pinned down precisely how pipe-shaped cells in our retina filter the incoming colours. These cells, which sit in front of the ones that actually sense light, play a major role in our colour vision that was only recently confirmed. They funnel crucial red and green light into cone cells, leaving blue to spill over and be sensed by rod cells - which are responsible for our night vision. Key to this process, researchers now say, is the exact shape of the pipes." That's the word from the BBC. "The long, thin cells are known as 'Muller glia' and they were originally thought to play more of a supporting role in the retina. They clear debris, store energy and generally keep the conditions right for other cells - like the rods and cones behind them - to turn light into electrical signals for the brain. But a study published last year confirmed the idea, proposed in earlier simulations, that Muller cells also function rather like optical fibres." Read more.

New Eyewear from Covergirl

"Covergirl Eyewear launches four new styles to its Designed to Fit collection for Spring 2015," notes a Midwest Lens post. "The sub-collection is designed to provide a more comfortable fit for customers with unique facial features and size requirements. The new styles resonate with the brand’s innate philosophy to appeal to women of all ages and ethnicities by offering specialized size options, including larger eye sizes and increased temple lengths, while delivering trendy and colorful designs. The collection captures the fun and fresh spirit of the COVERGIRL lifestyle, enhanced by a rich color palette that compliments any skin tone. Feminine embellishments, including stones, enamel and laser patterns add excitement to each style." Read more.

Visionworks Promoted on ABC's "The Chew"

The 650-store Visionworks will provide eyewear from Carla Hall of ABC's The Chew, which is hosted by Mario Batali, Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, and Michael Symon. The show will highlight three frame stations featuring new eyewear from Visionworks. From every day to fun in the sun to a girls’ night out, Hall will sport Visionworks frames. That's the summary of a company press release appearing on Yahoo! Finance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bluetooth Beacons Assist Blind in London Subway

"A ground-breaking trial is underway at Pimlico Underground station to assist blind and partially sighted people to navigate independently, using Bluetooth beacons and a smartphone app," according to Medical News Today. "The Wayfindr system has been developed by ustwo, a studio which builds digital products and services, in response to the RLSB Youth Forum's desire to be able to navigate London Underground (LU) without assistance. The beacons transmit a signal that can be picked up by smartphones and mobile devices. Wayfindr uses these signals with ustwo's indoor positioning technology to locate itself and give audible directions to the user. The app is paired with commonly available 'bone conduction' earphones that do not prevent wearers from hearing the sounds around them." Read more.

You can get more information from Tech World.

CareCredit and VSPTeam Up to Connect CareCredit Card Holders with VSP Doctors

CareCredit and VSP Vision Care have entered an agreement to help nearly 70 million VSP members increase access to financing for quality eye care and optical products at thousands of participating VSP network providers. The companies will "educate VSP’s nearly 70 million members and CareCredit’s 9 million cardholders about options for managing eyecare expenses for a range of lifestyle choices, including glasses and contacts, sunglasses, specialty sport and other customizable eyewear. They will also work to connect members and cardholders with the providers who accept CareCredit in the VSP doctor network." Read more.

Sony's Smart Eyewear Geared for Any Type of Eyewear

"Google may be a bit ambiguous about Google Glass' future, but Sony seems unfazed. Either it has a very strong faith in the still non-existent smart eyewear market or it thinks it can take advantage of Google's failure there. Either way, it is pushing ahead with own attempt but also tries to approach the problem from a slightly different angle. SmartEyeglass Attach!, which is not to be confused with its other, odder attempt, may succeed in one area where Glass failed: flexibility," reports Slash Gear. "SmartEyeglass Attach! wasn't designed to be a complete eyewear solution, unlike Glass. Instead, it is simply a more marketable name for what Sony calls the "Attachable Single-Lens Display Module". In other words, it should be able to attach to any type of eyewear, and not just eyeglass. It can even attach to goggles. At least that's the theory and, as we've seen at CES 2015, implementation is still a wee bit limited." Read more.

New Kids Eyewear from Marchon

"The modern shapes and playful color combinations in the new MarchoNYC Eyewear Collection are highly appealing to kids who want a fun and trendy look. Not only fashionable and eye-catching, the collection is also durable, featuring premium construction and spring hinges to withstand kids’ daily mishaps." That's the start of a Midwest Lens post. Read more.

New Eyeweaer from Flexon

"Designed for the modern man, Flexon takes evolution to the next level with the Mechanical Synergy Series featuring bolder, sharper styles that embody industrial inspiration," notes Midwest Lens. "The modified, rectangle frames in this series all have a matte finish and contrasting temple color, providing an overall sophisticated look with minimal detailing. Certain frames feature a two-toned color blocking appearance that adds expression and character. Additionally, each style features a light weight design with a new evolution structured temple tip shape that gives a cohesive look.  The industrial inspired design concept of the Flexon Mechanical Synergy Series is derived from breaking down various functional machines and observing each feature individually. Drawing inspiration from this notion, the screw-like appearance of the open-slotted barrel hinge is simple, yet adds a mechanical aesthetic and a masculine detail to the outer temple." Read more.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Opticians Already Register for OpticalCEUs Spring Continuing Education Seminar

Opticians already are registering for OpticalCEUs 16th Annual Spring Continuing Education Seminar on April 26th, at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

So if you need to renew your state license and ABO/NCLE certification, want the best value in continuing education, or need a full-day, 7-credit program, then you should register now online. Don't like the speed and ease of online registration? See OpticalCEUs home page about registering  by mail or by phone.

You will hear about the latest ideas in the field - from light and vision to new contact lens technology. Earn your ABO/NCLE credits with 7 courses at the Grand Pequot Ballroom, Foxwoods Resort and Casino on Sunday, April 26.
They’ll help you:

  • Advise your patients about blue light and night vision.
  • Provide top-notch patient care with new technology and analysis of daily disposable contact lenses.
  • Expand your knowledge of vision, spectacle lenses and the optician’s scope of practice.
Here they are the services and presentations at the seminar:
  • Preconference coffee, tea, and other beverages
  • Miru 1day – New Technology in Daily Disposable Lenses Speaker: Donna Schaub (1 NCLE) 9am-10am - NEW!
    Blue Perspective Speaker: Deborah Kotob (1 ABO) 10am-11am - NEW!
    Night Vision Speaker: Deborah Kotob (1 NCLE) 11am-Noon 
  • Buffet Lunch compliments of OpticalCEUs
  • Day By Day Speaker: Joe Forte (1 NCLE) 1pm-2pm
    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lenses, But Were Afraid to Ask Speaker: Joe Forte (1 ABO) 2pm-3pm 
  • You Be the Judge: Opticians and Malpractice Speaker: Linda Conlin (1 NCLE) 3pm-4pm – NEW! 
  • Reflecting on Refraction. Speaker: Joe Forte (1 ABO) 4pm-5pm.
OpticalCEUs Lecturers
Accredited lecturers Linda Conlin, Deborah Kotob of Vision-Ease, Joe Forte and Donna Schaub of Menicon America will present seven courses enabling you to earn ABO/NCLE credits.
  • For more than 15 years Linda, an NAO Fellow Ambassador, has provided continuing education and training for opticians at the state and national levels. She is ABO and NCLE certified, licensed in CT, MA and RI, and has written for 20/20 and EyeWitness magazines. She founded OpticalCEUs and launched and Optical News from OpticalCEUs news blog for opticians.
  • Deborah, 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.
  • Joe, 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.
  • Donna, a strategic account executive for Menicon America, is an experienced contact lens fitter and management consultant, overseeing optical shops throughout New England. With over 25 years of optical, retail and management experience, Donna is ABO and NCLE certified and licensed in CT.
Foxwoods is located at 350 Trolley Line Blvd., Mashantucket, CT 06338, on Route 2 between I-395 and I-95. Valet parking is free. For accommodations, call Foxwoods at 1-800 PLAY BIG. Overnight reservations are not associated with the seminar.

Idaho and Utah Legislatures Consider Banning Current Contact Lens Pricing Policies; Law Suit Filed in California

"A company that sells contact lenses online has cleared its first hurdle in persuading the Idaho Legislature to ban manufacturers from cutting off retailers that don't sell their product at a set minimum price," reports the Idaho Statesman. "The Idaho House and Welfare Committee unanimously voted Thursday to send the bill to the House floor for a full vote.

"Online retailer 1-800 Contacts says consumers are paying more under a new pricing policy by the nation's top contact lens makers. Johnson & Johnson, the country's largest lens maker, countered that the pricing strategy has reduced contact lens prices and has made it more convenient to purchase their products. Three of the top four contact lens manufacturers — which make up 90 percent of the market — have implemented some sort of pricing floors, known as 'unilateral pricing policies.' This means retailers and optometry providers will be cut off unless they sell contact lenses at the price the manufacturer sets." Read more.

"Contact lens makers would not be allowed to set the sale price of lenses in Utah under a bill approved Monday by the Utah Senate," according to a Salt Lake Tribune post. "The bill comes in response to an announcement by Johnson & Johnson that the company planned to set a floor on the price that retailers can charge for lenses.

"'There should be some ability for consumers to have a choice,' said Sen. Diedre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, who noted that China fined Johnson & Johnson over the policy. 'If it's too anti-competitive and too predatory for China, we certainly should not be doing it in the state of Utah.'" Read more.

Law 360 reports that "Johnson & Johnson, Alcon Laboratories Inc. and other contact lens manufacturers were hit with a proposed class action on Tuesday in a California court over industry policies that allegedly create illegal price floors on lenses sold at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other major retailers. The complaint was brought by three customers who say the use of so-called unilateral pricing policies, or UPPs, by contact lens manufacturers have forced customers to pay artificially high prices for the product." Read more.You also can find more details about the law suit at Courthouse News Service.

Federal Appeals Court Rules in CIBA's Favor

"A federal appeals court has refused to revive a lawsuit over eye injuries allegedly linked to CIBA Vision's contact lenses, ruling that a recall of 11 million similar lenses in 2007 was not enough to prove the plaintiff's contacts were defective," notes a Reuters post. "On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling in the 2009 lawsuit, granting summary judgment for CIBA ...To read the full story on WestlawNext Practitioner Insights, click here: ." Read more.

Two RP Patients Receive Argus II Implants

Two newly approved centers, located in Camposampiero and Florence, have completed their first commercial implants of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Argus II), says the system's manufacturer, Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. The patients are suffering from outer retinal degeneration.

Outer retinal degeneration is the deterioration of the outer layer of the retina caused by progressive death of the cells in this region of the retina. An important type of outer retinal degeneration is Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). To date, surgeons have implanted the specialty lens in more than 100 individuals worldwide. The system stimulates the remaining cells of the retina with electrical pulses. These firing cells create light patterns in the brain. The company says these images help with such daily activities as recognizing shapes and large objects, locating people, identifying the location of doorways, and following lines or edges.

The treatment is offered at approved centers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. Read more.

Teaching Skiing to the Blind and Visually Impaired

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and the Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center are teaching alpine skiing and Nordic skiing to blind and visually impaired teens and adults, including veterans and active duty service members. The annual USABA camp began yesterday at the resort and the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, which will provide trained ski guides. The program has been supported by Anthem Life Insurance Company. United States Marine Corp veteran Richard Hunter, the conference's guest speaker, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. He has not let the complications from the disease define him. He is a four-time Boston Marathon Age Group Qualifier. He is ranked as the third fastest visually impaired person in North America to participate in the 70.3 Ironman distance. He is the second visually impaired person to complete the full Ironman in less than 12 hours. And, he completed the 2014 Sharkfest Alcatraz Swim and the 2013 American River 50 Mile Endurance Run. In addition, he was just selected as the 2014 Road Runners Club of America’s Outstanding Challenged Athlete Award recipient. Read more.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why The Dress Was Black/Black and White/Gold at the Same Time

"The mother of the bride wore white and gold. Or was it blue and black?" asked the New York Times last week when the photograph of a dress worn by the bride's mother went viral. "From a photograph..., there was broad disagreement. A few days after the wedding...on the Scottish island of Colonsay, a member of the wedding band was so frustrated by the lack of consensus that she posted a picture of the dress on Tumblr, and asked her followers for feedback....Within a half-hour, her post attracted some 500 likes and shares. The photo soon migrated to Buzzfeed and Facebook and Twitter, setting off a social media conflagration that few were able to resist. As the debate caught fire across the Internet — even scientists could not agree on what was causing the discrepancy — media companies rushed to get articles online. Less than a half-hour after Ms. McNeil’s original Tumblr post, Buzzfeed posted a poll: 'What Colors Are This Dress?' As of Friday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 28 million times. (White and gold was winning handily.) At its peak, more than 670,000 people were simultaneously viewing Buzzfeed’s post. Between that and the rest of Buzzfeed’s blanket coverage of the dress Thursday night, the site easily smashed its previous records for traffic. So did Tumblr." Read more.

The Times came up with an easy to understand explanation. It's optically fun. See the explanation.

Make Your Look Younger? That's the Claim of a new Acuvue Lens

"Between correcting crow's feet, saggy necks, flabby arms and wrinkly hands, the beauty industry seems to have run out of aging body parts to fix. But now, they're invading our eyes. Limbal rings are the slightly darkened circles around our irises that become less defined as we age. So, why should we care? Psychologists say we unconsciously judge how attractive or young someone is based on the size and shade of their limbal rings," begins the Today's Show Health Report. "Contact lens brand Acuvue recently launched a new way to beautify with 'Define' lenses, which aim to enhance the limbal rings. The company has been selling similar cosmetic lenses — in both prescription and non-prescription forms — throughout Asia for about 10 years, but they first became available in North America this fall." Read more.

Pelosi Dons Sunglasses in Support of Reid

"Wearing sunglasses indoors may be the new craze on Capitol Hill," notes ABC News. "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi walked into a news conference on DHS funding this morning and threw on some sunglasses in solidarity with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. “I brought my glasses to be with Harry but he switched on me,” Pelosi said to laughs from reporters. “I tricked her,” Reid answered." Read more.

Prevent Blindness Teams Up with National Black Church Initiative

Prevent Blindness and the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), composed of 34,000 churches across 15 denominations, are joining forces to improve the vision and eye health of the coalition’s 15.7 million African American churchgoers. African Americans have among the highest risks for developing eye health issues, suffering disproportionately from conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy when compared to other ethnicities. According to a recent national public opinion poll, when asked which disease or ailment is the worst that could happen to them, blindness ranked first among African Americans.

The 2014 Prevent Blindness “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report projected that by 2050 most glaucoma patients will be non-white. At that time, blacks and Hispanics will each constitute about 20 percent of all glaucoma patients. According to the National Eye Institute, blindness from glaucoma is six times as common in blacks as in whites. Further, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American adults are twice as likely as non-Hispanic white adults to be diagnosed with diabetes and its related complications including diabetic eye disease. Read more.

To address these skyrocketing numbers, the groups joined forces and created the “Community InSight” program, designed to educate and equip designated Health Navigators within each of the NBCI congregations to serve as peer-to-peer eye health educators in order to:

1) Increase awareness of eye health among NBCI member church congregations and parishioners, with an emphasis on diabetic eye disease and glaucoma, and

2) Increase the number of annual dilated eye exams for parishioners living with diabetes or who are at high risk for glaucoma

New Eyewear from Leon Max

"After the initial launch in 2014, Leon Max expands the successful collection in 2015 with three new styles. The fashion-forward, cutting edge, trendy eyewear continues to wow your customers," writes Midwest Lens. "The new Leon Max Collection continues setting trends and staying ahead of the fashion curve with unique designs including rich materials and constructions creating more limited and exclusive styles. This leading wave eyewear collection features impressive metals and full zyls in dramatic colors and bold, edgy shapes. Presented in a rich fashion, the signature globe logo treatment is displayed on every style of this collection in a memorable way." Read more.

New Eyewear from Calvin Klein

"The new Calvin Klein platinum men’s and women’s eyewear collection is sophisticated and modern featuring a wide assortment of iconic shapes in a rich color palette," reports Midwest Lens. "The optical line offers a minimalistic approach to styling with unique logo designs inspired by minerals and flat metals to provide a sleek, polished look. The brand’s sunglasses mix soft color with clean lines in an assortment of luxurious materials creating a timeless edge that personifies this season’s Calvin Klein platinum eyewear." Read more.

New Eyewear from Diane von Furstenberg

"Inspired by the DVF wrap dress, iconic design elements and the translations of signature prints, the new Diane von Furstenberg Eyewear Collection is beautifully crafted," according to Midwest Lens. "From the DVF chain link pattern to metal stud detailing to new logo treatments, the collection offers Diane’s signature touch." Read more.

Safilo Signs Licensing Agreemenwith Givenchy

Safilo Group has signed a licensing agreement for the Givenchy eyewear collections of sunglasses and optical frames. The licensing contract will run from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2021, renewable upon mutual agreement. “ Read more.