Monday, January 25, 2016

Study Gives Glimpse on How the Visual System Fills in the Gaps of What We See

"A Dartmouth College study sheds light on how the brain fills in the gaps of how we visually perceive the world around us. The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," starts the Medical News Today post. "Visual images and other raw sensory data must reach the cerebral cortex to be perceived, but the data are often missing details when they are sent from the eyes to the visual cortex, the part of the brain responsible for seeing. Thus, our visual system regularly fills in extensive details to create enriched images that help us to understand and interpret what we see. A growing body of evidence suggests these 'filled-in' visual signals are represented at early stages of cortical processing. The researchers used fMRI on study participants to explore the neural mechanisms underlying the reconstruction of these 'filled-in' images. They found that 'intermediate' object features, which aren't in the retinal signals but are inferred during kinetic transformation, are reconstructed in neural responses at early stages of cortical processing, presumably via feedback from high-level brain areas." Read more.

Seiko Optical Gets New Website

"Hoya Vision North America has launched a website for its Seiko Optical U.S. subsidiary:," reports ITBusinessNet. "A portion of the new website will be dedicated to the Seiko Elite program, a program developed by eye care professionals for eye care professionals in order to help with practice growth and development. Through this program, Seiko will offer value-added services to participating eye care practices, including marketing services, practice consulting and practice analytics." Read more.

New Capsule Sunglasses from Saint Laurent

The Wall Street Journal posted that Hedi Slimane  will introduce his "Saint Laurent’s Surf Sound eyewear capsule collection....Slimane created four unisex frames that capture the energy of surf culture. Each...comes in a variety of shapes and colors." Read more.

New Eyewear from Silhouette

"Expressive, fresh, vivacious. Printed motifs are taking the catwalks of Paris, New York and Milan by storm: Print is in vogue. The Silhouette Titan Accent intelligently yet subtly re-enacts this creative freedom," writes Midwest Lens. "The print accents in this puristic collection create room for aesthetic diversity. The accent created by the print design on the smooth temples conveys the look of a sophisticated and tightly-woven fabric. And the colour also plays a central role: A hint of pastel tones combined with vibrant shades radiate strength in every direction. This rimless collection for women and men is available from specialist opticians." Read more.

FGX Signs Levi's Brand to Eyewear

FGX International has teamed up with the Levi's brand to launch a unisex collection of branded Levi's eyewear for both sunglasses and optical. Read more.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Millions to Get Vision Care Thanks to U.S. Mayors and VSPlobal G

The U.S. Conference of Mayors entered a yearlong partnership with VSP Global. Their goal of the so-called Eyes of Hope: a Million More: Increase access to free vision care to individuals in need. The organizations will co-host multi-day events in 10 cities across the U.S. For each event, VSP will provide no-cost eye exams and glasses for adults and children in need. Read more.

Canadian Toy Company Will Continue to Sell Contact Lenses

"An Edmonton-based toy company pled guilty to violating the Optometry Act after selling coloured contact lens that injured two children in Moose Jaw and Regina," reports the Moose-Jaw Times. "CMS Famous Toys pled guilty earlier this week to two counts of violating the act in a Regina courtroom, said Crown counsel Ian McKay. The company has not been sentenced yet, but the company's president said that they plan to continue selling the product in Canada outside of Saskatchewan, as he felt the contact lenses were safe." Read more.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hoya Develops "Easy" Measurement of Fixation Disparities

A new system reportedly calculates the ideal prismatic prescription for the correction of fixation disparity in less than ten minutes. It's from Hoya Vision Care Co., and is called Hoya Eyegenius. Developed in close cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, the system is said to simplify the measurement and correction of fixation disparity. Read more.

Eat Leafy Greens, Reduce Glaucoma Risk, Says Study

"Greater intake of dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetables was associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent lower risk of primary open-angle glaucoma, according to a study published online by JAMA Ophthalmology." That's the summary from Science Digest. Read more.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Gene Therapy Might Restore Optic Nerve Function

"Research from Boston Children's Hospital suggests the possibility of restoring at least some visual function in people blinded by optic nerve damage from glaucoma... or from trauma," reports Medical News Today. "As reported online January 14 by the journal Cell, the scientists restored vision in mice with optic nerve injury by using gene therapy to get the nerves to regenerate and -- the crucial step -- adding a channel-blocking drug to help the nerves conduct impulses from the eye to the brain. In the future, they believe, the same effect could be achieved with drugs alone." Read more.

Michael Block Will Receive Prevent Blindness Award

Prevent Blindness has chosen Michael Block of Block Business Group as the recipient of the 2016 Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Award. It will present the award on April 14 at the Prevent Blindness Person of Vision Dinner at the Lotte New York Palace, New York City, in conjunction with Vision Expo East. The organization is recognizing Block for his inspired outlook that champions healthy vision. He has served as the co-chair of the Prevent Blindness Swing Fore Sight committee for the past two years.

Block began his career as an independent licensed optician about 44 years ago, and little more than a decade later, he started Block Buying Group. In 1991, he founded Block Vision. Today, Block is president of Block Business Group, a purchasing group and practice management organization for independent eyecare professionals in Boca Raton, FL.

Marchon Runs Philathropic Project for Artists

"Marchon, a New York City-based eyewear distributor, takes on a philanthropic project annually. Focusing on local and regional artists, the company looked for artists who work with repurposed materials. Marchon scouted [Steve] Wipfli’s booth and invited him to participate in 2015’s challenge," notes the Toledo City Paper. '"They asked, "Would you be interested in creating a piece of art from materials that we would send you?,"' said Wipfli. 'I agreed, and got a box in the mail that included lenses, frames‚ the side-bows to frames, their catalogues, promotional materials, old cases, sample lenses with different tints— all kinds of stuff. I was to make a sample piece in a month or two. After a few weeks, I got the email back saying I was one of the artists accepted.' For the next step, Wipfli had to transform his preliminary sample into a larger, more finished piece." Read more.
Wipfi's winning work.

New Eyewear from Kate Spade New York

"Kate Spade New York is always optimistic, often unexpected and wonderfully original. Inspired this season by a box of chocolates and other sweets – as well as a wonderfully original floral print which ties back to Kate Spade New York’s current ready-to-wear collection. The Kate Spade New York Winter 2016 eyewear collection looks as sweet as its inspiration, and continues to be reinforced by classic shapes and modern graphic elements." That's the word from Midwest Lens. Read more.

New Eyewear from Joseph Abboud

"Contemporary shapes infused with masculine colorations convey a confident sophistication in four new optical styles," writes Midwest Lens. "JOE Joseph Abboud achieves the perfect balance of mobility and confidence in four new optical styles for Spring 2016. The new styles encompass sport-inspired detailing, on-trend shapes and masculine colorations. This collection is well suited for the style conscious modern man who effortlessly wants to be his best self. An allegiance to what’s authentic, these classic yet modern frames feature contrasting interior temple colorations and sport-inspired laser-cut detailing for added dimension." Read more.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Vaccine for Vision Scourge Nearing Completion

"The world's first vaccine for a disease that causes misery for millions in Africa could be tested within five years," notes Medical News Today. "Researchers have taken a major step towards developing a vaccine against river blindness, also known as onchocerciasis, which affects an estimated 17 million people throughout the world. More than 90 per cent of cases of river blindness - listed by The World Health Organization as a neglected tropical disease - occur in west and central Africa. River blindness is a caused by infection with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus and is spread by blackflies that breed in rivers." Read more.

Gene Repair Hinders Retinal Degeneration in Rats

"A new technique that has the potential to treat inherited diseases by removing genetic defects has been shown for the first time to hinder retinal degeneration in rats," according to Medical News Today. Read more.

NEI Study Finds Three More Genes Associated with Glaucoma

"An analysis funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified three genes that contribute to the most common type of glaucoma. The study increases the total number of such genes to 15." That's the start of a Science Daily post. Read more.

Space Travel Provides Insights into Vision Problems

Medical News Today reports that "missions on board the International Space Station have revealed previously unreported effects of long-duration space flight on eyesight. Now, a study published in The FASEB Journal reports a new and significant finding in this area, as senior author Dr. Scott M. Smith, a researcher in the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences Division at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, explains: "We've identified a genetic link in astronauts with vision issues." He and his colleagues discovered that two significant genetic differences can affect astronaut vision. The differences influence enzymes that direct an essential biochemical process in cells. Dr. Smith explains that while they have not identified the exact mechanism that leads to vision problems, their findings narrow down who to study and should hasten the search for the cause and how to treat the problem." Read more.

Marchon Signs Licensing Deal with Columbia

"Marchon Eyewear Inc. has signed an exclusive global licensing agreement with Columbia Sportswear to manufacture and distribute Columbia sun and optical eyewear," reports WWD. "Product is slated to launch in September, at Columbia stores, specialty sporting good retailers and select optical boutiques worldwide. Collections will include eyewear specially engineered for sport fishermen." Read more.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Contact Lens Solves a Murder Mystery

"On April 26, 2005, someone murdered 26-year-old Janet Abaroa, stabbing the young mother to death in her own home while her 6-month-old child slept nearby," starts the BuzzFeed story. "Her husband, Raven Abaroa, who had called 911, distraught, to report her death late that evening, quickly emerged as a suspect. His knife collection was suspiciously missing from the house, for one thing. A few months earlier, he had been caught embezzling from his employer. And he stood to benefit from his wife’s $500,000 life insurance policy.

"Abaroa had an alibi, however, and maintained his innocence. He was playing at an evening soccer game around the time of the murder, not long after his wife had been seen alive. And so the Durham, North Carolina, case went cold until five years later, when a Durham detective named Charles Sole went over the evidence one more time. Sole couldn’t get over one detail: When combing through the Abaroa house, investigators had never found Janet’s contact lenses. That was odd, because Raven Abaroa had claimed his wife was in bed watching TV when he left for the soccer game. And, as Janet’s friends and family told Sole and other investigators, taking out her contact lenses before watching TV was part of her nightly routine." Read mored.

Link between Dry Eye and Pain Syndromes Found

Science Digest reports that "a link between 'dry eye' and chronic pain syndromes has been found by researchers, a finding that suggests that a new paradigm is needed for diagnosis and treatment to improve patient outcomes." Read more.

New Aero Eyewear from Match

"Match Eyewear takes the Aero collection in a new direction with lighter than air styles with “click and twist” screw-less hinge technology. The collection, consisting of three styles for men and one for the ladies, offers the latest advancements in screw-less hinge technology combined with the weightlessness of injected acetate," reports Midwest Lens. "With a mere 'click' and 'twist,' the temples can be interchanged with an alternate color, allowing the end consumer the ability to customize their frames to their personal color preferences. The new screw-less hinge technology makes light work of changing temples with three easy steps; (1) Take hold of the front end piece and the temple, (2) press down on the temple, until you hear the click and (3) twist the temple around the hinge hook and remove." Read more.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

High-Energy Demand for Eyes May Account for Its Vulnerability, Says NEI Study

"Our eyes are especially demanding when it comes to energy: Along with our brain, they require a substantial amount of power to keep them functioning and healthy. Now a new study by the National Eye Institute suggests that because of their high-energy demands, our eyes function at high efficiency and with little reserve capacity, which scientists say may explain why they become vulnerable to degenerative diseases." That's from a post from the NEI. Read more.

Friday, January 8, 2016

NJ ODs Push for Bill That Insurers Say Will Raise Prices

"Optometrists [practicing in New Jersey] nargue it’s about offering consumers more choices. Insurers counter it’s about charging patients more for basic services," reports NJSpotlight. "Optometrists are pushing for a newly passed bill that they say would give consumers a wider choice in eye-care providers. But the insurance companies that oppose the measure say it’s not about choice, but a strategy to raise prices for typical vision expenses like eye exams and eyeglass frames." Read more.

Valeant Faces Class Action Suit over Its Purchase of Bausch+Lomb

Law 360 reports that "a lens manufacturer filed a proposed class action in New Jersey federal court Tuesday over Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s May acquisition of its sole competitor in the market for a material used in specialty contact lenses, saying the company is using its monopoly to inflate prices. Pointing to controversial business practices that have led to both U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission inquiries, TruForm Optics Inc. alleges that Valeant’s recent acquisition — less than two years after its purchase of Bausch & Lomb." Read more.

Graphene Contact Lens "Sees" Infrared

"Engineers at the University of Michigan are developing a graphene contact lens that would allow its wearer to see the entire infrared spectrum, along with visible and ultraviolet light," reports Science Recorder. "The technology could have both military and medical applications." Read more.

New Marc Stone Eyewear from Swiss Eyewear Group

"Innovative, high quality materials handcrafted into minimalistic modern designs with a subtle futuristic touch. This is the signature of the new Spring 2016 collection from the award winning international designer Marc Stone. Together with Swiss Eyewear Group, Stone has created distinctive masculine, minimal styles with signature design elements from the apparel collection," according to Midwest Lens. "Handcrafted in premium acetate, some styles introduce elements in wood and horn. Marc Stone sunglasses also use Swiss Eyewear Group’s ultra-polarized lens technology, offering a fusion of fashion and advanced performance." Read more.

New Jaguar Saunglasses from Eastern States

"Eastern States Eyewear has announced the release of its 2016 Jaguar Sunglass collection with 17 new styles, twelve of which are metal, five of which are plastic. The collection will offer a wide range of premium lens options including Polarized, Blue Blocker, Mirror, Nano lenses with AR coatings. All protect against lateral glare and provide for clearer, crisper optics," notes Midwest Lens. "Of note, the selection mirror lenses features a wider range of colors than ever before. Red, ice blue, midnight blue, green and silver comprise this highly fashionable arrangement. These lenses are featured both in a new, lightweight and flexible stainless steel design in addition to several acetate styles." Read more.

Charmant USA Goes Green with New Eyewear

"Eyewear company Charmant USA has announced the launch of a new eyewear brand that is sure to take eco-friendly eyewear to a new level," reports Fashion Times. "awear, which launched January 2016, specializes in bio-made sustainable optical glasses and sunglasses. Its inaugural collection of ergonomic eyewear was designed to be lightweight, fashion-forward and completely eco-friendly. The brand boasts an unyielding commitment to environmentally conscious practices, from design to production. All of the glasses' frames and sun lenses are made with sustainable materials -- the frames themselves are created from recyclable bio-based plastic. And since the bio-based plastic is made from a plant-based material, the glasses are also said to absorb Co2 emissions." Read more.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Research Indicates Opportunity to Improve Retinal Implants

Gizmodo reports that "it’s possible to restore some rough semblance of sight in the blind with artificial retinas. New research suggests that varying the length of the electrical pulses used to let a blind eye 'see' could enable much higher-resolution retinal implants, so that blind people can better navigate their environment with confidence." Read more.

New Isidora Eyewear from Marchon

"The embodiment of subtle elegance and sophistication, the new Isidora models are characterized by the light, airy feel that is the Maison’s signature," notes Midwest Lens. "The captivating feminine shaping is enhanced by the use of details and colors inspired by ChloĆ© collections, creating an effortlessness and contemporary attitude." Read more.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Myopia Affects Focusing Muscles. Impact on Intraocular Lenses?

"The presence of myopia, or nearsightedness, significantly affects the muscles used in focusing the lens of the eye--a finding with important implications for the development of 'accommodating' implanted intraocular lenses (IOLs) that can adjust to different visual distances, reports a study in the January issue of Optometry and Vision Science." That's the word from Science Digest. Read more.