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    World Sight Day is the most important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar. It is a great time to engage with the world around us – a patient’s family, those who seldom get an eye exam, diabetics. We have the data and evidence. We also have projections into the future–and we know things can go bad, if we don’t act now.

    This year, let us draw attention to eye care issues so that everyone, everywhere has access to good eye health. What’s the first thing you can do? Plan for an eye examination. Look around in your family, especially for those who are vulnerable: young, school-going children, the elderly, those with diabetes.

    World Sight Day 2018 will be on 11 October 2018. This year’s call to action: Eye Care Everywhere
    We know now that 1.2 billion people don’t have access to glasses. Over 3 out of 4–>75% – of the world’s vision impaired are avoidably so. What can be done to arrest this unconscionable fact? First, arm yourself with your country’s prevalence data and Eye Health system information–the number of trained eye health personnel, your country’s plans to tackle blindness.

    This World Sight Day, let’s find the solutions to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to sight.


    Even Ron Baker does not have enough time for overtime preseason basketball.

    With a minute left in overtime of the preseason contest between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks, Baker got hit in the upperbody forcing his trainer to pull out the remains of a contact lens. Not wanting to wait for his trainer to run over and get cleaner solution for a new lens, Baker took matters into his own hands.

    Or we should say mouth.

    The Knicks guard took the new lens, popped it into his mouth, gave it a good Listerine swish and then attempted to place the lens back in his eye.

    Just look at the trainer's face. Perhaps it was fitting that Baker's replacement attempt was unsuccessful.

    After he affixed the new lens, presumably under better supervision from the trainer, Baker nailed two free throws to help clinch the game for New York.

    New York won the preseason opener for both teams 124-121. Baker finished with seven points on 2-for-2 shooting.

    It was a game that not only went to overtime to start the new season, it also saw Markieff Morris ejected in the first half and then this.

    Welcome back to the NBA everyone.

  • Next Level Vision – Contact Lens Makers

    The contact lens industry is looking beyond eye care and examining lifestyle changes to design products that provide patients with the best possible vision, according to panelists at the Global Contact Lens Forum here at Vision Expo West.

    Moderator S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO, challenged representatives from the major contact lens to share how each of their companies is working to keep patients in contact lenses, grow the industry and provide better than 20/20 vision.

    Jill Saxon, OD, FAAO, senior director of professional strategy, Bausch + Lomb, said the industry has looked at areas such as contrast sensitivity, functional vision, driving at night and looking at smartphones and needs to look outside of itself for other technologies that have not yet been considered.

    “If we fail to look beyond, we’re going to fall behind,” she said.

    Louise Sclafani, OD, FAAO, vice president, professional affairs, SynergEyes, said the industry has learned much from astronomy through the development of the Hubble telescope, applying technology to extended depth of focus lenses.

    “SynergEyes retained the rights from the Brien Holden Vision Institute for extended depth of focus designs, which we are starting to work with,” she said. “This is where we’re going with regards to beyond 20/20.”

    Lifestyle needs play an important role in gauging success, Michele L. Andrews, OD, senior director of professional and academic affairs, CooperVision, said.

    “We’ve discovered a need in the marketplace for people who are on digital devices all day long,” she said. “It’s a part of our everyday life at every age. Our focus on bringing the Biofinity Energys lens to the marketplace was to address that lifestyle need. We’re going to continue to look at lifestyle space to make sure we can go beyond just 20/20.”

    Eiden told attendees that most optometrists were taught to “set realistic expectations.”

    “That means the products don’t work as well as they need to,” he said. “We need to ensure patients can have excellent vision without having to worry about realistic expectations.”

    Kevin Roe, OD, FAAO, director, optometry and professional organizations, U.S. Vision Care, Alcon, said, “I truly believe one of the greatest obstacles we have to seeing more patients successfully fit in multifocal contact lenses is our poor expectations of what lenses can do. We’ve grown up with disappointment.

    “We are at a point now where you can fit a very high percentage of presbyopes in multifocal lenses that don’t just meet expectations,” he continued. “Open your mind to the possibility that these can work.”

    Sclafani said, “At SynergEyes, we’ve had a multifocal center near lens for years. In January we launched the center distance multifocal lens. We took in the concept of personalization. We’ve had Tangible Hydra-PEG on the surface of all of our lenses, providing better comfort.”

    “I vehemently disagree with setting expectations,” Saxon said. “We challenge ourselves as a manufacturer and continue to challenge you in your offices to get these multifocal candidates into contact lenses and take advantage of the opportunity to continue to grow and fit those patients.”

    “We look at the demographics and know that contact lens sales don’t mirror that,” Andrews added. “We are either unwilling to prescribe or patients are unwilling to accept. The population is aging and they want to stay in contact lenses. Our near demands are changing, and the target is moving.”

    She said there is also opportunity for growth in toric lenses.

    “Seventy percent of patients have astigmatism, but only 50% are being corrected for it,” she said.

    Studies show that patients drop out of contact lens wear due to feelings of discomfort, Andrews said.

    “When we look at the dropout rate, 65% of people who drop out have 0.75 D of astigmatism,” she continued. “We are leaving people undercorrected, which leads to poor vision and poor comfort.”

    “Why are we not fitting 0.75 D of cylinder?” Sclafani asked. “It’s complacency. In general, if patients are satisfied, so is the doctor. Patients say their contacts are fine, but their glasses are better. Why shouldn’t they be equal?”

    Roe said Alcon is “paying a great deal of attention” to minimize rotational issues with toric lenses.

    “Clarity of vision is so dependent on tear film,” he said.

    Comfort remains a primary culprit in contact lens dropout rates not changing for decades, Eiden said.

    Andrews said CooperVision is focused on third-generation silicon hydrogel materials, but practitioners need to ensure patients are comfortable handling the lenses in the first place.

    “A recent study showed 25% of those who are going to drop out do so in the first 3 months due to handling,” she said. “We sometimes forget what it feels like to wear a contact lens for the first time and that panic at night when you can’t get it out.”

    “Edge design, center thickness, ballasting, surface treatments – where they fit into your practice or for your patients is up to you in certain cases and up to the patient’s needs,” Saxon said. “Bausch has had the opportunity to partner with Tangible on surface treatments to make patients feel more comfortable; you have the option to make choices. We need to think about what we’re doing for patients tomorrow that is different than what we’re doing now. Think about the whole patient and how the tears interact with a contact lens.”

    She noted that Bausch + Lomb’s Zenlens has an indication for ocular surface disease.

    Roe said that Alcon has moved its over-the-counter family of products into its vision care area.

    “It’s a huge imperative to incorporate ocular surface wellness into the contact lens area,” he said.

    New Systane Complete combines the best of Systane Balance and Systane Ultra into one drop, “that works tremendously well to prepare the ocular surface for contact lens wear.” – by Nancy Hemphill, ELS, FAAO


    Flushing contact lenses are contributing to water pollution because lenses do not break down entirely in wastewater treatment systems, according to a new study.

    “Americans use about 14-billion contact lenses every year, resulting in an estimated 50,000 pounds winding up in sinks and toilets,” WTOL reported.

    Researchers presented the findings at an American Chemical Society event in August, according to the organization.

    “The team estimates that anywhere from six to 10 metric tons of plastic lenses end up in wastewater in the U.S. alone each year. Contacts tend to be denser than water, which means they sink, and this could ultimately pose a threat to aquatic life, especially bottom feeders that may ingest the contacts,” the statement said, citing researcher Rolf Halden.

    Exactly what happens to contact lenses at wastewater plants is tricky to nail down.

    “First, contact lenses are transparent, which makes them difficult to observe in the complicated milieu of a wastewater treatment plant. Further, the plastics used in contact lenses are different from other plastic waste, such as polypropylene, which can be found in everything from car batteries to textiles,” the statement said.

    “Contact lenses are instead frequently made with a combination of poly (methylmethacrylate), silicones and fluoropolymers to create a softer material that allows oxygen to pass through the lens to the eye. So, it's unclear how wastewater treatment affects contacts,” it continued.

    As research on microplastics accumulates, wastewater industry experts are debating how treatment processes could be altered to mitigate the problem.

    “It is well established that the oceans contain significant accumulations of plastic debris but only very recently have studies began to look at sources of microplastics in river catchments,” according to one recent study, published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.


    A woman's swollen and drooping left eyelid led British doctors to an eye-popping discovery: a rigid contact lens, wrapped completely in a cyst, hidden in the fold of skin. The last time she used such a contact? About 28 years ago.

    Doctors detailed the woman's condition this month in the journal BMJ Case Reports, describing how an MRI revealed a cyst that, upon surgical removal, contained the rigid plastic lens.

    The woman, 42, visited an ophthalmologist after swelling had persisted for about six months, according to Dallas' CBS 11. The woman couldn't recall how the lens would have gotten there, the station reported, but her mother did: A mishap during a badminton game 28 years prior resulted in the woman 'losing' her contact lens as a teenager.

    The patient, then 14 years old, presumed the lens was lost, CNN reported, and she hadn't used such a lens since.

    The lens was unscathed when discovered, according to the network, engulfed in the eyelid's soft tissue, only to chip as doctors removed it.

    And while the cyst amassed to a pea-shaped lump beneath her left brow, according to CNN, the woman showed no signs of the scratchy pain, redness or sensitivity associated with stuck lenses during those 28 years.

  • 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament

    Congratulations to the 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Champions. We hope you all had fun watching.

  • 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament Final

    It all comes down to this ladies and gentlemen. We present to you the 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament Final

  • 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament Final 4

    We are getting down to the wire. Here are the final 4 contact lenses.

  • 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament Elite 8

    And here is your elite 8 contact lenses from our tournament. Are your contact lenses still in the hunt?

  • 2017 March Madness Contact Lens Tournament Sweet 16

    Below is an updated bracket. Did your contact lenses make it to the sweet 16?

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