Article Date: 9/1/2013

Leading Off


Basketball Number One Sport for Eye Injuries

■ Roughly 6,000 Americans each year report eye injuries from basketball, the leading cause of sports-related eye injuries, says Prevent Blindness America (PBA). Also, basketball leads among the 15-and-older age group for eye injuries, the PBA reports.

“The best recommendation for [eye injury] prevention is certified sports protective eyewear that meets ASTM F803 standards,” explains Graham Erickson, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D., past-chair of the AOA’s Sports Vision Section.

Eye injuries vary depending on the sport, but some of the most common sports-related injuries include infection, corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, inflamed iris, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retina or a traumatic cataract. Dr. Erickson says the most common basketball eye injuries he sees at his practice are abrasions caused by fingers to the lids and the conjunctiva.

Other sports

The PBA further reports water and pool activities (diving, swimming, water skiing, etc.) are the second leading cause of eye injuries overall, followed by guns (air, gas, spring, BB). The latter is the leading cause of eye injuries among patients age 14 and younger. Baseball/softball and “health club” (exercise, weight-lifting) round out the top five injuries.


Information for patients

As part of Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month this month, the PBA, The Coalition to Prevent Sports Eye Injuries and Liberty Sport are educating the public on proper eye protection during sports. Your role:

► Recommend athletic patients who wear prescription glasses be fit with eye protection that has nose bridge padding and anti-fog coating and/or side ventilation.

► Counsel monocular athletes on which sports are safe for participation and to always wear sports eye protection.


Companies Form Coalition to Support Sight Day

■ ABB Optical Group, Alcon,, CooperVision, Essilor, Eyefinity, Marchon Eyewear, TLC Laser Eye Centers, Transitions Optical, Vistakon Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Vision Source, VSP Optics Group and VSP Vision Care have formed the World Sight Day Challenge Coalition to show their support of Optometry Giving Sight and its annual fund-raising campaign, the World Sight Day Challenge. Specifically, the Coalition will take part in activities, such as supporting the fund-raising efforts associated with the World Sight Day wristband campaign, leading up to World Sight Day on Oct. 10 to raise awareness of avoidable blindness and impaired vision and mobilize support for eyecare access.

“Each of the organizations involved in this coalition have a longstanding commitment to eye health awareness and access to care,” says Rob Lynch, CEO, VSP Global and Global Development board member for Optometry Giving Sight, in a press release.

Optometry Giving Sight CEO Clive Miller says he hopes their leadership helps to encourage many more companies and optometric practices to take the World Sight Day Challenge and donate.

For more information, visit


Optometry Cares Partners with Foundation to Provide Camp

■ Optometry Cares — the AOA Foundation — and The Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation have created “Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience” for blind and severely vision-impaired children.

“Camp Courage will take lessons from the First Lady of Courage, Helen Keller, to use all of our senses and ‘Never Give Up,’” explains past president and Optometry Cares Board Member Martha Rosemore Morrow, O.D., in an AOA press release.

Camp Courage will provide arts and nature programs through senses other than sight with the help of qualified Alabama teachers. Starting in October 2013, the camp will take place yearly in Tuscumbia, Ala.

“… Those selected for the camp will come with their parents at no cost, and there will be designed activities for the parents, which will relate to the challenges faced by their children,” says Sue Pilkilton, Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation executive director.

This year’s camp spots are filled, though there will be an application/referral process for 2014, should you know of a patient whom you feel could benefit from the Camp. (Updates will be posted to

If you’re interested in making a tax-deductible donation to Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience, visit, and choose “Camp Courage: Helen Keller Experience” under “Program Designation.”


October Eyecare Meeting Offers Additional Programming

■ This year’s International Vision Expo & Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., from Oct. 2-5 will include a “Young Professionals Club” and a showcase for “new, non-traditional vision technologies.”

The “Young Professionals Club” is a free club for new O.D.s, defined as those out of optometry school five years or less. Membership privileges: free exhibit hall entry to Vision Expo East and West; six free hours of CE at both Expos, a subscription to New O.D. magazine and Vision Voice, a monthly e-newsletter, a membership pin and an International Vision Expo mug. Visit to submit a membership form.

Eye2Zone, which was launched at Vision Expo East 2013, enables you to experience how your patients and customers can improve their vision, athletic performance, promote wellness, communicate or view media, measure and monitor biometric data and more through new, non-traditional vision technologies. It includes live and tangible demonstrations.


ASCO To Oversee Partnership Endowment for Optometric Education

■ Due to the challenges of the U.S. economy combined with the changing goals of the profession (using funds for capital improvements and modernization are no longer a focus for optometry’s educational institutions), ASCO will now “govern and manage” the Partnership Foundation for Optometric Education, says an ASCO press release.

“The original creators of the Partnership can be proud that their vision to support optometric education will live on for generations to come,” says Foundation President Pete Kehoe, O.D., F.A.A.O. “The collaboration and spirit of cooperation between ASCO, the American Academy of Optometry and the American Optometric Association to transition to the Endowment is a testament to the passion that the organizations have for the future of our profession.”

The Partnership Foundation’s fund balance has been transferred to the new Endowment to help optometry schools and colleges through program and project grants to further optometric education.


● Corneal collagen cross-linking stopped progressive ectasia post LASIK and PRK, stabilizing or improving corrected distance visual acuity and maximum keratometry readings post a mean follow-up of 25 months, says July’s Ophthalmology. Also, improvements were seen in four topography indices, implying a more regular corneal surface.

● Women aged 20 to 83 with dry eye disease were shown to have high pain sensitivity and low pain tolerance vs. those without DED, when a heat stimulus was placed on their forearms, says a JAMA Ophthalmology study published online Aug. 1, 2013. Also, a strong link was found between pain symptoms on the OSDI questionnaire and the heat pain threshold and heat pain suprathreshold. Further, those with a heat pain threshold below the median reported DED pain symptoms close to twice as often as those with a heat pain threshold above the median.

● The Optos ultra-widefield scanning laser ophthalmoscope, using a modified “flying baby position,” is qualified to obtain clinically useful high-quality fundus images in ROP patients, says May’s Eye. The researchers say the imaging technique may be useful in monitoring ROP progression and chronicling ROP regression post-treatment.

Optometric Management, Volume: 48 , Issue: September 2013, page(s): 12 - 16