Article Date: 3/1/2004

Practice Pulse
Tips, Trends & News You Can Use

Report Presents New View of Glaucoma

Approximately one quarter of the estimated two million Americans with the most common form of glaucoma are under 50 years old -- and as many as half of that group may not even know that they have the disease.

The finding is the result of a recent analysis by the Vision Council of America and the Better Vision Institute. Additionally, the analysis found that women were almost twice as likely to develop primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) as men, and that certain ethnic groups are at a disproportionately higher risk for developing the disease.

For instance, on a percentage-of-population basis, African-Americans over 40 are more than twice as likely to have POAG as Caucasians. Asian- Americans over 40 have the second most frequent incidence of the disease, but are the most likely to develop it in their 40s.

The analysis was conducted using published medical literature and several data sets, including the 2000 U.S. Census, and information from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The results compared percentages of people from four general ethnic backgrounds: Caucasian; African-American, Latino (both regardless of national origin); and Asian-American. The analysis also compared the incidence of glaucoma between genders in the four ethnic groups.

"This dispels some of the common myths about glaucoma," ophthalmologist Susan Taub, M.D., F.A.C.S., chairman of the Better Vision Institute, said. "Chief among them is the notion that glaucoma is an older folks' eye disease. Everyone should be on the lookout for this disabling condition, including people in their 40s."


The Other Glaucoma Perspective

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Preferred Practice Patterns, glaucoma frequently affects the patient's quality of life, including:

These quality of life aspects of glaucoma, however, often receive little attention in the clinical world, according to patients surveyed.

Data from Glaucoma Research Foundation's November 2003 Survey of Patient Perspectives and the 2002 Gallup Study of Eye Health, indicates that patients have become better informed and more proactive, and are looking for the most effective treatment that will preserve their sight. Says Tom Brunner, CEO of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, "We need to do a better job of helping doctors understand how important their interaction with the patient is in terms of education and ultimately in terms of compliance."

ICO Honors Allyn

The Illinois College of Optometry (ICO) presents its Presidential Medal of Honor to individuals who demonstrate excellence in making a contribution to education and patient care activities related to optometry and vision care. On January 28, 2004, ICO presented its Medal of Honor to William G. Allyn, son of the founder of Welch Allyn Inc. Mr. Allyn became president of Welch Allyn in 1947 and served in that role until he became chairman in 1977.


OSI President to Receive Honor

The Optical Women's Association (OWA) will honor Dana R. Weeks, president of Optical Services International (OSI), with the 5th Annual Pleiades Award for her commitment to the organization's mission of fostering the growth of women in the eye care industry. The event will be held on March 26 at the International Vision Expo in New York in the Marchon Eyewear Showroom.

Weeks became president of OSI in 1990. Under her stewardship, the group has become the largest independent wholesale laboratory in the United States. She directs all facets of the group's activities, including pursuing new business opportunities for OSI members, and works closely with OSI's vendors to develop and market new products. Weeks is also actively involved in OWA, serving on its Mentoring Task Force for the past two years.

OWA names a star after Pleiades Award winners and presents them with a star map and certificate as part of their recognition.


Ask the Right Questions About Orthokeratology
By Barbara Kogan, O.D.

Whether you first learned about orthokeratology 40 years ago from its early pioneers or have taken corneal reshaping or other educational programs, here's how to now identify the best candidates for this method of vision therapy. The following tips come from the international practitioners, researchers and educators who lectured and attended the 2003 American Academy of Optometry and the 2004 Contact Lens and Eye care Symposium: optometrists Drs. Ed Bennett, Marjorie Rah, Jeff Walline and Shane Keddie; ophthalmologists Drs. Bruce Koffler and Tung Hsaio-Ching; and optician Craig Norman.

Ask yourself if this patient's:

► myopia is: between -0.50D and -4.50D (for best unaided results); from -4.50D to -10.00D (to reduce approximately 50%); progressing at 1.5 to 2.00D per year; residual for at least seven months following refractive surgery seven months; and/or has astigmatism less than 2.50D (for maximum ortho-k effects)?

► antimetropia or anisometropia has accompanying binocular dysfunction that ortho-k can eliminate or minimize?

► cornea, especially the epithelium, is healthy; his tear film quality is good and eyelids are tight, free from meibomian gland dysfunction, inflammation and ptosis?

► is at least eight years old and responsible enough to care for contact lenses?

► contact lenses can be custom-designed by an authorized GP CLMA-member laboratory's consultant with whom you feel confident?

Ask your patient:

► How would your quality of life change if you had freedom from eyeglasses and contact lenses during the day or a significantly reduced prescription, or could retard or limit the progression of your blurred and distorted vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses?

► How would you like to participate in sports in school, swim, move about without putting on eyeglasses or contact lenses and see clearly without either, to shave, put makeup on, drive a car after completing this non-surgical programmed application of custom-designed contact lenses?

► Would you be committed to wearing your contact lenses according to the schedule, care for them and return to our office for follow up during the program and every six months when you achieve your visual freedom?

► How would you and your [family member] like to go through this program together?

► Do you have blurred, distorted vision that doesn't seem to improve with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses?

CIBA Sells Part of Surgical Business

CIBA Vision Corp. last month completed the sale of a significant portion of its surgical business. The move is part of a strategic alternative the company announced that it was considering last year. The specifics of the sale agreements are as follows:

► Ioltech, SA was the biggest buyer, purchasing CIBA's Vivarte and Vivarte Presbyopic phakic refractive lens, the CV232 SRE intra-ocular lens, Tear Saver and Tear Saver Plus punctum plugs and viscoelastics UniVisc, VisThesia, Ophthalin and Ophthalin Plus. Ioltech also bought certain marketing and distribution rights to the PRL phakic refractive lens.

► Optonol Ltd. and CIBA agreed on a mutual release of contract for the Ex-Press Mini Glaucoma Shunt. Optonol will assume distribution in the United States and Canada (the company is currently the distributor in the European Union).

CIBA will retain its equity share in Refocus Group while Refocus reassumes the licensing and all marketing rights worldwide to its PresVIEW Scleral Implant and the Surgical Spacing Procedure for the treatment of presbyopia, glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

Negotiations continue for the remaining products within the Surgical portfolio. "We did not have the scale or necessary presence in the market to fully capitalize on the surgical portfolio and this will allow us to focus on our core lens and lens care businesses," Joe Mallof, CIBA Vision's chief executive officer said.




Bausch & Lomb launched the first TV ad campaign for its Technolas 217z Zyoptix System for Personalized Laser Vision Correction. The ad is the first in a $20 million campaign that includes three other B&L products: ReNu MultiPlus Multi-Purpose Solution, SofLens Multi-Focal lenses and Ocuvite PreserVision ocular vitamin supplement.

Transitions Optical Inc. will launch what it says is its largest-ever consumer media outreach program to help build awareness about the need for ultra-violet and glare protection. The program will include local and national television, radio, newspaper, magazine and Internet coverage, as well as Latino news media.


The Association of International Glaucoma Societies held its first global consensus meeting on Structure and Function in the Management of Glaucoma. The meeting is considered a starting point in developing formal consensus among worldwide glaucoma leadership.

The Low Vision Council has been incorporated into VCA, raising VCA's membership to 141 companies.


Santinelli International appointed Matthew G. McKenna as Director of Client Services.

Hoya Vision Care named Renato Cappuccitti, O.D., its Director of Marketing and Sales. Dr. Cappuccitti comes to Hoya most recently from Vision Systems Inc.

SECO International announced that John F. Amos, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O., is the 2004 recipient of its "Optometrist of the South" award. Dr. Amos is Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry.


Partners in Education

Art Optical Contact Lens will help fund the development of the Contact Lens Residency program at the Michigan College of Optometry (MCO), to be offered this fall. According to Art Optical, the company will provide support through "various financial contributions and scholarships" to MCO, with whom it's had a long-standing relationship. Additionally, an MCO student will intern with the company's consultation manager each semester.

The contact lens residency will become the fourth post-graduate residency program at MCO. It will use the facilities of both the college and of Art Optical. MCO says that it intends to obtain the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) accreditation as soon as it accepts the first resident.


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Optometric Management, Issue: March 2004