TRENDS & NEWS YOU CAN USE
STUDY REPORTS CONSUMER
CONFUSION OVER OPTOMETRISTS AND OPHTHALMOLOGISTS
Eyecare Survey Miss the Mark?
►According to a recent survey
by the National Consumers League (NCL), most Americans including those who
wear glasses or contact lenses aren't sure what all those letters after an
eyecare provider's name mean. In the Web survey of 600 adults over the age of 25,
30% of respondents believe that optometrists have medical degrees, and 50% thought
an O.D. could be board-certified. Marc Bloomenstein, O.D., F.A.A.O., of Phoenix,
says the survey, funded by an unrestricted grant from the American Academy of Ophthalmology,
misses "the question as to whether patients were happy with their care."
Most respondents to the survey said that they would prefer
their eye care provider have a medical degree for treatment such as surgeries (including
laser), prescribing medications, administering injections and emergency care. However,
Dr. Bloomenstein notes that 30% of those surveyed do not see a difference in the
care they receive from an O.D. or and M.D.
Additionally, some O.D.s question the accuracy of eyecare-related
educational materials that the NCL offers at its Web site, www.nclnet.org. Says
James K. Kirchner, O.D., F.A.A.O., of Lincoln, Neb., "Their consumer information
is biased and does not accurately reflect the professional skills and services we
provide. A modern understanding of optometry ... would be of much greater benefit
to their readers."
Dr. Kirchner further says, "This [survey] seems to touch on an
issue that the American Optometric Association works diligently on, that of public
awareness of the complete scope of modern optometric practice." Adds Dr. Bloomenstein,
"We as optometrists need to educate our patients and the public at large as to the
amount of training that the O.D. [degree] necessitates."
Changes its Name
community Web site Seniordoc.org has changed its name to "ODwire.org"
to better reflect its membership, most of whom graduated optometry school after
1985. The site, which currently has more than 3,500 members, also features upgrades
including a real-time chat area, a photo archive and the ability to post original
articles either for member's only or for public view, in which case search engines
will also pick up the article.
APPOINTMENT REMINDER CARDS
Adult Eye Exams on the Rise
than 90.8 million U.S. adults received eye examinations between Oct. 2004 and Sept.
2005, breaking down to almost 250,000 per day. The data comes from the Vision Council
of America's (VCA's) VisionWatch, an initiative that continuously measures consumer
sentiment for the eyewear and eyecare industries. It also examined patients' reasons
for scheduling an eye exam and found that more than 33% of a 2,000-person sample
cited receiving an appointment reminder card as the catalyst for their visits, while
25% said they did so because they were experiencing vision problems. VCA says their
data indicates that the number of eye exams performed should continue to rise in
AAO'S VARIED PROGRAM
Academy Presents Research and New Products
press conference of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), held during the Academy's
annual meeting in San Diego, offered presentations that ranged from scientific papers
to new FDA-approved LASIK treatments. Last month, Optometric Management presented
conference highlights in the area of contact lenses. The meeting also offered announcements
in the area of dry eye management, which include:
Meadows, Ph.D., of Alcon, introduced Systane Free lubricant eye drops, which offer
the comfort and protection of a gel with less blur. The drops are preservative-free
in the eye and as they cause less blurring, they can be used during the day as well
as at night.
demonstrated that carboxymethylcellulose, the primary mechanism of action in the
Refresh brand line of artificial tears (Allergan), binds to human corneal epithelial
cells and promotes recovery and protection of the ocular surface, says Allergan's
Joseph Vehige, O.D.
Medical introduced a long-term intracanalicular punctum plug made of a hydrogel
material that can expand to 20 times its volume for punctual occlusion. The material
can fill the canalicular cavity within 10 minutes.
Other presentations included:
the area of LASIK, Heather Ready, of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) presented new
information on AMO CustomVue, the first wavefront-guided procedure approved by the
FDA for up to –11.00D of myopia with astigmatism up to 3.00D.
Pier, O.D., director of professional development for Bausch & Lomb, explained
the effectiveness of Zylet, a combination of tobramycin and loteprednol, in cases
where inflammation and the risk of infection are present.
AIT WAM-5500 binocular accommodation auto refractor and keratometer also measures
refraction and the pupil diameter simultaneously, said AIT's Mark Dehn.
OM will feature additional information from the AAO presentations
in future issues.
REACH YOUR PEDIATRIC PATIENTS
AOA Launches Child Education Campaign
American Optometric Association's (AOA) new "Be Wise About Your Eyes," campaign
uses animated characters and a coloring book to educate children in kindergarten
through third grade about eye care. The video teaches children how the visual system
works, the importance of regular eye exams and how to protect the eyes. The 16-page
coloring and activity book reinforce the concepts presented in the video.
The AOA encourages eye care practitioners to use the materials
during visits to local elementary schools and other community outreach programs.
To purchase the materials, call the AOA Order Department at (800) 262-2210 x2422.
The video is available to members for $20; the activity books are available in quantities
of 25 ($30), 50 ($40) and 75 ($48). For non-members, the DVD and VHS copies are
$30, and the Activity/Coloring books are 25 ($45), 50 ($60), 72 ($75) and 100 ($82.50).
Gatifloxacin Effective for Keratitis
the University of California, Irvine, a rabbit model of mycobacterium chelonae keratitis
after lamellar keratectomy assessed the effectiveness of fluoroquinolone therapy.
Of the anti-infectives studied, the fourth-generation gatifloxacin showed the best
performance over ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin. They conclude that gatifloxacin
could be effectively used for the treatment of mycobacterial keratitis. The study
was reported in the July 2005 Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (Sarayba,
Promising GP Material for Presbyopes
study at the University of Melbourne in Australia found that Menicon's Menifocal
Z (hyper Dk tisilfocon A) contact lens material for GP lenses provides successful
vision correction of distance and near vision. Researchers evaluated Menifocal Z
alternating vision, concentric and bifocal GP lenses in 35 existing GP lens wearers
over six months. The high contrast distance visual acuity was 0.03 (20/20-); near
visual acuity was 0.26 (20/25, N4). Adverse responses and lens binding were minimal.
EYECARE COMPANIES AMONG
THE BEST PLACES TO WORK
VSP, Alcon make Fortune's grade
Eyecare companies Vision Service Plan
(VSP) and Alcon Laboratories made Fortune maga- zine's 2006 list of the "100 Best
Companies to Work For." VSP ranked seventh; it was also the seventh consecutive
year on the prestigious list. For Alcon, ranked at 32, it was the eighth consecutive
appearance. The complete list of companies and accompanying stories appears in Fortune's
Jan. 23 issue.
SELLS THREE PRODUCTS
Reichert Buys Tono-pen
Ophthalmic Instruments last month bought Medtronic's Tono-Pen line of applanation
tonometers for $28 million. The purchase also included Medtronic's Ocu-Film tip
covers and Model 30 Classic pneumatonometer. Combined, the products had accounted
for more than $10 million of Medtronic's annual sales. According to Reichert, sales
from its new products will start accruing as of Feb. 1.
As for Medtronic, the remainder of its ophthalmic product line
is being incorporated into the company's ENT division.
OPHTHONIX STUDIES THE CHALLENGE
OF NIGHT DRIVING
Is There a Difference Between Lenses at
to a recent study, a wavefront-guided spectacle lens improves the reaction time
of wearers during night driving when compared with conventional lenses.
In tests that simulated night driving, drivers identified pedestrians
by an average of 330 milliseconds sooner when wearing iZon Wavefront-Guided spectacle
lenses. In practical terms, that means that while driving at 55mph, a driver can
see pedestrians or other objects or situations about 29 feet sooner, "which is comparable
to three car lengths or the distance across a typical intersection," says Andreas
Dreher, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Ophthonix, the manufacturer
of the iZon lens. "That three-tenths of a second could be a lifesaver."
The iZon lenses are custom-made, based on results of examinations
using the Z-View aberrometer, which measures both low- and high-order errors.
Dr. Dreher calls nighttime driving a "vision torture test" and
says that with the iZon eyeglasses, drivers, "can overcome this challenge and receive
The study, announced that the American Academy of Optometry, was
conducted with 29 subjects in a controlled, FDA-validated night driving simulator.
The study simulated night driving conditions on a rural road at 55mph. Each subject
used the simulator twice; once while wearing conventional lenses (which included
correction for sphere, cylinder and axis) and once more while wearing the iZon lenses
(which also incorporated corrections for third through sixth higher-order corrections).
The lenses were randomized and not marked, so the subjects had no indication of
which lenses they were wearing.
Ophthonix will expand the iZon lens introduction to all major
markets in the United States during 2006.
pays off. The Vision Council of America announced that Eyecessorize, its fashion
and lifestyle initiative to generate media coverage and promote eyewear as a "must-have"
fashion accessory, reached 31 million consumers in 2005. Media coverage included
print placements in such publications as Life and Style Weekly, the New York Post,
Us Weekly and Chicago Tribune.
expands globally. Essilor of America, Essilor International's U.S. subsidiary, acquired
two prescription laboratories late last year, ACO Lab Inc. (based in Commerce, Calif.)
and Focus Optical Labs Inc. (Chicago). The laboratories have revenues of $3.8 million
and $3.5 million, respectively.
PEOPLE & PROMOTIONS
join SCO's Board of Trustees. Attorney Jim Jalenak of Memphis, Dr. Christopher King
of Eaglewood O.D., of Fla., and Dr. Robert Smalling O.D., of Warren, Ark., were
elected to the Southern College of Optometry's Board of Trustees.
CEO/President At Visioneering. Visioneering Corp.'s board of directors named Joe
DeLapp the company's new president and CEO. Mr. DeLapp previously served in those
positions at Briot-WECO.
... And at Eyemaginations. The 3-D
animation and multi-media marketing and education company appointed Jeffrey Peres
its president and CEO. Mr. Peres has served as the company's chief operating officer
since joining the company in 2005.
VP honored. Steven D. Silverman, vice president of information technology for Global
Operations and Engineering at Bausch & Lomb, was named one of the business world's
Premier 100 IT Leaders by IDG's Computerworld. The award honors executives who show
"exemplary technology leadership in resolving pressing business problems."
NEW SILICONE HYDROGEL CONTACT
CooperVision Seeks to Make Life More Comfortable
launched the Biomedics XC contact lens this month. The latest addition of the company's
PC Hydrogel line, it's approved for daily-wear on a two-week replacement schedule.
CooperVision says its patented PC Technology helps create a biocompatible lens material
that attracts and retains moisture. The omafilcon A material features the FDA-cleared
labeling indication, "may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who
experience mild discomfort or symptoms related to dryness during wear."
Optometric Management, Issue: February 2006