March 2012

In this issue:

  • SILICONE HYDROGEL LENS SYMPOSIUM
  • COUNCIL ADVISORY RECOMMENDATION (CAR)
  • REPORTING ADVERSE REACTIONS TO DECORATIVE LENSES
  • MYOPIA CONTROL STUDY
  • PRODUCT/INDUSTRY NEWS
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR
  • CLAO “DID YOU KNOW?”
  • FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT

SILICONE HYDROGEL SYMPOSIUM

A unique scientific symposium entitled “ Silicone Hydrogel Lenses – Ten Years Later” sponsored by the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc®  (CLAO®) and CLAO’s peer-reviewed journal, Eye & Contact Lens (ECL) will be held at the Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday and Saturday May 4-5, 2012, just prior to the AVRO Meeting.  The purpose of this Symposium is to review the developments in silicone lenses over the past decade and to present cutting edge research in the field. 

Internationally renowned contact lens researchers from around the world have been invited to participate in this special event.  Each expert presenter will be submitting a paper based on their presentation at the Symposium and on their area of expertise within the subject.  After the peer-review process, these papers will be published in an issue of ECL.  This issue compilation will serve as the most current and comprehensive stand-alone reference on this important subject of silicone hydrogel contact lenses.

For hotel reservation information and to register for the meeting, visit the CLAO website at www.clao.org or call 877-501-3937. 

This conference is supported through an unrestricted educational grant to CLAO from Vistakon, Johnson & Johnson Care, Inc. (JJVCI).

COUNCIL ADVISORY RECOMMENDATION (CAR)

The AAO Council Chair, Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD, in his Chair's message in the Winter 2012 Council Newsletter, (Vol. XVII, No. 1) highlighted the Council Advisory Recommendation (CAR) on Cosmetic Contact Lenses introduced by CLAO AAO Councilor, Dr. Tim Steinemann.  Dr. Steinemann is acknowledged for his efforts in developing this CAR and the successful follow up by the Academy that occurred as a result of this CAR.  The full message appears as follows:

“Chair*s Message - The Power of the CAR: A Case Study

The mission of the Academy is to advance the lifelong learning and professional interests of ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.s) to ensure that the public can obtain the best possible eye care. As a member organization, we do a remarkable job educating each other, advocating with one voice for the highest ideals of our profession, and ensuring our specialty is well heard within the larger house of medicine.

The Council serves an essential function in the mission of the Academy: it keeps the Academy*s governance on task to the concerns of the individual member, state society and the subspecialty and specialized interest societies. The Council Advisory Recommendation (CAR) is the heart of this function. CARs are the formal means by which societies can identify issues of import and bring these to the attention of the Academy Board. The Board, in turn, can then marshal the considerable resources of the Academy * our organization * to meet this need.

I want to highlight a particularly successful example of the CAR in action. In the fall of 2010, during our Council subspecialty section meeting at the Annual Meeting, Thomas (Tim) Steinemann, MD, councilor, Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, brought to the group*s attention the health risks to the public of unregulated or illegal cosmetic contact lenses. These lenses were being sold without prescription, often illegally, to minors and adults wishing to change their eye color or for costume purposes. The lenses were of dubious quality; no instruction on proper lens use, cleaning or disinfection was provided; and of course there was no recourse given if customers developed problems. As might be expected, a small number of disastrous complications had occurred in users of these lenses. 

Tim encapsulated the problem as a CAR 11-03 (Circle Contact Lenses) at the spring 2011 meeting. The Council voted that this was a high priority item to be forwarded to the Board of Trustees. The Board and Academy leadership responded quickly to the CAR, putting together a large-scale media strategy to make the public aware of this problem. In October, ophthalmologists in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia helped the Academy spread the word about the dangers of over-the-counter contact lenses. Forty-one radio interviews took place in October. In partnership with state societies, the Academy*s national campaign secured more than 1,000 stories; its two video public service announcements reached a total of more than 20,000 views. The Academy*s materials have been nominated as finalists for non-profit PR awards in two categories (video and public service campaign) for the campaign. The influence of this campaign has even spread across the border. Recently, Tim let me know that a Canadian bill proposing regulation of decorative contact lenses (C-313) has been introduced into their House of Commons.

It is very satisfying to see the process work * to go from a good idea in a Council meeting to seeing the world change for the benefit of our patients and our profession. It is also highly gratifying to see ophthalmology continue to take the lead in protecting the health of the public. Be sure to see what happens with this year*s CARs at the 2012 CAR Hearing on April 28. 

I am honored to step into the role of chair of the Council for the next two years. Jean Ramsey, MD, MPH, has left me big shoes to fill! Jean taught me that the critical role of the Council chair is to ensure the voice of the Council is heard by the leadership of the Academy. Ann Warn, MD, MBA, our new vice chair, and I both look forward to serving this important role in the Academy. I look forward to hearing and working closely with you in the months and years ahead.”

Reporting Adverse Reactions to Decorative Contacts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is urging ophthalmologists to report occurrences of adverse patient reactions caused by decorative contact lenses to its MedWatch program.  The FDA is emphasizing the need to report adverse reactions, especially if the lenses were purchased without a prescription, as the agency can only take action against illegal sellers when violations are reported.  Consumers can report decorative lens-related problems directly to their local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.

MYOPIA CONTROL STUDY

“A group of researchers from the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Sydney, Australia wanted to determine whether a novel optical treatment employing contact lenses to reduce relative peripheral hyperopia can slow the rate of progress of myopia.

Chinese children, aged 7 to 14 years, with baseline myopia between sphere -0.75 to -3.50 D and cylinder </=1.00D, were fitted with the novel contact lenses ( n=45) and followed for 12 months, and their progress compared with a group (n=40) that has similar entry criteria for age, gender, refractive error, axial length, and parental myopia wearing normal, single vision, sphero-cylindrical spectacles.

Upon adjusting for parental myopia, gender, age, baseline spherical equivalent (SphE) values and compliance, the estimated progression in SphE at 12 months was 34% less, at -0.57 D, with the novel contact lenses (95% CI: -0.45 D to -0.69 D) compared with -0.86 D (95% CI: -0.74 D to -0.99 D) for spectacle lenses. For an average baseline age of 11.2 years, baseline SphE of -2.10D, a baseline axial length of 24.6mm, and 320 days of compliant lens wear, the estimated increase in axial length (AL) was 33% less at 0.27 mm (95% CI: 0.22 mm to 0.32 mm) versus 0.40 mm (95% CI: 0.35 to 0.45 mm) for the contact lens and spectacle lens groups, respectively.

The researchers concluded that the 12-month data support the hypothesis that reducing peripheral hyperopia can alter central refractive development and reduce the rate of progress of myopia.”

Sankaridurg P, Holden B, Smith E, Smith E 3rd, Naduvilath T, Chen X, de la Jara PL, Martinez A, Kwan J, Ho A, Frick K, Ge J. Decrease in Rate of Myopia Progression with a Contact Lens Designed to Reduce Relative Peripheral Hyperopia: One-Year Results. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Dec 9;52(13):9362-7.

PRODUCT/INDUSTRY NEWS

Information in this section has been provided to CLAO by press releases and other means. CLAO does not warranty its accuracy; nor does notice of a product in this section constitute an endorsement by CLAO.

The American Medical Association (AMA) unveiled a redesigned website for its Practice Management Center, featuring a new layout that is easier to navigate and faster to use. The improved website offers physicians easy access to the AMA’s wealth of resources, tools and guidance for enhancing the operation of a medical practice.  The new Knowledge Center provides access to practice management tips, toolkits, guidance and webinars.  Physicians can sign up for the popular Practice Management Alerts or join the AMA’s new online community, the Paperless Practice Group, to connect with peers around the country, share best practices and ask questions about how to automate and streamline the medical practice.  The AMA is committed to designing innovative practice management tools with physicians’ needs in mind. All these and more are available to physicians who visit www.ama-assn.org/go/pmc to explore the new Practice Management Center website. The site is free and available to AMA members and non-members.  Access the entire press release for more information, and please email practicemanagementcenter@ama-assn.org with your feedback on the redesigned website.

The American Medical Association (AMA) offers e-mail alerts on practice management and payer news.   Signing up for the AMA Practice Management Alerts is easy. Just visit www.ama-assn.org/go/pmalerts and click the "Sign up" button.

Bausch & Lomb announced on January 9, 2012, the availability of KeraSoft® IC silicone hydrogel contact lenses in the United States. KeraSoft IC lens technology, available to Bausch + Lomb through a global licensing agreement with UltraVision CLPL, allows for custom-made contact lenses by authorized laboratories for patients with irregular corneas, including keratoconus.  Irregular corneas can be caused by a number of reasons including disease, trauma, corneal transplants and complicated laser surgery. Such patients can have considerably reduced vision that is not adequately addressed by standard contact lenses. Standard contact lenses and spectacles do not successfully address the complexities of an eye with an irregular cornea or keratoconus. Traditionally, patients with irregular corneas have been limited to gas permeable lenses which resulted in reduced wearing time for some patients.  KeraSoft IC lenses are designed to fit irregular corneas, including keratoconus, post laser refractive surgery, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, and other complex corneal irregularities. Each KeraSoft IC lens is custom-made for a patient’s exact needs, and KeraSoft IC lenses can offer increased wear time and improved comfort for patients. KeraSoft IC lenses are a patented combination of the latest technologies in silicone hydrogel materials using geometries from complex mathematics to offer comfortable wear and excellent vision and have been recognized with the UK’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise and Innovation.  Eye care professionals who are interested in KeraSoft IC lenses for their patients should visit www.KeraSofttraining.com to complete the necessary training to enable fitting of KeraSoft IC lenses. Upon completion of the online training, eye care professionals can contact Art Optical, the first lab channel partner, for trial set information and to place KeraSoft IC orders. To contact Art Optical, eye care professionals should call 800-253-9364 for Ordering and 800-566-8001 for Consultation. In the coming months, additional lab channel partners are expected to announce their ability to provide KeraSoft IC lenses.

Lighthouse International announces a comprehensive, updated publication, The Lighthouse Clinician’s Guide to Low Vision Practice.  The 200-page book will serve as the seminal text for training ophthalmology and optometry students and residents, as well as practicing clinicians, in the principles of low vision clinical care and vision rehabilitation.  The publication helps clinicians understand low vision principles, enhances their knowledge of disease consequences, provides insight for addressing patient complaints, and increases the effectiveness of treatment—both medical and surgical—through low vision rehabilitation.  To order, call (212) 821-9470, e-mail education@lighthouse.org or visit www.lighthouse.org/ce

Myopia Prevention.org provides both patient and doctor information on developments in the field of myopia control.  In the “For Doctor” section of the site it states “Lens interventions are based on the proven principle that creation of a peripheral myopia creates a stop/slow signal for further axial growth and thus myopic progression. The principle has been proven more in animal models but human studies are starting to show the effect. Some devices create peripheral myopia better than others.”

The National Institutes of Health has expanded a genetic and clinical research database to give researchers access to the first digital study images. The National Eye Institute (NEI), in collaboration with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), has made available more than 72,000 lens photographs and fundus photographs of the back of the eye, collected from the participants of the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

The CLAO Silicone Hydrogel Lens Symposium will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 4-5, 2012.  For more information visit www.clao.org

The 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting is scheduled for November 9–13, in Chicago, IL.  JCAHPO holds its annual ACE meeting in conjunction with the AAO.

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 20-24, 2012 in Chicago, IL.  For more information visit www.ascrs.org.

CLAO “Did You Know?”:

CLAO Membership includes a listing on ContactLensDocs.com. Members are able to include a link to their own professional web site for easy access by the public. 

For Your Amusement

(Source: Jokeswarehouse.com)

A man tells a doctor, "I think my wife's going deaf. What can I do?"

The doctor says, "Well, try to test her hearing. Stand some distance away from her and ask her a question. If she doesn't answer, move a little closer and ask again. Keep repeating this until she answers. That way we can see how bad the problem is."

The man goes home, sees his wife and says, "Hi honey, what's for dinner?" He doesn't hear an answer, so he moves closer. "Honey, what's for dinner?" He repeats this several times, until he's standing right next to her.

Finally, she answers, "For the tenth time, I said we're having Pot Roast!"

Contact Lens Event Reporting:

To report adverse contact lens reactions: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/ or call (800) FDA-1088.

To report possible grievances related to the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act or the associated Contact Lens Rule: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.