September 2012

In this issue:

  • CLAO ERF/SSF STUDENT RESEARCH AWARD
  • KEEP AN EYE ON UV SAFETY
  • 2012 VISION CARE SURVEY
  • PRODUCT/INDUSTRY NEWS
  • MARK YOUR CALENDAR
  • CLAO “DID YOU KNOW?” 
  • FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT 

CLAO ERF/Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation Student Scientific Research Award

The Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists Education and Research Foundation (CLAO ERF) in association with the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation (SSF) announces the availability of a Scientific Research Grant to be awarded on December 31, 2012. This award will be for $3,000 and is intended to provide support for proposals specifically concerned with issues directly related to dry eye and ocular surface disease.  The anticipated research term is three to six months.   The applicant must be working towards an advanced degree doing research in the United States.  To obtain a grant application, visit either the SSF (www.sjogrens.org) or CLAO ERF web page (www.clao.org).  The deadline for submission is November 30, 2012. 

KEEP AN EYE ON UV SAFETY

Along with risks to your skin, UV rays can be dangerous for your eyes, too. Studies show that exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. The good news is, sunglasses, hats, and a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to protect your precious vision. Here are some tips to protect your eyes from the sun:

  • Wear sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. Regardless of the cost or color of your shades, make sure they block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays and wear them anytime you are outside or driving during the day. 
  • Choose wrap-around styles: Ideally, your sunglasses should wrap all the way around to your temples, so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side. 
  • Wear a hat: In addition to your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your eyes.
  • Don’t rely on contact lenses: Even if you wear contact lenses with UV protection, remember your sunglasses to help protect other parts of your eyes. 
  • Protect your eyes during peak sun times: Sunglasses should be worn whenever outside. It’s especially important to wear sunglasses in the early afternoon and at higher altitudes, where UV light is more intense. 
  • Don’t be fooled by clouds: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and clouds. In fact, sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summertime. 
  • Don’t forget the kids: Everyone is at risk, including children. Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. 

For more eye healthy information, visit www.geteyesmart.org. 

2012 VISION CARE SURVEY

While Americans rank sight as the most important of the five senses, a new survey shows that nearly half did not get an eye exam in the past year and approximately 30 percent do not believe that taking care of their eyes is as important as other health issues.   The 2012 Americans’ Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive © on behalf of VISTAKON® Division Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., tracked attitude and behavior changes among 1,000 U.S. adults compared to 2006 benchmark data and revealed surprising discrepancies between attitudes about vision care and actual practices.  Results show a consistently high value placed on maintaining proper vision, although the number of respondents who indicated they do not regularly visit an eye care professional increased 36 percent compared to 2006 (19% vs. 14% in 2006).  Alarmingly, approximately one in five (21 percent) U.S. adults mistakenly agrees that they do not need an eye exam unless they are having trouble seeing.
Among the respondents who have a regular eye care professional, the study shows an upward trend in satisfaction rates.  Significantly more U.S. adults are extremely/very satisfied with their regular eye care professional, an 18 percent increase vs. 2006 (80% vs. 68% in 2006).  When asked about the reason for their last eye exam, significantly more respondents noted that they had established a set eye exam schedule (32% vs. 29% in 2006) or received a reminder from the eye doctor’s office (20% vs. 17% in 2006) (an increase of 10 and 18 percent, respectively).  Nearly 80 percent of respondents indicated they sought a referral when selecting their current eye care professional, with a family member, friend or co-worker serving as the single greatest referral source (40 percent), followed by a health care provider (21 percent). Women were significantly more likely than men to seek referrals for a new eye care professional (48% vs. 37%, respectively).  Sources for obtaining information on vision care products are also evolving.  Eye care provider’s offices remain the number-one resource - and the most trusted/reliable – but a growing number of U.S. adults say they seek out a family member or friend for information. The Internet has gained traction as well; an increase of 33 percent of respondents cited this as an information resource for vision care (20% vs. 15% in 2006). 

Other findings from the Americans’ Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care survey included the following:

  • Many attitudes regarding contact lenses did not change significantly since 2006, with one exception 
    • Compared to 2006, significantly more contact lens wearers agree that it is important to take lenses out daily to give their eyes a rest (93 percent, 2012 vs. 86 percent, 2006).
    • About one-in-five contact lens wearers (17 percent) say they wear dailydisposable contact lenses.
  • Cost is less of a barrier to vision care
    • Approximately three in ten adults (29 percent) agree that they avoid going to their eye doctor because of cost, a 12 percent decrease vs. 2006.
    • Two in three adults have some type of eye care insurance coverage.
  • Vision correction surgery remains minimal
    • Six percent of U.S. adults reported having vision correction surgery, compared to seven percent in 2006.
    • The likelihood to have vision correction surgery is significantly less, declining from 10 percent extremely/very likely in 2006 to six percent in 2012.

About the Survey
The 2012 American’s Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care study was conducted online within the United States from February 27, 2012 to March 5, 2012 by Harris Interactive on behalf of VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.  The survey queried a nationally representative cross section of 1,000 adults in the United States aged 18 and older.  The data from the study was demographically weighted to reflect the census of the general U.S. adult population (regardless of whether they have internet access or not).  The survey was designed to comply with the code and standards of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the code of the National Council of Public Polls (NCPP).

PRODUCT/INDUSTRY NEWS

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

AMA Forms Alliance to Standardize Reports used in Physician Profiling Programs 
CHICAGO -- The American Medical Association (AMA) announced on July 16th, that more than 60 organizations have pledged their formal support to an AMA effort designed to help physicians better use health insurer-provided data reports as tools to enhance the quality and value of patient care.

“Almost every public and private health insurer presents physicians with practice profile reports to support datadriven decision-making,” said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D. “This feedback has been ineffective since the complex reports vary from plan to plan and are difficult to read and interpret.”

To help create data reports that physicians can easily understand and use, the AMA created the “Guidelines for Reporting Physician Data” with input from public and private health insurers, state and specialty medical societies, health standard organizations, and employer and consumer coalitions. The new guidelines provide a roadmap for improving the usefulness of physician data reports by encouraging greater format standardization, process transparency and level of detail. Among the organizations that support the use of the AMA’s Guidelines for Reporting Physician Data include Cigna, Midwest Business Group on Health, National Committee on Quality Assurance and UnitedHealth Group.

“The organizations who have pledged to use the AMA guidelines recognize that providing physicians with ineffective or inaccurate practice data represents a missed opportunity,” said Dr. Lazarus. “Encouraging industrywide standardization of practice data reports will help physicians double-check the information and use accurate data as a tool to identify opportunities for practice improvement.”

Last March the AMA introduced a new teaching guide to help physicians review insurer-provided practice data and use the information for practice improvement. Take Charge of Your Data is designed to help physicians understand and verify the accuracy of profile reports provided by public and private health insurers. 

For additional information on the new guidelines and other associated resources, including a related webinar, please visit the AMA website at: www.ama-assn.org/go/physiciandata.

Bausch & Lomb announced on June 28th that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued clearance of Biotrue™ ONEday, a premium daily disposable contact lens. Biotrue ONEday is made from HyperGel, an innovative, next generation of daily disposable material that has the best features of conventional hydrogels and silicone hydrogels. The lens offers high water content and delivers more oxygen than a traditional hydrogel – all without the need for silicone – while maintaining the comfort of conventional hydrogels. Biotrue ONEday contact lenses provide consistent, clear, comfortable vision throughout the day because the innovative, bioinspired material helps them retain moisture and optical shape even after hours of wear. As a bio-inspired product, these lenses extend the Biotrue brand portfolio which also includes Biotrue® multi-purpose solution.  Biotrue ONEday was created by the eye health scientists at Bausch + Lomb to be the first daily disposable lens with three bio-inspired features. The bioinspired lenses contain 78 percent water, the same water content as the cornea, and deliver the oxygen level needed by the open eye to maintain healthy, white eyes. The outer surface of the lens is designed to mimic the lipid layer of tear film to prevent dehydration. Biotrue ONEday lenses provide the maximum amount of moisture of any daily disposable lens on the market today, even after 16 hours of wear.  Biotrue ONEday lenses were introduced in May in Italy and will be introduced in the U.K. and Nordics later in the year.   In other news, what do the first laptop computers and the renu® multi-purpose solution brand have in common? Both were introduced in the mid-1980’s and radically changed the way in which people behaved forever. While laptops continued to be re-designed to accommodate the fast-evolving digital age, the renu multi-purpose solution brand remains as relevant today as it was a quarter century ago.  About the renu Brand  The renu brand multi-purpose solutions are available in two formats: renu fresh™ multi-purpose solution and renu sensitive™ multi-purpose solution. renu fresh delivers unsurpassed cleaning and disinfection, plus all day moisture for lens wearers, while renu sensitive has a gentle (yet effective) formula, minimizing irritation and burning for those with sensitive eyes. The renu brand also consists of ReNu® rewetting drops and ReNu MultiPlus® lubricating & rewetting drops. ReNu rewetting drops moisturize soft contact lenses to soothe eyes and minimize lens dryness and discomfort while ReNu MultiPlus lubricating & rewetting drops contain POVIDONE, an effective lubricant that provides moisturizing comfort for optimum lens wear. For more information about renu multi-purpose solution please visit your local eye care practitioner and www.renu.com.

More information about the company is available at www.bausch.com.

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. 

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, email 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). 

VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., in a news released dated May 25, 2012 stated that blocking the transmission of ultraviolet light (UV) through a contact lens may have an effect in maintaining the eye’s macular pigment density, according to new research presented at the 2012 British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference. Existing research suggests that a higher level of macular pigment appears to have a protective effect against age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of severe vision loss for people over the age of 55.  Forty pre-presbyopic patients (mean age = 30)  who had worn contact lenses for around five years, participated in this novel introductory study which retrospectively examined the effects of wearing UV-blocking contact lenses on macular pigment density and accommodation (ability of the eyes to maintain a clear focus on an object as its distance varies). Twenty subjects wore UV-blocking contact lenses while the other 20 subjects wore a contact lens material with minimal UV-blocking properties. Researchers evaluated participants’ ocular health, macular pigment density levels and measured their accommodative response.  All subjects were matched for age, gender, race, body-mass-index, diet, lifestyle, UV exposure, 
refractive error and visual acuity. Macular pigment density levels were significantly greater (p<0.05) in eyes that had worn UV-blocking contact lenses (0.41±0.13) compared to eyes that had worn non UV-blocking contact lenses (0.33±0.15).  Ocular health (p>0.05), amplitude-of-accommodation (p=0.217), range of clear focus (p=0.783) and objective stimulus response curve (p=0.185) were not statistically different in eyes that had worn UV-blocking contact lenses compared to the others. Although not statistically significant, UV blocking contact lens wearers consistently showed a higher accommodative response than those wearing contacts with minimal UV-blocking.  “Researchers have speculated that chronic UV light exposure may contribute to aging processes in the eye,” says study lead-author Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University in Birmingham. “This preliminary data suggests that wearing UV-blocking contact lenses could play a contributory role in maintaining the eye’s macular pigment density which, in turn, may play a role in helping to delay the development of macular degeneration. Additional clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the effects seen in this preliminary research.”  UV-absorbing contact lenses are not 
substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. “Eye care professionals need to continually reinforce the importance of wearing UV-blocking contact lenses in conjunction with high-quality UV blocking sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat for maximum protection,” says Professor Wolffsohn.  

The study was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Source: Wolffsohn, J., Eperjesi, F., Bartlett, H., Sheppard, A., Howells, O., Drew, T., Sulley, A., Osborn Lorenz, K., “Does Blocking Ultra-Violet Light with Contact Lenses Benefit Eye Health?” Presented May 25th, 2012, 2012 British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference.

In other news, studies show that many contact lens wearers do not comply with recommended replacement frequencies and fail to discard their lenses after the scheduled time.   Now, new data suggests that the ACUMINDER® Tool, an electronic reminder service, can help contact lens wearers better adhere to the recommended replacement schedule prescribed by their doctor. The results were presented this past weekend at the 2012 British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference.  A total of 680 U.S. contact lens wearers participated in an online survey. Participants were wearers of either two-week or monthly replacement lenses.  Prior to using the ACUMINDER® Tool, the average two-week lens wearer wore his/her lens for an average of 19.9 days, while monthly lens wearers changed their lenses an average of every 35.6 days. After using the electronic reminder, two-week lens wearers reported that they replaced their lenses on average every 14.7 days while monthly wearers averaged 30 days. Of those surveyed, 90 percent 
agreed that the ACUMINDER® Tool made remembering to change lenses much easier.  Since its launch in 2007, more than 275,000 U.S. contact lens wearers have registered for the free service (www.acuminder.com) which sends an automatic reminder via e-mail and/or cell phone text message on when to change contact lenses, when to buy new contacts, and when to schedule an eye exam. Developed by VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. and maker of ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses, the free electronic reminder service is open to all contact lens wearers.   The study was sponsored by VISTAKON®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

Source: Routhier, J., Hickson-Curran, S., Kreul-Starr,E.,” We Hear and We Forget. We See and We Remember.  How Effective is an Electronic Reminder when it comes to our Patient’s Contact Lens Compliance?”

ACUVUE®, ACUMINDER® and VISTAKON® are trademarks of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.

WebMD recently launched Eye TV for display within the Eye Health Center on webmd.com. Eye TV provides on-demand video programming that will bring to life real people successfully managing their eye health and vision.  For more information about the Eye Health Center and Eye TV, visit http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/default.htm. 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

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, 2013 in San Francisco, CA.  For more information visit www.ascrs.org. The Symposium on the Material Science and Chemistry of Contact Lenses, is scheduled for November 14-16, 2012, New Orleans, LA  For more info contact Dr. Jean Jacob at jjacob@lsuhsc.edu

CLAO “Did You Know?”:

Did you know that CLAO was incorporated as a 501C(6) not-for-profit organization in 1964?

For Your Amusement

Have you ever thought about how confusing the English language can be to learn? How do you explain to a person trying to learn the language that the words ‘row (as in row a boat)” and “now,” although spelled similarly, sound completely different?  The English language is filled with such nuances.  

Take the following sentence: “I know how to make dough while I do check what is due while standing outside in the dew near the zoo looking at the doe.”  This sentence could be rewritten in the following way and sound exactly the same: “I nough how to make doe while I dew check what is doo while standing outside in the do near the zew while looking at the dough.”

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/.