January 9, 2005

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches more than 10,000 readers in 74 countries.

Practitioners to Offer Online CL Ordering via Eyefinity
Eyefinity has announced the launch of, a service through which the private eyecare practitioner gives his patients the ability to re-order their contact lenses online. Through Eyefinity's new service, private practice eyecare doctors can now direct their patients to an easy-to-use online tool that simplifies the re-order process and delivers products directly to their homes. It also allows private eyecare practices to compete with major chains and other online contact lens companies with minimal effort. The service handles all shipping and handling and Eyefinity offers customized in-office marketing materials to assist in marketing the service to patients within an office. Practitioners set their own online retail pricing. Also, to ensure patient compliance and good eye health, all patients' private eye doctors authorize all contact lens patient information and prescription data. To find out more, visit

Study Finds a Link Between Retinopathy and the Development of Heart Failure
Researchers conducted a population-based, seven-year cohort study in four U.S. communities using the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study database to determine the relationship of retinopathy to the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF). The researchers took retinal photographs of the participants (n = 11,612, aged 49 to 73 years) between 1993 and 1995 and graded the photographs according to a standardized protocol for the presence of retinopathy, arteriovenous nicking, focal arteriolar narrowing and generalized arteriolar narrowing. After controlling for age, sex, race, pre-existing coronary heart disease, mean arterial blood pressure, diabetes, glucose level, cholesterol level, smoking, body mass index and study site, the researchers associated the presence of retinopathy with a two-fold higher risk of CHF. Among participants who didn't have pre-existing coronary heart disease, diabetes or hypertension, they associated retinopathy with a three-fold higher risk of CHF.

Earn Credits Online
Do you still need a few more hours of CE credit? Vision Care CE -- -- can help you conveniently meet your recertification requirements. We have several new continuing education courses from International Vision Expo, our exclusive partner.


Paragon Announces Newest Milestone
At the end of last month, Paragon Vision Sciences announced a milestone for the company and for overnight contact lens corneal reshaping: Paragon closed out the year 2004 with more than 3,500 eyecare practitioners certified to prescribe Paragon CRT for overnight Corneal Refractive Therapy.

Cooper Merge Final
According to a recent Cooper Companies, Inc. press release, the Federal Trade Commission has completed its review of the proposed merger between Cooper and Ocular Sciences, Inc. On January 6, Cooper announced that its merger with Ocular Sciences had closed, at which time Cooper paid approximately $600 million in cash and issued approximately 10.7 million shares of its common stock to Ocular Sciences stockholders and options holders.

New Vision Testing System May Hold Promise for Pre-Verbal Children
According to the clinical results of a new study published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a new pediatric vision test, the Enfant Pediatric Vision Testing system, shows 97% sensitivity in detecting vision deficits in children as young as six months of age. The system is a non-invasive, child-friendly medical device that tests for visual deficits using Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) technology, records the brain's response to light and can detect vision problems such as amblyopia, early in a child's life when these conditions are correctable. To learn more about this system, visit

Abstract: A Look at Polymegethism and Pleomorphism in Lens Wear
To investigate whether discontinuation of low-Dk GP lens wear leads to an improvement of corneal endothelial cell morphology, researchers made noncontact specular photographs of the central corneal endothelium in 66 patients (14 male and 52 female, mean age 37.78.4, range 24.6-69.0) at the time of discontinuation and at least five years after discontinuation of low-Dk GP contact lens wear. They calculated cell density and parameters for polymegethism and pleomorphism by computer analysis of endothelial photographs. The researchers refit 61 patients with rigid high-Dk GP contact lenses or high-water content soft lenses and five patients switched to spectacle wear. The corneal endothelial cell morphology improved significantly on cessation of low-GP lens wear, but the values didn't return to levels observed in normal, non-contact lens wearing individuals. They concluded that endothelial polymegethism and pleomorphism caused by PMMA or HEMA lens wear is partly reversible.
Odenthal MT, Gan IM, Oosting J, Kijlstra A, Beekhuis WH. Long-Term Changes in Corneal Endothelial Morphology After Discontinuation of Low-Gas Permeable Contact Lens Wear. Cornea 2005 Jan;24(1):32-38.

Editor's Commentary: 2004 Annual Report
There were many great advances in the contact lens field in 2004 and we expect many more in 2005. Read "2004 Annual Report" in this month's Contact Lens Spectrum (page 26) for a summary of these expected advances.

Fitting Tip: O.D.s Should Decide CL Wear Schedules
I see in your tips that many practitioners go on about how often we reinforce to our patients the frequency of replacing contact lenses. In your last tip (CLToday, December 26, 2004), Dr. Kessen stresses the point of replacing lenses fortnightly. In my 40 years of fitting contact lenses (GP, soft, etc.), I've never given up my rights to recommend a modality to an individual patient. So what the manufacturer recommends on the packet has nothing to do with my patients. I'll assign them their own modality according to their own personal case. I take into account a patient's work and living environment, their profession, hobbies and skin type and I prescribe and recommend specific schedules for every individual patient. I'd like to see all manufacturers include on their packs, "as recommended by your doctor or fitter." Doing so will give you and only you the advantage to adjust the time between changes just as the doctor adjusts the dose and frequency of administering the appropriate medicine.
--Adolfos Kanneti, Optometrist

This month at, read about worldwide differences in silicone hydrogel fitting and wearing patterns, the effectiveness of eye drops when it comes to comfort with these lenses, and possible reasons for the shift in refractive error reported to occur with contact lens wear.

Report adverse contact lens reactions here: or call (800) FDA-1088.

Access a reporting form for complications you've seen that were a result of contact lenses dispensed without a valid prescription at the Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry's (ARBO's) Web site: Complete and send the form online or print it out and fax it to (866) 886-6164.

Send your favorite tips to -- if your tip is selected as 'Best of the Month,' you'll receive a free golf shirt (see for details). Please include your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.
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