March 4, 2007

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches more than 12,000 readers in 74 countries.

1-800-CONTACTS Consolidates Manufacturing
1-800-CONTACTS will close its ClearLab manufacturing operations in Plymouth, U.K. and consolidate operations in Singapore. The decision follows an extensive company review of ClearLab’s manufacturing operations. The review revealed that ClearLab had been sustaining, and was expected to continue to sustain, significant quarterly losses and cash outflows and that both of ClearLab’s operations were operating at approximately 50% capacity. 1-800 anticipates a significant reduction in unit manufacturing costs as a result of the consolidation. It expects to complete the U.K. site closure in the first quarter of 2007 and anticipates all manufacturing activity to be consolidated in Singapore by the end of the third quarter.

Alcon Research Institute Honors Leading Scientists
The independent selection committee of Alcon Research Institute (ARI), a subsidiary of Alcon Inc., announced the 2007 awardees recognized for their outstanding research contributions to the field of ophthalmology. Winners are awarded a $100,000 unrestricted grant to further their research endeavors. The 2007 winners are:
• Rando Allkmets, Ph.D., of Columbia University’s Harkness Eye Institute.
• Dimitri Azar, M.D., of the University of Illinois in Chicago
• Paulus de Long, M.D., Ph.D., of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam
• Paul Lee, M.D., J.D., James Pitzer Gills, III and Joy Gills, of Duke University’s Albert Eye Research Institute in Durham, N.C.
• Lois Smith, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston
• Bernhard H.F. Weber, Ph.D., of the University of Regensburg in Germany.

AOA Offers “New in Practice” Courses
The American optometric Association (AOA) will offer its latest “New in Practice” courses at Optometry’s Meeting in Boston on June 30, 2007. The Panel of Expert series is designed for O.D.s who have been in practice for less than 10 years and is sponsored by a grant from CIBA Vision. There are four courses in the series including Billing & Coding, Setting up an Optical, financial management and new technologies in optometric care. Attendees may register for one or more courses at

A Confident Choice ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ Brand Contact Lenses for ASTIGMATISM are the # 1 astigmatic lenses for new wearers. Eye Care Professionals surveyed said the comfort level of ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ Brand for ASTIGMATISM was superior to other lens designs, and they also gave it high marks for its average settle time of 53 seconds. In a survey of more than 200 ECPs participating in a market test, 99% rated the lens very good to excellent for ease of fit; and 98% agreed the rotational stability and predictable orientation of ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ for ASTIGMATISM was very good to excellent. With the increased comfort, ease of fit and the highest UV protection available, ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ for ASTIGMATISM is designed to quickly give you complete confidence in your first choice lens. And now, ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ for ASTIGMATISM meets more patients' needs with the introduction of -2.25 cylinder.

Vistakon to Launch Campaign on Night Driving
Vistakon will launch a new national T.V. campaign for its Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism contact lenses that focuses on night driving, a problem astigmats often report. The ads will begin the week of March 5th and provide a demonstration of the lenses’ accelerated stabilization design, which the company says harnesses the natural pressures of the blink to balance the lens in place and realign the lens if it rotates out of position.
    The company has also launched an interactive website at, which features a self-diagnostic tool and an offer for a free trial pair of Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism (professional fees not included), as well as Click-to-be-Contacted, the company’s online service that provides patient an easy way to schedule a contact lens exam.

Glaucoma Research Foundation Provides Pilot Study Grants
The Glaucoma Research Foundation will provide a total of $200,000 to fund five pilot projects. Pilot program awardees receive $40,000 each and include:
• Ruth Ashery-Padan, Ph.D., of Tel Aviv University
• Donald J. Brown, Ph.D., of the University of California, Irvine
• Christopher A Girkin, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the University of Alabama, Birmingham
• Sharon A. Haymes, Ph.D., Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada
• Brian A. Link, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month
Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has designated March as Workplace Eye Health and Safety month. PBA says 90% of all job-related eye injuries can be prevented by wearing the proper protection. The group has also created the Wise Owl Eye Safety Recognition program, which recognizes companies and individuals who have saved vision through dedication to eye protection.

Abstract: Silicone Hydrogel vs. Hydrogel CLs
Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University recently conducted a study in which they compare the clinical performance of a biweekly silicone hydrogel lens and a biweekly hydrogel lens worn for daily wear modality. They recruited 33 non-presbyopic, asymptomatic and adapted soft lens wearers who wore a silicone hydrogel lens in one eye and a hydrogel lens in the other for one month. Lenses were replaced every two weeks. Investigators assessed contact lens fitting, pre-lens tear film thinning time, vision, corneal integrity and lens deposits before the study and every two weeks. A questionnaire was used to measure subjective performance.
    Thirty of the 33 subjects completed the study. Researchers found no significant differences in lens fitting, pre-lens tear film thinning time, vision or corneal integrity between the two lens types. Statistically, no significant difference was seen between the two lens types, but researchers note that silicone hydrogel lenses tended to have more Grade 3 to 4 lipid deposits. Subjects found no significant differences in terms of vision and comfort. Preference for silicone hydrogel lenses increased from 33% at the first follow-up to 50% at the second.
    They conclude that the performance of silicone hydrogel and hydrogel lenses is comparable but the former tends to build up more lipid deposits. They did not find better performance in terms of ocular integrity with silicone hydrogel lenses, likely because the subjects were adapted, asymptomatic lens wearers. They note that contact lens wearers with hypoxia-related problems may benefits from using silicone hydrogel lenses as they provide more oxygen than conventional hydrogel lenses.
Cheung SW, Cho P, Chan B, Choy C, Ng V. A comparative study of biweekly disposable contact lenses: silicone hydrogel versus hydrogel. Clin Exp Optom. 2007 Mar;90(2):124-31.

Editor's Commentary: Eye Safety at Work and Play
We can agree on the value of safety glasses in places such as the manufacturing plant and the auto service industry and even in racket sports. And we probably don't give enough credit to the protection that sunglasses — and some would argue contact lenses — offer against UV radiation. And many studies have shown, beyond some situations where chemical exposure may be an issue, contact lenses serve more often as a protective device than one that adds to injury in the workplace and at play on the court or on the field. But we should caution patients never to think the contact lens is enough if safety glasses are required or indicated.
In last week's news story “Jury Finds CIBA Engaged in False Advertising” the last sentence should have read as follows: The jury awarded J&J about $150,000 and required that J&J pay CIBAVision's court costs. CLToday regrets this error.

Email to the Editor
Dear Dr. Barr,
I was surprised to read your Editor's Commentary in the 2/25/07 CLToday email newsletter. In one short paragraph you casually dismissed the findings of a jury that undoubtedly endured an extremely technical trial, gave tacit support to CIBA Vision's false advertising, dismissed the collective findings of numerous industry researchers and their work regarding oxygen transmission and safe daily wear, and eluded to unsubstantiated "clinical complications" that apparently derive from any Dk/t less than 90. Of course oxygen matters, but the endless diatribe about super high Dk misses the point. It seems obvious to me that the real challenges to healthy contact lens wear continue to be overnight wear, poor solution/lens combinations and poor patient care compliance.
Tom Shone,
Sr. VP Strategic Marketing

This month at consider the value of measuring corneal oxygen consumption with Eric Papas and learn about the techniques involved. Read into the applications for oxygen transmissibility and how it can be a useful tool in practice. Review potentially damaging effects of lens surface friction with emphasis on the care of toric and multifocal lens wearers, and recognize the different types of upper lid-margin staining to determine variations in silicone hydrogel adaptation.

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.

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