May 18, 2003

Contact Lenses Today® is edited by Dr. Joseph T. Barr and the staff of Contact Lens Spectrum. This week CLToday® reaches 9,314 readers in 74 countries.

B&L Launches Ad in Multimillion-Dollar TV Campaign
Bausch & Lomb announced that it is launching a national TV advertising campaign for its new SofLens Multi-Focal contact lens, which will air on network and cable TV stations across the United States through the spring and summer. According to the company, the campaign is designed to raise consumer awareness of eye health, to introduce the company's SofLens Multi-Focal lenses as an alternative to reading glasses and to encourage consumers to visit their eye doctors.

STAAR ICL Awaiting Final FDA Approval
STAAR Surgical Company has submitted the final module of its Pre-Market Approval Submission for its Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) to the FDA. According to the company, the submission includes clinical data fulfilling the FDA's requirement for three-year clinical follow up. The current submission is for the correction of myopia in the range of -3.00D to -20.00D. Pending approval, STAAR will market the ICL in the United States.

Alcon's OPTI-FREE EXPRESS MPDS NO RUB Lasting Comfort Formula is the only PHMB-free multipurpose disinfecting solution that is safe for use with all soft lenses, including silicone hydrogels. OPTI-FREE EXPRESS is the No. 1 selling NO RUB solution.** It contains Tetronic 1304* -- a special wetting agent that attracts moisture to the surface of the lens, then helps keep it there so lenses feel fresh and comfortable -- even at the end of the day.
*Tetronic is a registered trademark of BASF.
** Based on AC Nielson Retail Tracking (Food, Drug, Mass excluding Wal-Mart, 52 weeks ending 3/15/03).


Two Hours of Daily Patching Improves Moderate Amblyopia
In a randomized, multicenter clinical trial, researchers assigned 189 amblyopic children (in the range of 20/40 to 20/80) younger than seven years to receive either two or six hours of daily patching combined with at least one hour each day of near visual activities. The investigators reported their results in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology and concluded that when combined with prescribing one hour of near visual activities, two hours of daily patching produces an improvement in visual acuity that is of similar magnitude to the improvement produced by six hours of daily patching in treating moderate amblyopia in children aged three to seven years.

In last week's issue, we unintentionally referred to the GOS as the Global Orthokeratology Society rather than by its correct name, the Global Orthokeratology Symposium. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Abstract: Latino Eye Health Education Needs Improving
Researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles screened 5,238 people for diabetes, high blood pressure and eye disease for the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study, which is funded by the National Eye Institute and includes men and woman over the age of 40 living in and around La Puente, California. Dr. Rohit Varma presented the study findings at the recent meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and reported that more than 90% of those surveyed were of Mexican-American descent and overall, 24% of those surveyed had diabetes. Of these, 29% didn't know they had the disease. Additionally, 38% had diabetic retinopathy and 88% of the people in the study had nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Editor's Commentary: GPs Don't Get Enough Respect
The two most complicated patients I saw this week were a keratoconus patient and a bilateral, post-penetrating keratoplasty patient. Neither patient would be able to function well visually without their GP lenses. We use these lenses for irregular, diseased corneas because we know they're safe. Too often, because soft toric lenses have become so much improved, GP lenses are underused for many astigmats. And GP high Dk lenses are as safe for extended wear than our most advanced soft extended wear lenses. GP lenses -- too much like Rodney Dangerfield!

Fitting Tip: Looking After Your Patients' Best Interests
When evaluating a successful and established soft contact lens wearer, I ask if she likes to go camping during the summer. If she does, then I'll suggest the use of one-day lenses as an alternative to taking heavy bottles of solution or risking complications by not cleaning lenses as well as necessary. Most patients are grateful that I'm concerned enough about their eye health that I have taken the time to suggest this -- and none have complained about my attempting to "sell" them something.
--Rich Ryan, O.D., M.S.E., Spokane, Wash.

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