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Sunday, July 26, 2015  
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Editor's Commentary - Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO

Myopia control has certainly become a mainstream topic of interest in the contact lens industry, with some very promising results showing substantial reductions in the rate of myopia progression. Aside from certain pharmaceuticals with unwanted side effects (antimuscarinics), contact lenses such as certain multifocal designs that correct peripheral retinal defocus are of major interest. In the United States, there are currently no FDA cleared contact lenses with this indication, but it is clear that the contact lens industry is keen to become active in this segment of the market.

SynergEyes Names Ferrigno Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing

SynergEyes, Inc. has appointed Bob Ferrigno as the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing, a move which became effective July 20, 2015. In this newly created position, Bob will be responsible for sales, marketing, professional relations and the international group. Dave Fancher, previous VP of Sales, will move into the position of VP of Corporate Development.

Previous to joining SynergEyes, Ferrigno most recently served as the President of North America for CooperVision. Prior to CooperVision, Ferrigno was with Becton Dickinson (BD), a global medical technology company, for 32 years. During his career with BD he held numerous positions with increasing levels of responsibility including vice president of global expansion, vice president of global strategic marketing and vice president of research and development. In addition, Ferrigno served 12 years in general management positions, including having responsibilities for the European pre-analytical systems business unit in the United Kingdom, and as general manager for international business for the company's women's health and cancer business.

Alcon Launches Air Optix Colors Technician Education Salon Training Program

Alcon has announced the launch of an all-new Air Optix Colors Education Salon designed for contact lens technicians. This comprehensive training program provides participants with the knowledge, tools and confidence to succeed with Air Optix Colors contact lenses.

Upon successful completion of the Air Optix Colors Education Salon program, participants will receive an Air Optix Colors Advisor certificate of completion, a digital badge and an on-going e-newsletter with best practices from fellow Advisors. The program is free of charge and available at and through live sessions at Vision Expo West on September 17 and East West Eye Conference on October 1.

The Air Optix Colors Education Salon consists of interactive educational modules on the science behind Air Optix Colors, how to access the unmet demand for eye color options, how to help patients choose Air Optix Colors contact lenses in just the right color for them, how to use the online Air Optix Colors Color Studio virtual try-on tool to increase patient options and reduce in-office selection time, and how to enhance patient satisfaction and grow your practice through the power and beauty of Air Optix Colors contact lenses.

Allergan Notes Receipt of Paragraph IV Notification on Restasis

Allergan plc confirmed that the Company has received a notice letter dated July 10, 2015 (the "Notice Letter") from Akorn Pharmaceuticals stating that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received Akorn's Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) containing a "Paragraph IV" patent certification seeking approval to market a generic version of Allergan's Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05% product. In addition, Allergan has received communication suggesting that additional ANDAs for generic versions of Restasis may have been received by the FDA.

The Notice Letter received from Akorn states that the "Paragraph IV" patent certification was made with respect to certain U.S. patents covering the formulation and method of use of the Restasis product, which are listed in the FDA's Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, commonly known as the Orange Book. According to the Company, Allergan has five Orange Book-listed patents covering Restasis that are scheduled to expire in August 2024.

Allergan is highly confident in its intellectual property rights relating to Restasis and intends to vigorously enforce such rights in all applicable venues.

GSLS 2016 Papers/Posters Submission Deadline Is August 31

Plan now to attend the 10th Global Specialty Lens Symposium to be held January 21 – 24, 2016 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Nevada. This meeting will include insightful presentations by international experts in the field, hands-on demonstrations of cutting-edge products and valuable continuing education credits.

The Program Committee of the GSLS invites the submission of Papers and Posters. Papers and abstracts related to presbyopia, keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, myopia control, orthokeratology and lens care topics are welcome.

To submit a photo for the photo contest, submit up to two (2) photographic images in the following anterior segment categories: Contact Lens and Cornea/Conjunctiva/Lids. Contestants also will be able to submit images obtained utilizing such equipment as OCT, topographers, etc.

Visit for more information. Web submissions only. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2015.


ABB Optical Group’s Second Annual ABB Cares Program

ABB Optical Group will begin accepting applications for its second annual ABB Cares program on Monday, August 3. Designed to recognize outstanding community organizations across the country, eye care professionals are invited to nominate non-profits for grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

Five organizations will be selected as recipients of an ABB Cares grant. ABB Optical Group will award one Platinum grant of $5,000, two Gold grants of $2,500 each and two Silver grants of $1,000, each to organizations that have a demonstrated, positive impact on their local communities.

Organizations do not need to focus on eye health to qualify. To be considered as a grant recipient, all candidates must comply with the following:

  • The organization must be a 501(c)(3) organization and provide proof of this status.
  • The organization's local office must be within 30 miles of the nominating practice's primary location.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted online.
  • The deadline to submit an application is 11:59 pm on Monday, August 31.

For more information or to submit an application, visit

Visionary Optics Streamlines Invoicing

Visionary Optics, the manufacturer of the Jupiter, Europa and Elara brand of scleral contact lenses, announces the company’s new streamlined Invoice / Credit Memo Process. Your first invoice will continue to be the full order charge and no credit memo will be issued. Any additional invoices, of equal or lesser value, within the 90 day warranty period will reflect only shipping charges and any applicable additional charges, including but not limited to toricity, notching, diameter increase and tinting. This was designed to enhance the warranty policy that offers unlimited exchanges within 90 days and no need to return your lenses for exchanges. The company is confident that, with this new streamlined system, they can reduce and ultimately eliminate the guesswork from account reconciliation. For additional information, contact Visionary Optics at 1-877-533-1509 or

Revo Partners with Bono to Fight Vision Impairment and Unnecessary Blindness:
Brien Holden Vision Institute to Implement Program with Local Partners

Eyewear brand Revo and U2 lead singer Bono announced a partnership to help prevent vision impairment and blindness in more than 5 million people by 2020. The initiative, dubbed “Buy Vision, Give Sight,” will drive $10 million to the fight to improve access to eye screening, prescription glasses and eye health care in under-resourced communities around the world.

When a consumer purchases a new pair of Revo sunglasses, $10 from the sale of every pair, up to a total of $10 million, will be donated by Revo to the “Buy Vision, Give Sight” initiative. To execute the initiative, Revo and Bono are partnering with the non-profit Brien Holden Vision Institute. The funds donated by Revo to the Brien Holden Vision Institute will help pay for basic eye care services and build stronger eye care services in target communities for the longer term by training local people to provide eye care and detect eye diseases in their communities. The majority of Revo’s contribution to Brien Holden will support their “Our Children’s Vision” campaign whose aim is to prevent impaired vision and preventable blindness in more than 50 million children by 2020. A portion of the “Buy Vision, Give Sight” funds will also be used for eye health medical research.

Bono, who has a long track record in global health, particularly as an activist in the fight against HIV/AIDS, was diagnosed with glaucoma 20 years ago. His experience with glaucoma, for which he has been able to receive excellent treatment, has made him determined to find a way to increase access to frontline eye health services for others. The U2 singer will appear in Revo advertisements and campaign materials supporting the initiative.

ASCO Announces Special Recognition Award Recipients

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) announced the recipients of the 2015 Special Recognition Awards.

  • ASCO Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Alfred A. Rosenbloom, former Dean and President of the Illinois College of Optometry, was posthumously given the ASCO Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • ASCO Rising Star Award: This award is given to an outstanding faculty member or administrator with less than 10 years of service. Dr. Todd Peabody was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the Indiana University, School of Optometry.
  • Dr. Jack Bennett Innovation in Optometric Education Award: Dr. Mark Colip received the award in recognition of his outstanding work as an ASCO volunteer since the 1990’s focusing on analysis of applicant pool trends and data leading to the formulation of applicant development action plans to increase and diversify the national applicant pool.
  • ASCO Ophthalmic Industry Leadership Award: The Inaugural Industry Leadership Awardee is Mr. Dave Sattler, former Director of Professional Relations at Alcon. Mr. Sattler retired from Alcon in 2014 after 28 years of service.
  • Dr. Lester Janoff Award for Writing Excellence: The recipients are: Denise Goodwin, OD, FAAO and John R. Hayes, PhD both with Pacific University College of Optometry; and Len Koh, PhD, OD, of Midwestern University, Arizona College of Optometry.
  • Student Award in Clinical Ethics: Optometry student Molly Spatcher (New England College of Optometry class of 2015) won the award for her essay entitled, “Going Nuclear: An Ethical Dilemma in Optometric Care.”

For more information on these awards and their recipients, visit

Advanced Keratoconic Cornea with Hydrops
Edward Boshnick, OD, Miami, FL

This is an advanced keratoconic cornea with hydrops. Over a 3-year period, this patient visited several corneal specialists who recommended corneal transplant surgery. This eye was unable to tolerate any GP lens prior to visiting our office. We fit this eye with a 15.6 mm scleral lens which allows the eye to see 20/40+ with all day comfort. Uncorrected VA is less than 20/800. Best spectacle correction is less than 20/400.

We thank Dr. Boshnick for this image and we welcome photo submissions from our other readers! It is easy to submit a photo for consideration for publishing in Contact Lenses Today. Simply visit to upload your image. Please include an explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.

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Susan J. Gromacki, OD, MS, FAAO

Contact Lenses and Swimming

Ah, summertime. It is the season for backyard barbeques, trips to the beach, and, of course, swimming. This brings about a topic well-known to those of us who fit contact lenses. That is, why swimming (as well as all water activities, like showering and using hot tubs) while wearing contact lenses is considered off-limits.

Most of our patients know that they should not swim in their contact lenses, but many of them do not understand why. This disconnect leads to some of them swimming in their lenses anyway. These patients can and should be properly educated regarding the potential ramifications of their behavior.

Any water we swim in, including tap, contains microorganisms. These include bacteria and viruses, but the most devastating is Acanthamoeba. This free-flowing microorganism is ubiquitous in water and can easily transfer from water to lens to case, where it replicates and then can be transferred from the contact lens to the cornea. Many commercial contact lens disinfecting solutions are ineffective once the microbe enters its cystic form.1-3 Although infection remains rare (because an opening in the cornea must exist), when it occurs, it can be blinding. Even after full resolution, the average resulting visual acuity is 20/50,4-5 with more than 50% of eyes requiring corneal transplantation.6

For those patients who “need” to wear contact lenses while swimming, recommend air-tight goggles. Since this is difficult to ensure, a better alternative is to fit the patients with daily disposable contact lenses just for swimming—and educate them remove their lenses as soon as they leave the pool.7

1. Lonnan J, Heaselgrave W, Nomachi M et al. Disinfection efficacy and encystment rate of soft contact lens multipurpose solutions against Acanthamoeba. Eye Contact Lens. 2010 Jan;36(1):26-32.
2. Johnston SP, Sriram R, Qvarnstrom Y et al. Resistance of Acanthamoeba cysts to disinfection in multiple contact lens solutions. J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Jul;47(7):2040-2045.
3. Shoff M, Rogerson A, Schatz S, Seal D. Variable responses of Acanthamoeba strains to three multipurpose lens cleaning solutions. Optom Vis Sci. 2007 Mar;84(3):202-207.
4. Kaiserman I, Bahar I, McAllum P et al. Prognostic factors in Acanthamoeba keratitis. Can J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jun;47(3):312-17.
5. Stapleton F, Ozkan J, Jalbert I, et al. Contact lens-related Acanthamoeba keratitis. Optom Vis Sci. 2009 Oct;86(10):E1196-2001.
6. Beata Kettesy, Laszlo Modis Jr., Andras Berta and Adam Kemeny-Beke (2012). Keratoplasty in Contact Lens Related Acanthamoeba Keratitis, Keratoplasties - Surgical techniques and complications, Dr. Luigi Mosca (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-809-0, InTech, Available from:
7. Gromacki SJ. Contact Lenses and Swimming: A Compliance Lesson. In Care Solution Corner, Contact Lenses Today. 2012 August 26.

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David Kading, OD, FAAO

I Want Things My Way

When we had only GP lenses for our custom patients, it was amazing what things we could accomplish with a simple base curve or diameter change. Now with hybrid, custom soft, and scleral lenses, those simple modifications seem somewhat archaic in ways because we know how much better our patients might be. Particularly with displaced irregularity that is not centered, the advent of other lens types can bring about better centration and better clarity of vision. If you have happy patients who have been in their current lens technology for years, but the fit is not what you would consider perfect, consider a refit. Although it can be tempting to continue a “fine” patient in their current technology, the benefits of new lens designs and types may change the perception of good for the patient. Realizing that new technology isn’t always better, we may not know that for sure unless we try it out. Happy Fitting.

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Feasibility of Custom-Made Hydrogel Contact Lenses in Keratoconus with Previous Implantation of Intracorneal Ring Segments

These researchers wanted to analyze the feasibility of a custom-made hydrogel silicone contact lens (CL) in keratoconus with intracorneal ring segments (ICRS) and to compare outcomes taking in consideration the geometry of the fitted lens-full periphery (FP) vs. sector management control (SMC).

A retrospective review of cases with previous KeraRings ICRS implantation and subsequently fitted with Kerasoft-IC CL was performed. The main outcome measurements were corrected spectacle distance visual acuity (CDVA), differences between flat and steep simulated keratometries (K-diff) and between steep and flat P values (CPV-diff), CL visual acuity (CLVA), wearing time (WT) and complications associated with wear.

Thirty eyes of 22 patients and a follow-up time of 10.3±2.3 months were reviewed. Statistically significant improvement was observed between LogMAR CDVA and CLVA (0.25±0.19 vs. 0.04±0.05; P<0.0001). WT was 11.2h±1.2. Two eyes with mild corneal staining and another two with mild injection were noted. Twenty SMC designs were recorded and associated with lower levels of CDVA (0.36±0.22 vs. 0.18±0.10; P=0.006), CLVA (0.06±0.05 vs. 0.01±0.03; P=0.03), and larger amounts of CPV-diff (2.31±1.86 vs. 1.03±1.11; P=0.02) than those eyes fitted with FP designs. No statistical differences were found in the amount of K-diff and WT between both sub-groups.

The authors concluded that fitting custom-made hydrogel silicone CL in keratoconus with ICRS is a feasible treatment with low rate of complications and adequate visual acuity and WT.

Fernández-Velázquez FJ, Fernández-Fidalgo MJ. Feasibility of custom-made hydrogel contact lenses in keratoconus with previous implantation of intracorneal ring segments. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015 Jun 5. pii: S1367-0484(15)00087-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2015.03.016. [Epub ahead of print]

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