August 3, 2003

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

Legislative Efforts Reveal Concern About Children's Vision
U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) recently introduced the Children's Vision Improvement and Learning Readiness Act of 2003 (HR 2173). If fully enacted, HR 2173 would provide states with funding each year to increase the number of children that receive a comprehensive eye exam.
Vision Council of America (VCA) is urging O.D.s to ask their representatives in Washington to cosponsor HR 2173. Currently 10 members of Congress had already agreed to cosponsor the Act.

In related news, the American Optometric Association's (AOA's) House of Delegates recently passed a resolution that addresses the need for the early detection and treatment of children's vision problems by placing "added emphasis on the care of infants" and resolves that "the AOA encourages all doctors of optometry, where permitted by law and regulation, to participate in InfantSEE by providing a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no cost, charitable public health service." This resolution is expected to become effective in September when the AOA Judicial Council rules on it.

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Wise and Gelflex Sign Distributor Agreement
Wise Optical has signed an exclusive agreement with Gelflex Laboratories to distribute Gelflex's complete line of contact lenses, which include soft and GP contact lenses as well as the Triton Translating Bifocal Soft Contact Lens.

CIBA Products Cleared for Added Indication
The FDA just cleared CIBA Vision's AOSept Clear Care and SOLO-care Plus lens care solutions to add a specific indication for use with silicone hydrogel contact lenses. According to CIBA, its AOSept Clear Care product is the first and only no-rub, peroxide-based formula in the United States to gain clearance for this indication.

Abstract: Analyzing the Post Lens Tear Film Thickness During Lens Wear
Ten subjects (mean age 30.2 +/-8.6 years; seven males) wore balafilcon A silicone hydrogel contact lenses in both eyes for a study investigating the effect of eye closure on the thickness of the post lens tear film during silicone hydrogel contact lens wear. Researchers measured reflectance spectra (562nm to 1030nm) and derived the thickness of the post lens tear film from the "frequency" of the oscillations. They took six baseline measures of post lens tear film thickness, followed by eye closure in the supine position for 30 minutes. They measured post lens tear film thickness after five and 15 minutes of eye closure and took one measure of post lens tear film thickness every minute for an additional 15 minutes after 30 minutes of eye closure. They concluded that the post lens tear film thickness is rapidly reduced by eye closure during contact lens wear and that after 30 minutes of eye closure, the post lens tear film thickness may be reduced to values less than 1Ám for the first several minutes after opening the eyes.
Nichols, JJ; King-Smith, PE. "The Effect of Eye Closure on the Post-Lens Tear Film Thickness During Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lens Wear." Cornea. 2003 Aug;22(6):539-544.

Editor's Commentary: For the Children's Vision
HR 2173, the Children's Vision Improvement and Learning Readiness Act of 2003, was introduced on May 20 by Rep. Pascrell (D-NJ). Numerous optometry organizations and colleagues I know believe that support for comprehensive eye examinations in children before elementary school is a must. Others disagree. Although I'm not a big fan of unfunded federal mandates, I believe that improving the visual well being of our children is a high priority. They need the comprehensive eye examinations until a better system is proven effective. Until then we need to figure out how to pay for this to prevent eye conditions and diseases that retard learning.

Fitting Tip: Reach Out and E-mail Someone
I've been able to shorten my number of follow-up visits and avoid playing phone tag by using e-mail. I ask my patients to give me feedback via e-mail regarding whatever we may be testing. Approximately 80% of my patients use e-mail routinely. Sometimes the patient needs just a few more days to try out a new prescription or to judge the comfort of a new lens. They love being able to "talk" to me at their convenience. I check my e-mail twice a day -- once in the morning and once in the evening. Patients have now gotten in the habit of writing to me with any questions they may have in between routine visits.
-- Ellie Hattori, O.D.
Monterey, Calif.

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