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Sunday, August 23, 2015  
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Editor's Commentary - Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO

For the past few years, we have observed some increases in the recommendation and/or use of hydrogen peroxide based care solutions. In fact, in 2014 our market research showed that 25% of you were recommending hydrogen peroxide based care solutions ( For many years, practitioners would recommend hydrogen peroxide for patients with “problems” with chemically-based care solutions, but perhaps these data suggest otherwise. We would like to hear your thoughts on this—in what type of contact lens patients are you using hydrogen peroxide based care systems? Please send us your thoughts at

New National Survey: Nearly All Contact Lens Wearers Report Risky Eye Care Behaviors

Almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses.

More than 99% of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:

  • Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3%);
  • "Topping off" solution in the case—adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%); or
  • Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2%).

Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more.

An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. According to the CDC statement, taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.

Click here to review the complete report.

Poll Reveals Concerns of Contact Lens Consumers

A national online consumer opinion survey reveals that contact lens wearers say they are concerned about the potential for increased risks not only to their visual health but to the privacy of their personal data that could arise from online purchase of contact lenses.

The See Clearly America survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Public Opinion Strategies (POS). POS is one of the nation’s leading public opinion research firms, specializing in corporate and public policy research. From August 11 to August 13, 2015, POS conducted 500 online interviews among a representative sample of contact lens wearing Americans ages 18 and older. (Margin of error is plus or minus 4.38 percentage points.)

The just completed survey found that nearly 75% of contact lens consumers feel it is riskier to obtain their contact lenses from online and other sources rather than from their local eye doctor. Also, less than 10% of contact lens consumers say they believe their personal health information is more likely to be properly safeguarded by online and other sources rather than their family eye doctor.

In addition, the survey found that 89% of contact lens consumers said their family eye care doctor provides the most personalized service and cares the most about a patient’s eye health. Furthermore, 93% of contact lens wearers said that their family eye doctor was the best source of information when it came to caring for contact lenses and preventing related eye health problems.

Still Time to Submit GSLS 2016 Papers/Posters – 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.


IACLE Announces New Contact Lens Course

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators revealed its new IACLE Contact Lens Course (ICLC), a comprehensive high-quality program for educators and their students compiled by the world’s leading authorities in contact lenses. The full revision and updating of the ICLC was announced at the 1st World Congress of Optometry in Medellin, Colombia.

The ICLC is the longest established, most popular and most important of IACLE’s teaching resources, and is used by its members in educational institutions worldwide. In its previous form, the course comprised 10 modules and a total of 55 lectures. The New ICLC will cover all aspects of contact lens education – from the anatomy of the cornea to the business of contact lens practice – in just five modules and 30 lectures in PowerPoint format. The new modules are: The Basics of Contact Lenses, Contact Lens Fitting, Contact Lens Care, Complications, and Advanced Contact Lens Practice.

IACLE Director of Educational Programs Nilesh Thite explained that feedback from educators has led to a complete restructuring of the course; a major revamp to keep pace with developments in the contact lens field and to make the flow more logical and user friendly.

Almost half of the revised lectures have already been completed and further lectures will be rolled out during other events in each of IACLE’s three global regions: Academy 2015 in New Orleans, USA (October 7-10), Asia Pacific Optometric Congress (October 8-11) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Netherlands Contact Lens Congress (March 13-14, 2016).

For more on the ICLC and authors, visit IACLE members will have exclusive access to the new ICLC.

Blanchard Adds New Team Members

Blanchard Contact Lenses announced that Amy Chow has been appointed Account Manager covering Ontario and Beth Innarelli will be providing Sales and Marketing support for the company in the U.S. and Canada.

Chow is an eye care professional who received her diploma in Opticianry from Seneca College, as well as a degree in science from the University of Waterloo and in broadcast journalism from Ryerson University. Chow worked as a licensed Dispensing Optician. She is particularly interested in specialty contact lenses, with a distinct interest in orthokeratology and GP/sclerals lens fittings.

Innarelli brings with her 13 years of marketing experience including social media, event planning and account management. Prior to Blanchard, she had been PR and Event Manager at m5 Marketing Communications, as well as at the New Hampshire Bank.

Scleral Lens Success
Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Sacramento, CA

The image shows a successful scleral lens on a patient with a history of high myopia (-15.00 each eye) prior to a 16 incision radial keratotomy and LASIK in each eye. She presented with fluctuating vision throughout the day and irregular astigmatism. Scleral lenses have provided clear and comfortable vision in each eye. 20/25 vision was obtained in each eye, and 20/20-2 vision binocular vision was achieved. Scleral lens parameters OD / 7.03 / -17.00 / 15.4 / 8.0 / sag 4.64 and OS / 7.03 / -14.12 / 15.4 / 8.0 / sag 4.64.

We thank Dr. Barnett 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

CDC Contact Lens Health Week

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with its partner organizations, has announced its 2nd annual Contact Lens Health Week, August 24-28, 2015.

This year’s version, entitled, “Healthy habits mean healthy eyes,” targets teenagers and their parents. The goal is to instill healthy contact lens hygiene habits at a young age that can be reinforced over time. This includes the proper use, care, and storage of contact lenses and supplies as well as regular visits to an eye care provider.

The website is already up and running and contains information for both patients and practitioners. For the latter, this includes free educational posters and tear-off pads; buttons and banners; infographics; podcasts, mobile apps; a social media library; and CDC web features. For more information, visit

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David Kading, OD, FAAO

We Are Living in a Material World and I Am a GP Material…Guy

The first contact lenses were made of simple, pure glass. In the late 19th century, Eugene Kalt wore one of the first contact lenses, made of blown glass into “contact shells,” which were comparable in size to today’s scleral lenses. While these early lenses helped improve vision for the first time without use of spectacles, the 0 Dk, heavy weight, and risk of ocular damage with lens breakage left the industry primed for new materials. Scientists developed polymethylacrylate (PMMA) in the early 1900s, making excellent optics in a light, sturdy material available for the first time through commercial manufacturing. PMMA’s largest downfall, though, was its lack of oxygen transmissibility, which led to a reduction in lens diameter to allow for tear fluid exchange. Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB) and Fluorocarbons were next in the rigid lens material evolution, but the struggle to balance oxygen permeability and lens wettability still plagued them with corneal health and lens comfort issues. Today’s modern rigid lens materials finally balance higher Dk values with improved surface treatments through use of silicone and fluorine as fluorosilicone acrylates (FSA) and is currently the first choice when choosing a rigid lens material. For patients sensitive to silicone or who are heavy depositors, choosing lower Dk (lower silicone content) FSA materials often improve wearability.

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Effects of Osmoprotective Eye Drops on Tear Osmolarity in Contact Lens Wearers

The researchers’ objective was to evaluate the impact of osmoprotective eye drops on tear osmolarity and patient comfort, and to compare its efficacy with a commercially available lubricant in contact lens (CL) wearers.

This was a prospective, cross-sectional study. Forty eyes of 20 first-time CL wearers were included.

Tear osmolarity measurements using TearLab osmolarity system were performed in each eye of subjects at 8 am, and 2, 4, and 8 hours after that on the first and second days, and at 12:00 on the third day and eighth days. On the second day and afterward, all eyes were fitted Purevision 2 (Bausch & Lomb) soft CLs. Subjects instilled Optive (Allergan) osmoprotective eye drops into their 1 eye (group 1) and Refresh tears (Allergan) eye drops into their other eyes (group 2) after 2 hours of CL wear on the third day and afterward. Ocular comfort with eye drops was also assessed.

There were no significant differences between the tear osmolarity measurements of the groups on the first day. On the second day, osmolarity significantly increased from baseline after 4 hours of CL wear (p < 0.05) but returned to baseline after 8 hours of CL wear (p > 0.05) in both groups. Tear osmolarity measurements of group 1 were significantly lower than those of group 2 on the third and eighth days (both p < 0.05). The mean comfort scores were significantly higher in group 1.

The researchers concluded that tear osmolarity increases within the first hours of CL wear, and instillation of osmoprotective eye drops prevents this increment in patients wearing CLs.

Aslan Bayhan S, Bayhan HA, Muhafiz E, Bekdemir S, Gürdal C. Effects of osmoprotective eye drops on tear osmolarity in contact lens wearers. Can J Ophthalmol. 2015 Aug;50(4):283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2015.03.008.

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