September 17, 2006

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.

Imperial Optical Releases Contact Lens Brand Demographics
Contact lens distributor Imperial Optical has published a white paper titled, "Contact Lens Brand Demographics: A Guide to Who Wants Which Brands," the first in the company's series of "Marketing Contact Lenses."
    The paper includes demographic data from consumers who conducted online searches for branded contact lenses including 1-Day Acuvue, Acuvue Oasys, Acuvue 2, Acuvue Advance (Vistakon), Biomedics 55, Proclear (CooperVision), Focus Dailies, Night & Day, O2 Optix (CIBA Vision) and PureVision (B&L). The list represents the top ten most frequently searched contact lens brands in July 2006 as reported by Overture. Register online at or call 1-800-367-8422 to get a free copy.

Americans Out of Focus on Vision Care
A new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of The Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care shows many adults do not prioritize eye care. It also shows a gap between vision care knowledge and behavior in certain ethnic groups. More than 3,700 adults responded to the nationwide "Americans' Attitudes and Perceptions About Vision Care" survey. More than 94% of respondents said that maintaining proper vision is an important priority and 74% agree that taking care of their eyes is as important as other health issues. But 14% said they do not have a regular eye care professional and 25% said that it has been more than two years since their last eye exam. What's more, 35% of parents reported their child has never seen an eye care professional.
    African Americans were most likely to strongly agree that maintaining proper vision is a priority (72%), but were also most likely to report not having a regular eye care professional (21%). More than 27% of Hispanic respondents strongly agreed that they are very concerned about worsening vision versus 15% over all. However, this group was least likely to have seen an eye care professional in the last year (43%). Among Asian Americans, 94% agreed that maintaining proper vision is important, but 36% said they do not need an eye exam unless they have a vision problem. This group was also least likely to believe that vision correction will improve activities such as driving and reading. Caucasians were most likely to report knowing what certain common vision problems are including myopia (79%) and presbyopia (34%). But, 25% have not seen an eye care professional in the last two years.
    Some additional findings from the survey: Only 38% of those 40 and older know what presbyopia is and 53% know that there are treatments available. Almost all respondents (98%) agreed that UV rays can damage their eyes, but 33% perhaps mistakenly believe that sunglasses alone can protect their eyes from UV ray damage. Caucasians (78%) were significantly more likely to say that they wear sunglasses than Asian Americans (66%), Hispanics (65%) and African Americans (54%).

Real-world feedback from eye care professionals now supports pre-launch claims of ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ Brand Contact Lenses for ASTIGMATISM. When compared to Soflens66® Toric, ACUVUE® ADVANCE™ for ASTIGMATISM clearly provides more predictable orientation and crisper, more stable vision; the advantage comes from the Accelerated Stabilization Design. Less lid interaction leads to superior performance versus the traditional prism-ballast design such as found in Soflens66® Toric. Also, because of HYDRACLEAR™ Technology, the lens delivers significantly better comfort both upon insertion and at the end of the day.

Global Keratoconus Congress OCTOBER 1 DEADLINE FOR PAPERS AND POSTERS The Educational Program Committee of the Global Keratoconus Congress invites the submission of abstracts for the Free Papers and Scientific Posters Competition to be held January 26-28, 2007 in Las Vegas. Papers and Posters related to keratoconus, corneal topography, post penetrating keratoplasty or related irregular corneal surface, gas permeable lens and lens care topics are welcome. Please visit for information

Optometry Giving Sight Issues Challenge to O.D.s
Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) challenges U.S. optometrists to implement a fund raising program on or before World Sight Day, October 12. Through the OGS Practice Giving Program, O.D.s would invite patients to add as little as a few dollars to their invoice as a donation to OGS, then match the patient donations. OGS creates local capacity to deliver sustainable, affordable eye care services in countries where none currently exist. To sign up for the program, e-mail

Crustacean Compound May Prevent Bacterial Infections
Researchers at Montana State University have found chitosan, a sugar found in the cells of crabs and shrimp, repel bacteria and yeast, preventing the microbes from forming biofilms, which account for up 65% of bacterial infections in the U.S. The material's antimicrobial activity is well known, but this is the first time its anti-biofilm activity has been described.
    The compound could be used to coat medical devices such as contact lenses and is said to act like a "bed of nails," stopping bacteria and yeast from colonizing on a given surface. The compound is already FDA-approved for staunching blood loss and is used in biomaterials and as a thickener in cosmetics.

Abstract: Cytotoxicity of Six Multipurpose Disinfecting Solutions
Japanese researchers recently conducted a study to assess and compare the cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of six multipurpose disinfecting contact lens solutions (MPDS); MeniCare Soft (Menicon), Complete Moisture Plus (AMO), Solo-Care Aqua (CIBA Vision), Opti-Free Express (Alcon), ReNu MultiPlus and ReNu MoistureLoc (B&L). Researchers inoculated 100 Chinese hamsters' fribroblast V79 cells with a medium and cultured them for 24 hours. After incubation, they removed the medium and added 2mL of each MPDS diluted with saline at concentrations of 1.25%, 2.5%, 5% and 10%. They also reintroduced the medium and incubated for another six days. They determined cytotoxicity in terms of the concentration of MPDS that suppresses colony formation and evaluated antimicrobial activity by means of the stand-alone contact lens disinfection test.
    Results showed MeniCare Soft and Complete Moisture Plus were not cytotoxic at any of the tested concentrations. The other MPDS rank as follows: Solo-Care Aqua Opti-Free Express < ReNu MultiPlus < ReNu MoistureLoc.
All MPDS met the primary criteria for the stand-alone test for bacterial species.
    Researchers found large differences in activity among the MPDS tested. They conclude that MPDS with identical concentrations of polyhexamethylene biguanide can behave differently depending on solution formulation. They also say MeniCare Soft showed effective antimicrobial activity and minimal cytotoxicity.
Santodomingo-Rubido J, Mori O, Kawaminami S. Cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of six multipurpose soft contact lens disinfecting solutions. Ophthal Physiol Opt. 2006;26(5):476-82.

Editor's Commentary: Keep Lens Cases Clean
Our news story about the anti-biofilm above product brings to mind another issue. I learned long ago from a great mentor that when a patient removes their lenses in the office for their examination or for you to inspect, you should always have a clean case handy. Prior to handing the lenses back to the patient, you should make sure they are clean and in fresh, nonirritating solution. This is often easier with GP lenses than with soft lenses. In the early days of soft contact lenses, the daily ritual was to use heat to disinfect the cases that would be used in the office that day. Not to date myself further, but those were the days of thimerosal and salt tablet saline. Another ritual was to use heat to disinfect homemade saline prior to use with patients. The point is to make sure the cases you and your patients use are new or clean and have not acquired a bacterial colony protected by a biofilm.

Fitting Tip: Keep the Cover
How many times have you wanted to know the brand and parameters of the soft lens your patient wears? I ask my patients to keep the foil covers from their frequent replacement lenses in their wallet. The patients all consider this a "Helpful hint from Heloise!"
John B. Franklin, M.D., F.A.C.S.,
Farmington, Ct.

This month at, get an update of silicone hydrogels at ARVO 2006 and review ®oxygen flux‚' as well as the cornea's response to different levels of oxygen transmissibility.

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.

Send your favorite tips to -- if your tip is selected as 'Best of the Month,' you'll receive a free golf shirt (see for details). Please include your full name, degree or title and city/state/country.
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