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New research and product launches kick off AAO meeting


The American Academy of Optometry highlighted scientific research and new products at the kickoff of its annual meeting.

New Orleans-The American Academy of Optometry highlighted scientific research and new products at the kickoff of its annual meeting.

News to come, more accessible technology

TearScience CEO Joe Boorday says that the company is focusing on making its LipiFlow technology more accessible to patients. Earlier this year, TearScience launched its second-generation meibography with dynamic meibomian gland imaging

In addition, Boorday hinted at a major announcement coming in early November.

Better ID license plates

Alan Lewis, OD, PhD, FAAO, presented research on changing license plate design in order to improve recall of license plate numbers and letters.

This pilot study attempted to determine if replacing alphanumeric characters with a symbol would improve plate number recall.

“People see cars, but they can’t identify license plates,” he says. “Fewer than one percent of license plate numbers are recalled.”

The tested license plates displayed fewer characters and included a geometric symbol, such as a star, diamond, or square, in the middle.

New England College of Optometry students served as subjects. They viewed license plates on a monitor for 3 seconds, then viewed a distractor image, and attempted to recall the license plate number shown.

Results showed that 61 percent of subjects identified more license plates containing symbols than those with alphanumeric characters only. Some 53 percent of plates containing symbols were correctly identified compared only 33 percent of alphanumeric plates. In addition, 96 percent of symbols were correctly recalled. Even when a symbol was misidentified, it was recalled in the correct position.

Researchers concluded that symbols greatly increase the recall of a complete license plate number, and symbols are more apt to be recalled.



Wavefront smartphone-based autorefractor

Smart Vision Labs CEO and cofounder Yaopeng Zhou, PhD, discussed the launch of SVOne, a smartphone-based autorefractor powered by wavefront aberrometry.

“In under one minute, SVOne gives you sphere, cylinder, and axis,” he says.

The device can be used in office-based practice, during mobile eye care, and on mission trips.

SVOne can:

• Create new exam lanes anywhere, cut down on wait time in office, and serve as an affordable backup unit

• Accompany eyecare practitioners on mission trips, nursing homes, corporate screenings, school screenings

• Assist in examining patients with limited mobility because the device can be used in any position with no patient movement or action required.

• Examine children because its open-field design reduces accommodative effect


Can lifeguards see to protect you at the pool?

Optometry student Katherine Rachon wants to know if lifeguards have adequate visual acuity (VA) in order to protect the public.

“In reality, a lifeguard's job is not easy,” she says. “Adverse weather effects, including sun glare, make searching for dangerous behaviors difficult. Many lifeguards have strict requirements for physical ability, but no visual acuity requirements.”

Lifeguards use visual cues and facial expressions in order to determine if a swimmer is in distress and needs help. Poor VA means lifeguards don’t know who needs help. 

Rachon and colleagues aim to establish a vision standard for lifeguard certification.

Although they are still gathering data from lifeguard managers, eight percent of survey respondents claim they have no way to test VA. In addition, most have little to no knowledge of their lifeguards’ VA.

Survey responses from lifeguards themselves show that many wear correction, have a restricted license, or exhibit VA worse than 20/20.

Rachon concluded that lifeguard managers are unaware of their employees' visual status. Many lifeguards require correction, and it’s unknown if they wear correction while they're on duty.



Topography offers wider view for scleral lens application

Speaking on behalf of Visionary Optics, Greg DeNayer, OD, FAAO, shared information about the company’s launch of sMap3D topographer, which offers a 22-mm field of view for better scleral lens fitting.

“The device uses light structure to create a model of the anterior corneal and scleral surfaces and is able to combine several topographic measurements at different gaze directions,” he says.

This corneo-sclero topographer combines down and upward gaze data in order to give a more accurate view for scleral lens patients.

SMap3D comes with software to allow eyecare practitioners to custom design Europa scleral contact lenses

“It allows practitioners to measure the cornea and sclera and better analyze the corneal surface to maximize scleral lens fitting success,” Dr. DeNayer says.


Uncorrected hyperopia lowers preschooler on-task behavior

Researcher Tamara Oechslin, OD, MS, FAAO, wanted to know if o- task behavior of four- to five-year-old children during story time related to uncorrected hyperopia.

She compared visual attention during storybook reading between emmetropic and uncorrected, moderately hyperopic four- and five-year-olds. Subjects were in preschool or kindergarten with no individual education program (IEP), no previous glasses wear, and no strabisumus or amblyopia.

In the study, storybooks were presented at an automated pace. The reader pointed out pictures and asked scripted questions. Some 72 subjects wore and eye tracking device, resulting in 55 subjects with analyzable data.

Results showed that emmetropes were on task 76 percent of the time, while hyperopes were on task 56 percent of the time.

“Moderately hyperopic uncorrected four- and five-year-olds show significantly lower percentage of time in on-task looking behaviors during storybook reading than their emmetropic peers,” says Dr. Oechslin.



Acuvue Oasys 1-Day launched

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe Technology joins the ranks of new daily disposable lenses. Millicent Knight, OD, FAARM, vice president of professional affairs, North America, at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care shared details.

According to Dr. Knight, the lens:

• Is a daily lens for demanding days

• Is built on the Acuvue Oasys platform

• Has never been beaten in comfort in 13 clinical studies, with J&J responsible for only five of those studies.

“The lens is designed to deliver against a prevalent unmet patient need due to increased activity and changing environment, decreased stability of tear film, and decline in lens performance,” says Dr. Knight.


Euclid launches international ortho-k certification

Michael Ross, MD, chair and CEO of Euclid Systems Corp., announced the company’s international ortho-k certification in China.

Euclid is partnering with Illinois College of Optometry and Tianjin Medical University for the program. The certification includes a five-day hands-on web lab training program for optometrists in  China and 25 hours of lectures.



BHVI unveils multifocal contact lenses

Brien Holden Vision Institute launched its extended depth of focus (EDOF) multifocal contact lenses, BHVI Omni.

“These lenses employ higher-order aberrations to achieve EDOF,” says Paul Erickson, OD, PhD, FAAO, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Pty Ltd.

BHVI Omni’s higher-order aberrations optimize retinal image quality over a wide range of distances from far to near while minimizing ghosting and haloes, according to the company. The lenses perform relatively independent of a patient’s natural aberrations and variation in pupil size and are designed to meet the vision needs of emerging presbyopes, middle-aged, and older people.

The single-use lens is manufactured from etafilcon A and offer:

• Reduced ghosting

• Seamless clear vision in distance, intermediate, and near

• Reduced sensitivity to variation in pupil size and internal eye aberrations


New widefield module for Heidelberg Spectralis OCT

Heidelberg Engineering’s widefield imaging module for Spectralis OCT provides a multimodal approach to imaging, and now up to seven imaging modalities can be combined in the Spectralis imaging platform.

Steve Thomas, CRA, imaging product specialist at Heidelberg, says the module is expanded to 16.5 mm wide to capture details which extend beyond the posterior pole.

Users can:

• Correlate wide scan patterns with high resolution cSLO images

• Appreciate full extended of large lesions

• Incorporate TruTrack active eye tracking for pristine image quality

Plus, the module features the ability to move the patient’s head and combine with widefield images, says Thomas.

The multicolor image can show structural details of different retinal layers, which can be examined individually or combined to view a multicolor image.

“The diagnostic information that would be lost as you expanded to widefield now is now longer lost,” says Thomas.



Factors predicting 10-2 visual field loss

Recent evidence suggests that central visual field (VF) loss may be underdetected and underappreciated, says My Tho Karin Tran, OD, MS.

Dr. Tran looked to determine the prevalence and what factors predict the presence of 10-2 VF loss.

Her study examined 347 eyes of 175 subjects with a high prevalence of male subjects and no significant difference in age or race.

She reports that 50 percent of subjects had 10-2 loss, and the majority of subjects with mild VF loss on 24-2 also had 10-2 loss.

Global RNFL thickness was significantly lower in eyes with 10-2 VF loss compared to eyes without 10-2 VF loss.

“Measurable VF loss within the central 10 degrees is very common in primary open-angle glaucoma even when 24-2 VF loss is mild,” she says.

Mild 24-2 VF loss can be associated with moderate or severe 10-2 VF loss.

“Clinicians should consider 10-2 testing,” says.



Next-generation VEP/ERG diagnostic

Ian McMillan, vice president of sales and marketing for Konan Medical, announced EvokeDx, next-generation VEP/ERG for visual pathway diagnostics.

The device features 16 VEP/ERG test conditions.

“This noninvasvie objective assessment of visual pathway function is a perfect complement to structural analysis from OCT and fundus photography,” he says. “Isolated check VEPs, VEPS, and ERGs provide important clues about the integrity of discrete visual pathways.”

EvokeDx is designed to be easy to use for techs, incorporates a touch screen, allows for both adult and pediatric modes, includes gaze tracking for patient compliance, and allows for recording via a dual channel amplifier.

“EvokeDx allows us to identify the frequency of the response, which should match the frequency of the stimulus if the visual pathways are functioning properly,” says McMillan.



Social support predicts stress level in AMD patients

According to Bradley E. Doughtery, OD, PhD, FAAO, there is a significant inverse relationship between the amount of social support that AMD patients report vs. levels of perceived stress.

Interestingly, vision did not predict stress levels.

High levels of social support and lower levels of perceived stress are likely to result in better health outcomes for patients with AMD.

“These are often overlooked in eye care,” Dr. Doughtery says, “and patients will benefit from increased awareness of these relationships and potentially interventions to address both.”

People with AMD face significant stressors:

• Permanent loss of vision and prospect of further worsening

• Frequent treatment by intraocualr injection

• Loss of ability to compete valued activities and maintain independence

Dr. Doughtery surveyed 84 patients (51 percent female) with AMD with a mean age 81 years and a mean better eye VA of 20/60. Patients self reported with Perceived Stress Scale and ENRICHD Social Support Inventory.

Results showed that people with AMD who reported less social support had significantly higher levels of perceived stress. Social support and stress should be considered in patients who are being managed for macular degeneration. Interventions are available to increase social support and manage stress.

“There is good evidence that increased social support and lower levels of stress are associated with better health outcomes in a wide range of conditions,” says Dr. Doughtery.



Color vision meets contrast sensitivity

Speaking on behalf of Innova Systems, Inc., Jerome Sherman, OD, FAAO, discussed the company’s  Rabin Cone Test.

The test allows for early disease detection and ophthalmic health management.

“It’s a color vision test sensitive enough to measure subtle changes in cone function,” he says. “The test stimulates a more select population of cells than grayscale contrast sensitivity, and a small amount of retinal and/or neural damage may be detected.”

The test is fast and easy to administer, usually conducted by technicians, and takes about five minutes. It’s Medicare reimbursable with CPT 92283 and a reimbursement average of $56.


Volk brings new technology three ways

Volk Optical President Pete Mastores shared details about three new pieces of technology the company is launching.

Pictor Plus portable retinal imaging provides fundus and anterior segment imaging, adapts to any slit lamp, and weighs only two pounds. It provides nine fixation targets, a 45-degree field of view, and high-resolution JPG images. Plus, it features a fluorescein angiography module.

Eye Check powered by Iriss is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. Wifi connectivity allows for real-time reporting straight to EMR programs. Some 17 different measurements are available. Volk is launching its multifocal/specialty contact lens diagnosis module at the meeting.

Inview iPhone Imager, a mydriatic fundus camera, will be launching soon. The camera features iPhone/iPad iOS software with Android capability to come. It offers a 50-degree field of view with custom Volk double aspheric optics and an auto image capture app.



Vitamin A may prevent ROP

Student Julie Mocko induced retinopathy in rats to determine relationships between neural and vascular parameters and the potential of high dose Vitamin A as a preventative treatment for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

“Vitamin A may encourage healthy blood vessel growth by controlling a gene, pigment epithelial factor (PEDF) that prevents their growth,” she says.

Vitamin  A may be a promising pretreatment to prevent ROP.

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