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Monthly CL wearers report decrease in comfort at month's end PDF
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Feature Story
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Wearers of monthly-replacement contact lenses tend to notice a decline in lens performance and comfort in weeks three and four of wear, a new survey reveals. The survey, conducted among 434 monthly lens wearers in France and sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (subjects were unaware of the sponsor's identity), included representation of 20 different brands of lenses.

More than 70 percent of monthly silicone hydrogel wearers and 68 percent of hydrogel wearers reported a decrease in wearing comfort as the month progressed, and 95 percent of those respondents said they become aware of the discomfort in weeks three and four. Monthly silicone hydrogel wearers who experienced discomfort tended to notice it earlier in the lens cycle than hydrogel wearers.

The survey also asked about lens wearers' perceptions of the eyecare professional's role in communicating the benefits of contact lens innovations. Eighty-one percent said they expect their doctor to recommend an upgrade on comfort grounds; three-quarters of respondents would consider seeing their eyecare professional more often if he or she proactively proposed more comfortable lenses. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed also said that they are more satisfied when their eyecare professional shows them lenses that are better for their ocular health and that offer more comfort. The results suggest that eyecare practitioners question monthly-replacement contact lens wearers specifically on comfort performance.
 
National Glaucoma Week PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 18 August 2008
Glaucoma Australia’s 20th anniversary year will be marked by a national campaign this week that targets the ‘lack of awareness’ in country Australia about the severe impact of the eye condition, glaucoma.

National Executive Officer, Beverley Lindsell, said Glaucoma Australia was concerned at Australia-wide figures showing that only half of the estimated 300,000 plus Australians with glaucoma actually knew they had the disease. Even more alarming is data putting the awareness level of glaucoma significantly lower in regional and rural areas.

“A study shows that people in rural areas are almost twice as likely to have never been seen by an eye-care provider as their urban counterparts. In statistical terms, this presents as 13 percent of those living in the country compared with only seven percent of those in the city who have never seen an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

“Looking at the gender factor, the overall figure is 11 percent of males compared with eight percent of females who have never been to an eye-care practitioner,” Mrs Lindsell said.

National Glaucoma Week will be held from August 17 to 23 to promote understanding about glaucoma as a condition commonly referred to as ‘the sneak thief of sight’. It irreversibly destroys vision silently, gradually starting with the side vision. Fortunately, if detected early enough it can be arrested or at least slowed by appropriate treatment. Glaucoma cannot be self-detected.

Leading Sydney ophthalmologist, Dr Allan Bank, sees the rural and regional versus urban glaucoma patient difference constantly.

“In my experience, my patients from areas outside metropolitan Sydney tend to exhibit the worst effects of glaucoma largely because they are diagnosed at later stages of disease. The stories I am told suggest they don’t see it as important to have a regular eye check-up unless they need new glasses or they notice something seems very wrong with their eyesight”.

Glaucoma Australia urges all Australians over the age of 40 to have comprehensive eye checks, every two/three years, by an optometrist or ophthalmologist or more regularly if they have a family history of the disease, diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure, an eye injury in the past eye or past or present prolonged use of cortisone.

“Eyesight is precious. Don’t risk losing it for the sake of not undertaking regular, simple and pain-free checks” Mrs Lindsell said.

National Glaucoma Week will be launched in Wagga Wagga this year to target awareness in regional and rural Australia. It is being sponsored by Pfizer Australia following the success of a pilot campaign on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
 
IRIDEX Announces FDA Clearance for New Product Family of IRIDEX IQ Laser Systems PDF
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Product News
Monday, 18 August 2008
IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq: IRIX) announces receipt of FDA 510(k) clearance for its Family of IRIDEX IQ Laser Systems. This clearance covers the IRIDEX IQ 532, IQ 577, IQ 630-670, and IQ 810 Laser Systems and their associated delivery devices to deliver laser energy in either CW-Pulse(TM), MicroPulse(TM) or LongPulse(TM) mode. These Laser Systems are intended for a wide range of specific applications in the medical specialties of ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat (ENT)/otolaryngology and dermatology.

Mr. Theodore A. Boutacoff, President and CEO stated, "We are pleased to have passed this regulatory milestone. The design concept of the IQ Family enables us to provide different solid-state lasers on a common platform. This 510(k) covers green (532 nm), yellow (577 nm), red (630-670 nm), and infrared (810 nm) single wavelength systems. We expect this common platform concept to facilitate the efficient development and timely introduction of related products.

"The first product to be released to market using this platform will be the IQ 577(TM), which will deliver 577 nm yellow light from a solid-state laser in either conventional continuous wave (CW) or MicroPulse mode. The IQ 577 provides a wavelength and technology that complements our product portfolio and is not commercially available from any of our competitors. 577 nm is of interest because it is at the peak of the oxyhemoglobin absorption curve and was a popular wavelength when argon/dye laser systems were widely distributed -- however due to complexity and poor reliability those products are now obsolete. We believe that a reliable solid-state 577 nm laser system has the opportunity to fill this void."
 
Hoya Announces First Quarter Financial Results for FY2008 PDF
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Companies
Friday, 15 August 2008
HOYA Corporation announced financial results for the first quarter ended June 30, 2008. Net sales were 130.1 billion yen for the quarter, representing an increase of 33.1% from 97.7 billion yen in the first quarter of 2007.

Operating income for the quarter was 21.8 billion yen, a 3.5% decrease compared with 22.6 billion yen in the first quarter of 2007. Net income for the first quarter was 21.1 billion yen, a 24.0% increase compared with 17.0 billion yen in the first quarter of 2007, primarily due to profits on sale of NH Techno Glass stocks, HOYA’s equity method affiliate. Earnings per share for the quarter were 48.97 yen compared with 39.61 yen in the first quarter of 2007.

"Shrinkage of the semiconductor market and severe price competition of optical lens business had a negative impact on our first quarter 2008,” said Hiroshi Suzuki, chief executive officer of HOYA. “The market will continue to be weak, however, our business tends to be better in the second half. We will focus on endoscopic system as well as eyeglasses and contact lenses to achieve further growth."
 
Two Treatments to Combat Ocular Surface Cancer PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Friday, 15 August 2008
James Chodosh, MD, and colleagues evaluated 29 patients who were treated within a 10-year period for ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), a type of cancer, either by surgical removal of the tumor or with topical interferon (alfa-2b). There were no statistically significant differences in age, gender-affected eye and tumor size between patients in the two groups. Risk factors for this form of cancer include advanced age, light skin, extensive UV-light exposure, smoking, and exposure on the job to petroleum products. HPV (human papilloma virus) and HIV have also been associated with higher rates of OSSN.

Fourteen of the study patients opted for surgical excision; in all cases an aggressive removal of the tumor, with wide and deep margins around the tumor site, was followed by cryotherapy. The aggressive approach was used because more conservative excisions had been associated with high OSSN recurrence rates in other patients. This is the first report on results of this aggressive approach. Eight study patients received simultaneous reconstruction of the ocular surface using amniotic membrane. Fifteen study patients were treated with interferon; two of these did not respond to treatment and were treated surgically. All patients in both treatment groups eventually experienced complete resolution of their OSSN without recurrence, and with no significant side effects of treatment in either group. Dr. Chodosh says these results suggest that “topical interferon alfa-2 b and aggressive surgical excision can both be considered effective treatments for OSSN.”
 
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