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Safilo renews Nine West license PDF
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Monday, 22 December 2008
Safilo Group recently announced the renewal of its exclusive licensing agreement with Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (NYSE: JNY) to design, manufacture and market prescription eyeglass frames for women and children, as well as women's prescription sunglass frames for the optical market under the Nine West brand.

The renewal, effective from January 1, 2009, will be for a three-year period with the possibility of the extension for a further three-year period if certain conditions are met, and includes distribution rights in the United States, its territories and possessions, Canada, China and Mexico. Safilo Group has been a licensee of the Nine West brand for prescription eyewear since 1998.
New Leadership at Optometry Giving Sight Australia PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 19 December 2008
Bob Lees has been appointed as the new Chairman of the National Committee, Optometry Giving Sight in Australia. Bob is a partner in the Lees and Henschell Optometrists practice in Queensland and has been an active member of the National Committee for two years.

Supporting Bob on the National Committee will be new Deputy Chair, Ian Breadon of Breadon and Ruegg Optometrists, Victoria; Micheal Knipe, Chairman of ProVision and partner in Total Eyecare in Tasmaina and Amanda Davis, COO of ICEE.

Madeleine Whiting, Australasian Manager thanked retiring National Chair, Professor Brien Holden, and said that he will now focus on his position as Chair and CEO of Optometry Giving Sight at a global level. She also welcomes new Committee members Dorothy McDiarmid, retired industry professional; and Graham Hill of Graham Hill and Associates, Victoria.
1 billion people with presbyopia: half a billion without glasses PDF
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International News
Thursday, 18 December 2008
A comprehensive study, published in the December issue of the academic journal Archives of Ophthalmology, estimates that 1.04 billion people in the world experience vision impairment caused by presbyopia. The research, undertaken by Professor Brien Holden, CEO of the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), and colleagues, not only provides the first comprehensive global estimate of the extent of presbyopia.

According to Professor Holden, the study revealed that an estimated 517 million had either no eyeglasses or inappropriate eyeglasses. As a result their ability to complete important daily tasks is restricted. Most (386 million, or 94 percent) lived in the developing world.

In the developed world, most people have access to the necessary eye examination and vision correction for presbyopia (usually a pair of glasses), that will allow them to complete a range of important tasks requiring the ability to see close objects clearly. However, in the developing world a massive number of people are prevented from completing these same tasks because they do not have glasses and the impact on their lives is enormous.

The researchers now predict that the worldwide prevalence of presbyopia will increase to 1.4 billion people by 2020 and to 1.8 billion people by 2050.

The International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), as a partner in Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, is working to help build sustainable eye care services throughout the world to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error by the year 2020.

The authors suggest that for the goals of Vision 2020 to be achieved, it must also address the problem of uncorrected presbyopia and plan for the “Provision of human resources, affordable spectacles and systems of delivery for these half-billion people in need.”

Although presbyopia creates refractive error, World Health Organisation estimates have not previously included the burden of vision impairment caused by uncorrected presbyopia in their estimates of uncorrected refractive error.
US: "bright spots for eyecare despite economic woes" PDF
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International News
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
According to a Vision Monday (VM) survey conducted recently by Jobson Optical Research via the Internet most US optical retailers and eyecare practitioners appear to be holding their own in terms of current sales as well as prospects for the early part of 2009.

A majority of the eyecare professionals who responded to VM’s survey in late October and early November reported that their sales in the third quarter of 2008 wound up either 5 percent or more ahead of the same period last year (reported by 41.4 percent of the survey respondents), or equal to last year’s third-quarter sales (21.2 percent). For 2008 as a whole, 42.9 percent said they anticipate that their businesses will finish this year 5 percent or more ahead of 2007, with another 20.7 percent expecting to close out 2008 even with last year’s volume.

But the realities of today’s financial conditions cannot be ignored: more than one-third (37.4 percent) of respondents to this VM survey said their third-quarter sales were 5 percent or more below the same period last year, and 36.5 percent said they expected their total sales for calendar 2008 to be 5 percent or more lower than in calendar 2007.
Eyedrops better than patch for lazy eye PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
Last week, the journal Archives of Ophthalmology reported on a new study that compares patch therapy for amblyopia with another technique i.e. a weekly regimen of medicated eyedrops that essentially work as a patch by blurring vision in the stronger eye.

Amblyopia is the most common cause of visual impairment in childhood, affecting 2 to 3 out of every 100 children. It can occur when when one eye is more nearsighted, farsighted or astigmatic than the other. As a result, the brain begins favoring the stronger eye, and the other eye gets weaker.

In the randomized study of nearly 200 children, giving the eyedrops on the weekend worked about as well as wearing a patch for two hours a day. The eyedrops work by preventing a muscle in the stronger eye from constricting. As a result, when a child tries to read or focus on something close, the good eye is blurred. That forces the weaker eye to focus and work harder, which helps it strengthen over time. Notably, when children look at far objects, the eye doesn’t need to focus, so both eyes can be used for far vision.

Some studies suggest that the biggest vision gains are made when the eyedrops and patches are used together. But since patches are often discarded by children, the drops are useful because parents control the treatment.
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