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World Sight Day 2013 To Be Held 10 October PDF
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Tuesday, 01 October 2013

World Sight Day 2013

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It will take place this year on Thursday 10 October.

World Sight Day is held annually on the second Thursday in October. World Sight Day was established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000 and is the main advocacy event for the prevention of blindness and for Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative to prevent avoidable blindness, created by the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

2013 is an important year as it marks the launch of a new WHO Global Action Plan on the prevention of avoidable blindness and vision impairment. The Global Action Plan identifies its purpose as increasing access to comprehensive eye care services that are integrated into health systems and aims to reduce blindness and vision impairment by 25 per cent by 2019.

In keeping with the main thrust of this new Global Action Plan, the theme for World Sight Day 2013 is Universal Eye Health. This year's World Sight Day campaign call to action is Get your eyes tested.

Specsavers Wins and Loses in Court PDF
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Friday, 02 August 2013

CourtIn the first case which was held before the Australian Federal Court last month, Specsavers filed an application against its rival Luxottica, which owns OPSM and Sunglasses Hut. Specsavers took its rival to court due to an alleged misleading and deceptive marketing campaign by OPSM. Specsavers' application argued that the "Better Frames, Better Lenses, Better Fit" advertising by OPSM sent the message that its frames and lenses were better than other optical retailers' products. The advertising was part of a marketing campaign called the Accufit Campaign, which commenced in February 2013. Justice Griffiths dismissed the claims and said that Specsavers "failed to persuade" him that OPSM's advertising was misleading or deceptive. He also added that shoppers who gave evidence "were provided with at least one element of the Accufit system".

In another case before the Court of Appeal in UK, Specsavers claimed that Asda, a well known supermarket in UK that also runs optical stores in some of its larger supermarkets, has infringed its trade marks and has been guilty of passing off. Asda denied that, and also attacked one of Specsavers' marks for non-use. The row began when Asda published a number of adverts using the straplines "Be a real spec saver at Asda" and "Spec savings at Asda" with green logos that Specsavers claimed infringed its own green-coloured logos. High Court largely sided with Asda but the Court of Appeal ruled that both the strap lines infringed Specsavers marks. Its judges were also asked to decide whether Specsavers' wordless mark should be revoked and, if not, whether Asda's logo infringed it. The judges ruled that if a trade mark owner uses a mark in a colour other than the black and white in which it was registered, such that the public associates the colour with the trade mark owner, then the colour used for an allegedly infringing mark is relevant as part of the global assessment of the likelihood of confusion or unfair advantage.

Next Week Is World Glaucoma Week PDF
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Wednesday, 06 March 2013

WGW 2013As an extensive worldwide campaign is launched to observe this year's World Glaucoma Week, which is held from 10 to 16 March 2013. World Glaucoma Patient Association President and President of the Antigua/Barbuda Glaucoma Support Group, Dr. Jillia Bird advocates formation of small patient support groups in every country, on every continent to take the management of this Sneak Thief of Sight to another level.

In the lead up to World Glaucoma Week, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) interviewed two patients with Glaucoma to stress the importance of early detection and effective treatment. Ophthalmologist Professor Stuart Graham is a glaucoma specialist, with a particular interest in techniques for early diagnosis of glaucoma. He has been seeing one of his patients, Debra Peat, for over 20 years. Debra (aged 57) has a family history of glaucoma, with her father and two other family members all having the disease. Debra was lucky enough to have her glaucoma detected early. Debra's treatment includes the use of eye drops every night and a check up with Prof Graham every six months. She would like to stress the importance of regular eye tests to anyone who is delaying getting tested. 

The story is slightly different for another one of Prof Graham's patients, 40 year old Ricky Yu. Ricky first discovered he had a problem with his eyes when he was 34. Ricky explains, "I was writing in a diary on my side, one eye was covered up, and I realised I couldn't read the words on the page with my open eye. I first saw a GP, who referred me to an ophthalmologist, who diagnosed that I in fact had glaucoma." Through Ricky's treatment (eye drops) his eye pressure has improved, however unfortunately the disease wasn't identified early enough and he maintains vision loss that is irreversible.

Industry Experts Urge Optical Retailers To Look At Patients As Consumers PDF
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Monday, 11 February 2013

In response to increasing pressure from "big box" retailers, independent practitioners need to change their behavior to survive and thrive, according to two ophthalmic industry experts speaking during a webinar recently held. Essilor hosted the discussion, with a guest speaker from VSP Vision Care and a live question-and-answer session.

Essilor senior vice president of customer development, Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO, told participants that private optometry practices in Australia and the United Kingdom are being overshadowed by Specsavers, and that U.S. optometrists must plan ahead to prevent a similar situation from occurring.

Purcell said private practitioners need to innovate in the areas of communication, office design and products. "Technology is driving consumer habits," he said. "We need to embrace the fact that we have to look at a patient as a consumer, because we’re competing with large groups that understand that."

Dan Mannen, OD, FAAO, a member of the VSP Global Board of Directors, listed areas that independent practitioners should be addressing to thrive in today’s changing environment: personalized dispensing, materials education, transparent pricing, online scheduling, online communication and ease of purchase and pick-up.

In Australia, PlanetVA Pty Ltd, a company that specialises in IT solutions for optical retailers can assist independent practitioners with effective and efficient online solutions to achieve this.

Emporio Armani Available in Specsavers Stores PDF
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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

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World Sight Day Shines Global Spotlight on Avoidable Blindness PDF
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Monday, 08 October 2012

World Sight Day

October 11th is World Sight Day, a global observance uniting citizens, nonprofit groups and corporations in an effort to fight eye disorders and improve the lives of those suffering with these disorders. Of the 40 million blind people in the world, 80 percent have avoidable blindness that can be prevented or treated by cost-effective means. However, millions of people remain at risk of visual loss due to unhealthy lifestyle or lack of access to eye-care services.

Here are some eye-opening statistics:

Cataract: While cataract surgery is one of the most cost-effective health-care treatments2, cataracts represent almost half of all causes of blindness, accounting for almost 18 million cases.

Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism: Despite the growing availability of low-cost spectacles, approximately 153 million people suffer visual impairment from these and other types of refractive errors.

Trachoma: Caused by a bacterial infection of the eye, often resulting from poor water supplies and unsanitary living conditions, trachoma is widespread in 55 countries, affecting about 80 million people.

Blindness Caused by Diabetes: Known as Diabetic Retinopathy, this condition affects 40-45 percent of American diabetics. After 15 years, 10 percent of diabetics develop severe visual loss and 2 percent become blind; once vision has been lost to diabetic retinopathy, it usually cannot be restored.

Glaucoma: Often called “the sneak thief of sight” because it can strike without common symptoms. Given the aging population, the World Health Organization projects that almost 80 million people will have glaucoma by 2020.

People in developing Nations face higher burden of blindness. Ninety percent of the world’s blind live in developing nations, where multiple factors contribute to higher prevalence of blindness and visual impairment. This includes countries like India, with more than nine million blind people; China, with more than six million blind people; and other nations in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Historically, these countries have a higher prevalence of Vitamin A Deficiency, River blindness and infections such as trachoma, the leading causes of preventable childhood blindness. People living in rural villages and urban slums in these countries are particularly vulnerable to avoidable blindness due to a lack of access to basic eye care resources.

“The causes of avoidable blindness are frequently associated with poverty and lack of access to quality eye care services,” says Dr. Gullapalli Nag Rao, founder of L V Prasad Eye Institute in India, which has treated more than 15 million patients—more than half at no cost—since its establishment in 1987. “With advances in medical science enabling more effective and affordable preventions and treatments of these conditions, we now have an opportunity to make significant progress in the quest to end avoidable blindness. To that end, it is critical for concerned individuals and groups around the world to continue working together to build awareness of this issue and to support initiatives that promote good eye health.”

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