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New Zealand Research Into Regenerative Medicine PDF
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New Zealand News
Thursday, 02 May 2013

Viaduct Event CenterAssociate Professor Trevor Sherwin will be presenting a paper 'From stem cell to cornea – current research in New Zealand' this Friday at the New Zealand branch meeting of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

A/Prof Sherwin and his team from the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland are developing highly defined 'spheres' of stem cells to restore the front surface of the eye following trauma such as chemical burns.

If successful, the research could lead to restoration of the limbus in patients affected by limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) and aims to determine if these stem cell spheres can allow the injured human cornea to regenerate itself and even respond positively to future injuries.

A/Prof Sherwin said, "The future lies in regenerative medicine with the ability to replace cells and tissues lost during disease progression, ultimately aiming to restore function back to pre-disease levels. Stem cell research is one of the main focal areas offering hope in the field of regenerative medicine and we are already using adult stem cells for repair in the eye. Further research will see our techniques improved and our range of treatments to restore vision expanded."

More information at: www.ranzco2013.co.nz

 
Man Blinded By Vodka But Later Saved By Whisky PDF
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New Zealand News
Tuesday, 18 December 2012

WhiskyA 65-year-old New Zealand man from Taranaki suddenly went blind when the vodka he had been drinking reacted with his diabetes medication. He regained his sight only after hospital staff administered expensive whisky.

According to The New Zealand Harald:

"Mr Duthie, a catering tutor at New Plymouth's Western Institute of Technology, had been celebrating his parents' 50th wedding anniversary in June by having a few vodkas from a bottle his students had given him as a present. When he walked into a bedroom in his home everything suddenly went black. He thought he'd sleep it off, but the next morning he still couldn't see a thing, so went to Taranaki Base Hospital.

The doctor thought he might have formaldehyde poisoning, which is associated with ingesting methanol and can be treated by administering ethanol - the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. There wasn't enough medical ethanol available in the hospital, so the registrar nipped down to the local bottle store and picked up a bottle of whisky.

They dripped the whisky - which retails for about $55 a bottle - into his stomach through a tube, and hoped for the best. Auckland City Hospital intensive care medicine specialist Tony Smith said administering ethanol was a well-established treatment for methanol poisoning. It worked because the ethanol competed with the methanol and prevented it from being metabolised into harmful formaldehyde, which can cause blindness."

 
Specsavers Grows 30% in New Zealand PDF
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New Zealand News
Thursday, 08 December 2011

SpecsaversSpecsavers claims to have grown its market share this year to more than 30 per cent in New Zealand, faster than in any other country. The company said in a media release that it had taken the country's number one spot in the optical market in February this year after just 26 months. Since then its market share has climbed from 26.2 per cent to more than 30 per cent. Specsavers has grown by 345 per cent overall since its began operations in New Zealand in 2008, the company claims, despite the impact of the global financial crisis and ''home-grown issues'' Kiwis faced in the year.

Graeme Edmond, Specsavers New Zealand's managing director, said the group was seeing ever-increasing numbers because it offered value and affordability in eye care without compromising on quality. "Our success here mirrors the business's global trend. Worldwide, Specsavers has grown every year since the first store was opened in the UK 26 years ago," he said.

Specsavers has 53 stores in New Zealand with stores co-owned and operated by professional local optometrists and dispensing opticians. The company expects to open between 55 and 60 stores before reaching market saturation.

 
Visique to Support Christchurch PDF
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New Zealand News
Tuesday, 03 May 2011

VisiqueVisique will be raising funds for Christchurch throughout May. For every eye exam completed at participating locations this month, a NZ$2 donation will be given to the Christchurch Mayoral Fund.

In addition to the contribution from eye exams, Visique will also be petitioning for donations from their strategic suppliers. There will also be donation boxes placed in every practice to account for the goodwill of visitors. Visique are aiming for the overall contribution from eye exams, strategic partner, staff and client donations to be in excess of NZ$20,000.

Visique General Manager, Pete Campbell, says "As a New Zealand owned company, with practices throughout the country, including in Christchurch, we all felt it incredibly important to show our support to those affected. And we consider ourselves beyond fortunate that all of our staff made it through the earthquake safely. Most importantly, we recognize that Kiwis are a resilient bunch, and we know, that with the support of the nation behind them Christchurch will find the strength to rebuild."

 
Luxottica Acquires MySight Vision Specialists Group In New Zealand PDF
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New Zealand News
Friday, 11 February 2011
luxottica_nz_takeovers Luxottica – owner of the OPSM, Budget Eyewear and Sunglass Hut retail brands - announced it has acquired Northern Island-based MySight Vision Specialists Group.

The acquisition comprises the MySight Optometrists and Visions Specialists Group of 12 practices, and LensDirect, an online contact lens business. This transaction follows last year’s purchases of 14 optical stores and the website www.contacts2go.co.nz, taking Luxottica’s total number of eyecare and eyewear retails stores to 110 in New Zealand.

Chris Beer, CEO of Luxottica Asia Pacific, said: “New Zealand is an important market for the group and we are focused on growing our key retail brands here both organically and through acquisition.

“The MySight Vision Specialist Group purchase marks an important step in our strategy to increase our budget offering to New Zealanders. Of the 12 stores purchased, nine will be branded Budget Eyewear and the others will come under the OPSM banner,” he said.

The Budget Eyewear brand is focused on offering a wide range of quality frames and sunglasses at affordable prices; frames start from as little as $80 and there are over 500 products to choose from.

“We are also committed to delivering the best service, advanced eye care and an extensive range of luxury and designer branded products from around the world to our customers across our OPSM, Budget Eyewear and Sunglass Hut retail brands, which are designed to reflect our diverse customer groups’ differing needs and budget,” said Mr Beer.

“MySight Vision Specialists Group has a strong heritage and we have been impressed by the service-focused approach of its optometrists and other employees. As we do for all our people, we will be looking to provide many of them with tailored training and career development opportunities - a distinct benefit of being part of a larger organisation. Luxottica is known for its commitment to employee development. Initiatives such as the Luxottica Institute of Learning provides optometrists with CPD and the Luxottica Optometry Council, which allows optometrists a forum on how to support business growth from a clinical and professional view.”

Mark Shaw-Taylor, Luxottica’s Vice President of Acquisitions, Real Estate and Vision Services, said that with the numerous nationwide corporate and government contracts and relationships with the leading health fund in place with OPSM and Budget Eyewear, these new stores will benefit our corporate customers’ employees and health fund members, giving them closer locations and seamless experience with a preferred provider.

“For instance, Southern Cross Health Fund members will now receive a pre-negotiated discount when they next shop at any of the new stores in our expanded network. In addition with other service contracts, Luxottica has a unique paperless transaction process that eliminates the need for customers to chase down quotes and physically go to their service providers to have orders for optical wear approved. We also process claims directly with their providers,” Mr Shaw-Taylor explained.

“For existing customers of MySight Vision Specialists Group, our aim is to provide them with the same consistent service through the people who have served them over the years. In addition, we will be able to offer them up-to-the-minute eye care and an unrivalled range of quality products, all of which go through the same rigorous level of testing as our top luxury brands,” he said.
 
Inaugural Visionz 2010: A Great Success PDF
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New Zealand News
Friday, 19 November 2010
visionz Some 600 optometrists, dispensers, wholesalers and practice staff enjoyed a weekend in Auckland recently at the inaugural Visionz trade fair. The event kicked off on Friday October 8 with an opening cocktail function at the Skycity Auckland Convention Centre where Visionz, EduVisionz and the ADONZ annual conference were being held. In the picture: Karen and Alan Saks, Cushla O’Neill, Grant Watters, Steph Cawte, Dr Dean Corbett and Debra So at the Visionz opening cocktail function.

New Zealand Optical Wholesalers Association (NZOWA) president Alex Bicheno introduced Oliver Goldsmith who had come to New Zealand to not only catch up with old friends but also officially open the event.

Guests at the cocktail function took the opportunity to visit exhibitors and view all that was new in eyewear, accessories, sunwear and equipment. Many were enthusiastic at the level of involvement of the wholesalers and the obvious effort that had been undertaken by them in participating in such an event.

EduVisionz clinical and business sessions were also held on Saturday and Sunday and those who attended were well rewarded with all the speakers involved providing a high level of education, both clinically and for general business.

From most feedback received the event was a great success for everyone associated with the industry. The call has been made to have this as a biennal event but that it be a cohesive event for the industry as a whole - only time will tell.

Source: NZ Optics
 
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