CLT, edited by Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, is a free weekly newsletter for eye care professionals who prescribe contact lenses.
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December 6, 2020

In this season of giving and giving thanks, what is on your holiday wish list? New diagnostic equipment for the office? New patients? A COVID vaccine? We would like to share your thoughts and comments. Please email us at

Jason Nichols

Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD


SynergEyes Launches New, Improved RxConnect Portal, Announces Scleral Patient Training Resource

SynergEyes, Inc. announced the launch of the new, improved RxConnect Portal. According to the company, the newly designed RxConnect Portal features a new, easy to navigate, intuitive interface; centralized access with quick links to place and track orders, to place reorders and annual supply completion orders, and to access documents, such as packing slips, invoices, and statements; integration with the Duette Calculator; and a cloud-based portal that is secure and HIPAA compliant. SynergEyes customers can access the RxConnect Portal as usual by visiting or via and using current login credentials.

In other news, SynergEyes announced a new Application and Removal Training Resource for SynergEyes VS scleral contact lens wearers. Developed as part of an ongoing strategy to provide impactful tools for practitioners, the Application and Removal Resource will support successful dispense visits and outcomes for practices and their SynergEyes VS-wearing patients. The new resource can be accessed at


Alcon Joins Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety

The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety (APS) announced Alcon as its newest member. Alcon joins APS as an Associate partner alongside CooperVision and Leadership partners Johnson & Johnson Vision and the American Optometric Association. Alcon’s membership in APS became effective Dec. 1, 2020.

GMAC Releases Second Wave of Influencer Content

The Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC), a collaborative effort to drive awareness of myopia across the world, is continuing the excitement from its gaming-themed summer program, “Game On: Battling Myopia in Real Life” with additional influencer content this winter.

Throughout December, the Game On 2.0 content will go live, featuring an eyecare practitioner playing popular video games with influential gamers Mr. Bee and Atomic Mari. Additionally, Mikayla Shocks and Heather Brooker will be posting about their family’s screen time through gaming.

Content will be shared on the four influencers’ respective owned channels, which collectively have more than 3 million followers and reach audiences inside and outside of the United States. All influencers will post at least one video on YouTube or IGTV, accompanied by various social posts. Content will drive users to the new GMAC webpage, slated to go live in early December.


CLI’s The EASY Way Wear-and-Care Infographic Now Available in Five Languages

The Contact Lens Institute’s (CLI) EASY Way Program infographic—developed to help eyecare professionals (ECPs) share simple steps to healthy, comfortable contact lens wear—is now available in five languages. By visiting, ECPs can download versions of the eye-catching infographic in Simplified and Traditional Chinese, French (Canadian), and Spanish in addition to the original English.

GSLS Photo Contest Deadline Approaching

GSLSThe Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) is seeking interesting photographs of conditions, diseases, or other occurrences, with a special interest in contact lenses and the anterior segment. All submissions must be sent through the online portal at Three winning photos will be selected by the GSLS education committee and will be featured on a future cover of Contact Lens Spectrum. Submit your entry no later than Dec. 15, 2020.

Fraser Horn, OD, Named Dean of Pacific University College of Optometry

Fraser Horn, OD, will become the dean of the Pacific University College of Optometry, effective Jan. 1. Dr. Horn has served as interim dean since November 2019, following the departure of Jennifer Coyle, OD, MS.

Dr. Horn started his Pacific career as an undergraduate studying biology before earning his doctor of optometry in the College of Optometry. He later completed a residency in primary care and ocular disease at Perry Point VAMHCS (VA Maryland Health Care System) in Maryland.

In 2005, he joined Pacific’s faculty, and he also has served as director of Pacific EyeClinics in Washington County and as associate dean of academic programs. Dr. Horn has led the College of Optometry’s Sports Vision Club in offering screenings to Pacific athletes, and he serves as team optometrist on the Boxer Athletics sports medicine team.

He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. He also is active in the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, the Oregon Optometric Physicians Academy, and the American Optometric Association (AOA). He is past chair of the AOA Sports Vision Section.


Terasaki Institute Developing Biomarker-Sensing Contact Lens

A collaborative team, which includes a group from the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, has developed a fabrication method to meet all of the challenges in making a hydrogel contact lens for biomarker sensing. The team began by optimizing the components of the hydrogel to obtain elastic characteristics that would allow it to be engineered into various shapes with a smooth surface profile. They next fashioned microchannels in the hydrogel with the use of a 3D-printed mold. The final step in the fabrication process was to enclose the hydrogel channels by bonding an additional layer of hydrogel onto the microchannel surface. Once the successful prototype was completed, it was extensively tested for its performance in channeling and collecting fluids. The team next prototyped sensors to collect, test for, and measure pH levels of artificial tears flowing through the microchannels. This work was supported by a grant from CooperVision, Inc.

CORE and Myopia Profile Form Alliance

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and Myopia Profile announced an alliance designed to expand both organizations’ services and reach. The affiliation will grow CORE’s clinical research capabilities, adding expertise in specialty, GP, orthokeratology, and scleral contact lenses; provide Myopia Profile with priority access to a clinical research site; and further extend the professional and patient education capabilities for which each team is internationally known, including the areas of myopia management. CORE and Myopia Profile will maintain their individual identities, facilities, and staffing while pursuing projects together.

TFOS Announces Workshop on Ocular Surface Disease

The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) board of directors announced the next TFOS workshop, titled “A Lifestyle Epidemic: Ocular Surface Disease.” This workshop will focus on what we do to ourselves as well as what others do to us. The subcommittee topics will include digital eye strain, cosmetics, nutrition, self “iatrogenesis,” environment, lifestyle challenges, contact lenses, societal challenges, and public awareness.

The TFOS Workshop Steering Committee will include Jennifer Craig (Chair; New Zealand), Monica Alves (Vice-Chair; Brazil), David A. Sullivan (Organizer; United States), Anat Galor (United States), José Gomes (Brazil), Lyndon Jones (Canada), Maria Markoulli (Australia), Fiona Stapleton (Australia), Christopher Starr (United States), Amy Gallant Sullivan (United Kingdom), and James Wolffsohn (United Kingdom).

The TFOS Workshop will launch once sufficient funds are raised.


Oasis Tears Hypochlorous Available

Oasis Medical announced the availability of Oasis Tears Hypochlorous. According to the company, it is a gentle, non-toxic, and natural antimicrobial formula to manage bioburden on irritated eyelids and lashes.

Oasis Tears Hypochlorous contains hypochlorous acid, which serves to inhibit the growth of microorganisms while being gentle for daily use. The 50mL bottle has a misting spray head for an even application without running, according to Oasis Medical. Users can spray directly on closed eyelids or onto a lint-free pad and gently apply to closed eyelids wiping in a lateral side-to-side motion.


IOPtima Announces New Configuration to Lipitear Multi Drops

IOPtima announced the availability of Lipitear Multi, a preservative-free Lipitear formulation, now offered in a 10mL multidose bottle and vegan composition that can be stored at room temperature. Lipitear is a CE-approved microemulsion consisting of an aqueous phase and a lipid phase that contains the physiological constituents of the lacrimal fluid (phospholipids and medium-chain triglycerides). Lipitear Multi is indicated for dry eye disease, dry and irritated eyes following refractive or other ocular surgeries or due to eye traumas, hormonal changes, and extended use of contact lenses or prolonged exposure to computer screens.

Lipitear Multi, classified as a medical device, is a preservative-free, phospholipids-based, vegan microemulsion available in a multidose bottle, closed by an ophthalmic dispenser equipped with a patented unidirectional valve and air filter technology to physically and microbiologically protect the solution, according to the manufacturer.

Lipitear has been accessible as single-use vials across several countries in Europe and Asia and will soon be launched in additional territories under the new configuration.


New Medical Director Named at Oculus, Inc.

Oculus, Inc. announced that William Tullo, OD, joined the company as a medical director on Nov. 2, 2020. In this newly developed role, Dr. Tullo will provide clinical guidance and will educate medical eye professionals on Oculus, Inc. diagnostic devices. He will continue to see patients at his private practice. Dr. Tullo is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Optometry’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies and is a member of the American Optometric Association.

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals Expands Avenova’s Geographic Reach to Australia

NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. signed an agreement with Paragon Care Group Australia Pty Ltd. for the exclusive distribution of Avenova in Australia. Paragon Care Group will begin distributing Avenova directly to consumers under its Designs For Vision brand beginning in early 2021. Avenova previously received approval from the Australian Government Department of Health and was provided an Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods Certificate for distribution in that country.

Alcon Canada to Launch a Professional Line of Systane Ultra Hydration Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free

Alcon announced the Canadian launch of the newest addition to its portfolio of dry eye products—a professional line of Systane Ultra Hydration Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free. These new eyedrops contain both hyaluronic acid (HA) and HP-Guar, a combination of ingredients shown to offer long-lasting dry eye relief for those suffering from moderate or chronic dry eye, according to Alcon.

Systane Ultra Hydration Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free will launch with patented PureFlow Technology, a multi-dose closing tip bottle system that features a one-way valve to ensure that no contaminated liquid is re-introduced into the container after a drop has been dispensed. This bottle technology eliminates the need for preservatives in the eyedrops, according to the company. Alcon also notes that Systane Ultra Hydration Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free are safe for use in rewetting all silicone hydrogel and soft contact lenses.

The commercial availability of Systane Ultra Hydration Lubricant Eye Drops Preservative Free began Dec. 1, 2020.


Nicox’s Licensee Bausch + Lomb Launches Vyzulta in Argentina

Nicox SA announced that its exclusive global licensee Bausch + Lomb has launched Vyzulta (latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution), 0.024% in Argentina. Regulatory approval in Argentina was obtained in January 2020.

Stay Updated

COVID-19 UpdateFor the most up-to-date COVID-19 news and tips for eyecare providers, visit

And, you can now sign up to receive the weekly PentaVision COVID-19 News Roundup newsletter, a joint publication from Contact Lens Spectrum, Eyecare Business, and Optometric Management.


Topcon Announces U.S. Launch of RDx

Topcon Healthcare announced that it has launched its new Topcon RDx ocular telehealth software platform to the U.S. market. Topcon RDx is an eye health exam platform that allows practitioners to connect to their office(s) remotely and conduct comprehensive eye exams in real-time from virtually anywhere. RDx connects to Topcon’s CV-5000S digital phoropter, allowing practitioners to perform fully remote refractions.

In addition to the integrated face-to-face consultation dashboard, RDx automatically imports the autorefractor and lensometer data and presets the refraction starting point on the digital phoropter to optimize the exam. According to Topcon, RDx allows eyecare practitioners to be (virtually) present at more than one location and to offer more extended and more flexible office hours. RDx technology also allow patients to have their eye exam done at a time and place convenient for them while maintaining a safe social distance and reducing or eliminating time in the waiting room.


BCLA Spearheads #StopTheSteam Campaign

The BCLA hopes that this campaign, which includes a downloadable infographic, will raise the profile of contact lenses and encourage eyecare professionals to discuss the option of trying lenses with patients left frustrated by steam on their glasses while wearing a mask. More details and an infographic are available at
Quick Poll

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Clinical Image

Marco Tovaglia, TS Lenti a Contatto srl, Vittone, Italy

image This girl tried many times, without any success, to wear disposable toric lenses. When I had the opportunity to examine her, I discovered nasal pingueculae that interfered with the lens edge. To solve this problem and to permit her to wear lenses without any problem during the day, I prescribed ballasted toric lenses with a double truncation; the horizontal truncation works to stabilize the vertical truncation, preventing mechanical stress to the pingueculae.

We thank Marco Tovaglia for this image and welcome photo submissions from our other readers! It is easy to submit a photo for consideration for publishing in Contact Lenses Today. Simply visit to upload your image. Please include a detailed explanation of the photo and your full name, degree or title, and city/state/country.


Toric GP Lenses Simplified

In the “big” world of scleral lenses, it’s easy to forget about corneal GP lenses and the intricacies of fitting them. While they can seem daunting to many eyecare providers, the rules are pretty well structured. Spherical lenses are less intimidating; however, for patients who have astigmatism, the rules can be confusing.

Corneal GP lenses can incorporate the tear layer to correct astigmatism if it is less than 2.00D. This is accomplished by fitting flatter than the cornea, which will create a negative tear film layer. For patients who have more than 2.00D of astigmatism, many of us, including me, have to hit the refresh button on the basic principles.

To correct higher levels of astigmatism, many will use two different base curves (back-surface toric) that are typically fit flatter in each principal meridian. There are several philosophies such as the Mandell-Moore bitoric lens guide, which advises 0.25 flat on flat meridian, and 0.50 to 0.75 flat on the steep meridian. Others will use a combination of the above based on what they were taught, or they will use their own cocktail. Then, to counter the leftover or induced astigmatism of the cornea, GP lens, and tear film relationship, they will usually need to add front-surface power in each meridian to achieve optimal vision. This combination of two base curves on the back surface and two powers on the front surface yields the term “bitoric” lens.1

While many prefer to call their lab for empirical-based designs, it’s good to have an understanding of the foundation of these lenses to instill fitting confidence and, ultimately, to help with patient care.

1. Bennett ES, Layfield KA, Lam D, Henry VA. Correction of astigmatism. In: Bennett ES, Henry VA, eds. Clinical Manual of Contact Lenses. 4th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2014:344-94.

It’s That Time Again, but It’s Not Like Any Time Before

The year 2020 has been the worst! I have hated a grand portion of this year. But what this year has taught me is how grateful I am that I have a subspecialty. This year brought in more of our loyal patients who needed an eye exam and wanted contact lenses. In addition, it also brought in our specialty patients. Like many practices, this year was down, but we kept our base. It taught us that regardless of what happens, these are the patients who are likely to stick with us no matter what.

As I look toward 2021 and the uncertainty that will possibly persist, it will surely bring its challenges. I am resetting my base to 2020 but am keeping 2019’s numbers close at hand when I project forward. If you are like me and you start looking ahead, I encourage you to do the following. Decide on your normal growth percentage for the year, and set that aside. Set up your 2021 goal numbers with the first quarter (Q1) being about the same as 2020. With the shutdown, we do not want to project Q2 based on 2020. Additionally, we cannot anticipate huge growth over our 2019 numbers that we would normally have each year. We do not want our Q3 numbers to reflect our 2020 numbers, because they were either negatively affected or artificially positively affected by COVID; in my office, we had the best Q3 in history because we were open and saw many of our Q2 patients in Q3. Therefore, I would suggest setting up your goal numbers for Q2 and Q3 to align with your 2019 numbers. And, depending on how 2020 ends, use the Q4 that is most favorable (2019 or 2020) as your target number.

Finally, if 2021 starts to really shape up, it will be critical to adjust your budget and office flow to match the percentage growth over projected as time goes on. I’d suggest increasing your budget after Q1, as it will likely set the tone for the remainder of the year. Happy budgeting and planning in an unprecedented time.


Analysis of Factors That May Affect the Effect of Atropine 0.01% on Myopia Control

Children respond differently to atropine treatment, and predicting patient factors associated with better myopia control is important. Therefore, the authors of this study aimed to evaluate factors related to myopia progression in Chinese children treated with atropine 0.01%.

This retrospective study included 133 children who were administered atropine 0.01% eyedrops every night for one year. Enrolled children were examined at follow-up visits at three and six months and at one year. The primary outcome was clinically significant myopia progression (more than a –0.75D increase in spherical equivalent [SE]). Multivariate logistic analysis was used to identify predictive factors for myopia progression.

The mean baseline SE was –3.92D ± 2.76D, and the average increases in SE and axial length at one year from baseline were –0.55D ± 0.57D and 0.43mm ± 0.52mm, respectively. The risk of myopia progression significantly increased in children whose mothers had moderate myopia of less than –6.00D compared to that in children whose mothers had no history of myopia (odds ratio [OR] = 2.76, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.06 to 7.19, P = 0.0382). Birth by cesarean section was also a risk factor for myopia progression (odds ratio [OR] = 2.35, 95% CI: 1.30 to 4.27, P = 0.0048). The correlation between SE and treatment efficiency was linear, and the risk of myopia progression significantly decreased with increasing SE.

The researchers determined that atropine 0.01% controlled myopia more effectively in children who have higher myopia, who were delivered naturally, and whose mothers had no genetic background of myopia.

Zhang X, Wang Y, Zhou X, Qu X. Analysis of Factors That May Affect the Effect of Atropine 0.01% on Myopia Control. Front Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 9;11:01081.
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