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$2M Gift Will Support Childhood Eye Research

It comes from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation.

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SAN FRANCISCO and CHICAGO — The American Academy of Ophthalmology announced a $2 million gift from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to establish a permanent research fund to advance the practice of pediatric ophthalmology.

The fund will be used to support the work of researchers investigating both rare and common eye diseases affecting children and to develop new approaches to prevention and treatment, according to a press release. The announcement was made at AAO 2018, the 122nd annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Insights for these projects will be gleaned from the academy’s IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight), the world’s largest clinical specialty data registry. The academy developed the IRIS Registry to “provide insights on eye disease and to empower ophthalmologists to effectively improve their practices and their patients’ lives,” according to the release.

Having amassed data on 50 million patients in just four years, the resource “has already improved the quality of eye care for adult patients,” according to the release. KTEF expects the gift to the Academy Foundation to extend the power of the IRIS Registry to serve the needs of children as it has adults.

The fund will enable the Academy’s IRIS Registry team to enhance the capture of data collected on pediatric patients to reveal patient characteristics associated with disease and better approaches to their prevention and treatment. The IRIS Registry team will also focus on attracting more pediatric ophthalmologists to contribute to the database, further enhancing the power of its data-driven insights.

The IRIS Registry will also be used to drive individualized learning for pediatric ophthalmologists, providing them with information on their performance, outcomes of treatment, and adherence to best practices. It will also connect ophthalmologists to an online tool offering the best educational resources in pediatric ophthalmology.

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“This grant is an extraordinary gift for ophthalmology,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “It will build upon the strengths of the world’s largest clinical data registry to drive insights on children’s eye health. I have no doubt that it will improve the care of individual children. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is a tremendous partner for our profession and our patients.”

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at editor@invisionmag.com.

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Which State Has the Hardest-Working ECPs? And Which State Has the Weirdest? INVISION’s Big Survey Tells All!

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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INVISION’S FIRST ANNUAL Big Survey found out a lot of interesting information about the American ECP… even our Canadian friends to the north weighed in. We started with the basics, and they did not disappoint! Want to know which state has the most female owners, or which one has the weirdest ECPs? Here are few quick takes from the 2019 survey:

Californian ECPs were the least likely to own their places of business, with 82 percent renting.

Kansans were most likely to be open on Sunday with one in four stores and practices open on this traditional “rest” day.

They don’t take kindly to strangers asking questions in South Dakota. South Dakota, Louisiana and New Mexico were the only states not represented in our survey.

Michigan ECPs are some of the hardest working in the industry: 25 percent work more than 50 hours a week.

Florida had the most male owners and managers in our survey at 76 percent. Washington state had the most female owners at 86 percent.

Connecticut was tops for self-declared weirdness with ECPs there giving themselves an average score of 8.2 out of 10 on our weirdness scale.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted from August to October and attracted responses from more than 500 American ECPs. Look out for all the full results in the November/December issue of INVISION.

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FDA Approves First Contact Lens to Slow Myopia Progression in Children

The approval was granted to CooperVision. 

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first contact lens indicated to slow the progression of myopia in children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

The FDA granted approval of MiSight, a single-use disposable soft contact lens, to CooperVision Inc.

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“Today’s approval is the first FDA-approved product to slow the progression of myopia in children, which ultimately could mean a reduced risk of developing other eye problems,” said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, director of the Office of Ophthalmic, Anesthesia, Respiratory, ENT and Dental Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Myopia is the most frequent cause of correctable visual impairment worldwide, the FDA noted in a press release announcing the approval. It is common in children and tends to increase as they get older.

CooperVision said in its own press release that MiSight is “the cornerstone of a comprehensive myopia management approach” that it will offer.

“We can’t overstate the importance and potential impact of this landmark decision on children’s vision, especially considering the rise in myopia’s severity and prevalence in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Daniel G. McBride, president of CooperVision. “Eye care professionals who embrace this breakthrough approach will improve the quality of life and eye health for so many children.”

The product will launch in the U.S. as part of a CooperVision myopia management initiative beginning in March 2020, according to the company’s release. The lens “is already being successfully worn by thousands of myopic children in other parts of the world, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain and Australia, where age ranges for initial fitting may vary.”

MiSight “has been recognized as one of the most innovative developments in eye health by the likes of the British Contact Lens Association and international industry media,” according to the release.

The MiSight soft contact lenses are meant to be worn daily to correct nearsightedness and slow the progression of myopia in children with healthy eyes. When placed on the eye, one part of the MiSight contact lens corrects the refractive error to improve distance vision in nearsighted eyes, similar to a standard corrective lens. In addition, concentric peripheral rings in the lens focus part of the light in front of the retina (the back of the eye). This is believed to reduce the stimulus causing the progression of myopia.

The approval of MiSight was based on data obtained from a prospective clinical trial at four clinical sites and real-world evidence. The safety and effectiveness of MiSight was studied in a three-year randomized, controlled clinical trial of 135 children ages 8 to 12 at the start of treatment who used MiSight or a conventional soft contact lens.

The trial showed that for the full three-year period, the progression in myopia of those wearing MiSight lenses was less than those wearing conventional soft contact lenses. In addition, subjects who used MiSight had less change in the axial length of the eyeball at each annual checkup. Over the course of the trial, there were no serious ocular adverse events in either arm of the study.

Additionally, to estimate the rate of vision-threatening corneal infections among children and adolescents who wear soft contact lenses daily, the FDA reviewed real world data from a retrospective analysis of medical records of 782 children ages 8 to 12 years old from seven community eyecare clinics. The results showed a rate comparable to the rate of ulcer cases among adults who wear contact lenses daily.

As part of the approval of MiSight, the sponsor is required to conduct a postmarket study of the contact lenses to further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product as indicated.

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LASIK Should Be Banned, Says Former FDA Adviser

He regrets voting to approve the treatment.

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A retired U.S. Food and Drug Administration adviser says LASIK eye surgery should be removed from the market.

Morris Waxler voted to approve to treatment, but now wishes he hadn’t, CBS News reports. He has re-examined the data.

“Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years,” he told CBS.

His analysis suggests that 10 percent to 30 percent of patients experience complications. He asked the FDA in 2011 to issue a voluntary recall of the treatment, but the FDA declined to do so.

The FDA recently told CBS that it “has not found any new safety concerns associated with LASIK devices.”

CBS News quoted several patients saying they’d been harmed by LASIK.

Abraham Rutner, for example, said that he had double vision and that “around the lights [was] like having starbursts.” He notes, however, that his vision is improved by approximately 90 percent.

Experts say pre-surgical screening is crucial to avoiding LASIK complications.

The key lies in “knowing who to operate on and who not to operate on and there are people who really should not have this procedure,” Dr. Jules Winokur told CBS News.

The FDA has issued an advisory on risks and how to find find the right doctor for LASIK.

Read more at CBS News

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