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AOA Targets Illegal Contact Lens Sales As Halloween Approaches

It’s rolling out its annual ’31 in 31′ letter-writing campaign.

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The American Optometric Association is rolling out its annual “31 in 31” letter-writing campaign, calling out online vendors, brick-and-mortar shops and other sellers who may be distributing contacts to the public without valid prescriptions.

Copied to the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, the letters are disseminated to businesses reported to the AOA. Doctors can report suspected violations to the AOA here or direct questions to StopIllegalCLs@aoa.org.

As Halloween approaches, the AOA is reminding doctors that they can report suspected violations of the law regarding the sales of illegal costume contacts lenses. By law, decorative contact lenses, whether they correct vision or not, require a prescription from an eye doctor, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Decorative contact lenses are a cool accessory to a Halloween costume but only if they’re prescribed and fitted by a doctor of optometry,” said AOA President Barbara L. Horn, OD. “Unfortunately, people may buy their decorative lenses illegally without a prescription from a street vendor, at a beauty supply store, on the internet, or in a novelty shop. The consequences for their vision can be very serious.

“Doctors of optometry are well aware of the risks to their patients from contaminated, poorly fitted decorative lenses,” Dr. Horn says. “If they want to wear decorative contact lenses, patients should see their doctors of optometry for proper fitting. They should seek immediate care from their doctors of optometry if any symptoms develop from wearing illegal lenses. We want patients to have a safe, fun Halloween.”

On its website, the AOA notes that doctors can report suspicious sales of decorative contact lenses through various federal and AOA channels, including:

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The AOA provides patient education resources for informing patients on contact lens safety and care of contact lenses. They include:

For more information on illegal retailer or incident reporting, contact AOA Director for Coding and Regulatory Policy Kara Webb at kcwebb@aoa.org.

 

 

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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Optical Retailer to Add 25 Stores, Expand Into 4 New States

It’s entering the Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming markets.

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DALLAS –Dallas-based optical retailer Eyemart Express announced that it plans to have 25 new locations operating by the end up 2019.

The company currently owns and operates 206 stores in 38 states, according to a press release. It’s expanding into four additional states: Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.

“The drive behind our aggressive growth strategy is to make prescription eyewear accessible and convenient for more communities,” said Michael Bender, Eyemart Express CEO. “Seeing clearly should not be a burden or an excessive expense for any family. We work hard to make all our locations an affordable one-stop shop for all eyewear needs.”

Eyemart Express carries more than 2,000 frames for prescription glasses and sunglasses, ranging from exclusive private label brands to well-known brands such as Converse, Longchamp, Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban and Nike. Stores also feature onsite labs so 90 percent of glasses can be ordered and received on the same day.

“Eyemart Express’ growth helps entire communities as well. Job creation is an important factor in determining new store locations — we examine where Eyemart Express can make the biggest contribution to local economies with career opportunities,” said Bender.

More than 300 jobs will be created for hourly wage earners as a result of the optical retailer’s expansion.

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Warby Parker Rolls Out 5 Extended Sizes

They range from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide.’

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Eyewear  retailer Warby Parker is launching an “extended sizes” collection to help more consumers benefit from its products.

It features “five proportional sizes, ranging from ‘extra narrow’ to ‘extra wide’ and even including low bridge options,” the Observer reports.

Twenty-seven styles are available in seven best-selling frames.

To leverage augmented reality, the company utilized Apple’s ARKit and TrueDepth camera to create software that evaluates proper fit, according to the Observer.

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Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa was quoted saying, “We started getting feedback from our customers saying, ‘I love these styles, but you don’t have anything that fits me’ or ‘you only offer one frame that fits me.’”

Chain Store Age reports that Warby Parker spent two years developing the new sizes.

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Vision Health Firm Buys Italian Company Focused on Retinal Screening and Telehealth

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions.

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Luneau Technology has acquired Next Sight, an Italian company specialized in retinal screening and telehealth.

This acquisition “brings to Luneau increased capabilities – covering both Back and Front of the eye – to propose a comprehensive eye exam, which is a key customer need” and it “supports and brings a set of experience and technology which will help to drive forward a focus on a range of telehealth solutions for Luneau Technology group,” according to a press release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Paola Griggio, CEO of Next Sight, will continue to manage initiatives around retinal topics and will also take up a key leadership role as she is appointed vice president for telehealth at Luneau Technology.

Marc Abitbol, president and CEO Luneau Technology, said, “It is a great opportunity for Luneau Technology to expand our offer.

“We are very excited to enter the telehealth space and welcome Paola among our management team to lead this new capability for the group.”

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Luneau Technology produces devices aimed at ophthalmic, optometrists and optical professionals.

Next Sight develops robotic and IT technologies to provide ophthalmic diagnostic solutions. Next Sight produces Nexy, a device which allows retina screening through a platform to securely send patient data to remote locations.

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