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Five Things Women Should Know About Their Eye Health

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More women are at greater risk for vision loss from certain eye diseases than men, study finds.

New data from a Prevent Blindness study says that women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind. In light of that, Prevent Blindness says the following are five things women should know about their vision and eye health:

  1. More women than men are at risk for vision loss from eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. According to the National Eye Institute, more than 3 million women and more than 1.5 million men have dry eye. Dry eye is more common after menopause, and women who experience menopause prematurely are more likely to have eye surface damage from dry eye.
  1. More women are caregivers, and as such women often make the majority of their family’s health care decisions. In addition to being responsible for their own health, women are often responsible as caregivers for the health care choices of their children, partners, spouses and aging parents. A woman making her vision health a priority positively impacts those around her, including those that depend on her care.
  1. Keeping a healthy lifestyle also helps keep the eyes healthy, including exercising regularly, not smoking and following a healthy diet. Talk to a dietician about eating habits and a doctor before starting an exercise program. Make sure to always wear UV eye protection when outdoors.
  1. Pregnancy can cause vision changes including refractive changes, dry eyes and puffy eyelids. Expectant mothers may also experience vision effects from migraine headaches, diabetes and high blood pressure. Glaucoma medications such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors can be harmful to the developing baby. All pregnant women should discuss all medications and any changes in their vision immediately with their doctor.
  1. Prevent Blindness recommends periodic dilated eye exams as the best way to ensure that vision is healthy and to help keep it that way. Additionally, a dilated eye exam can also help detect other conditions that affect overall health including high blood pressure or diabetes.

Prevent Blindness created the program, “See Jane See: Women’s Healthy Eyes Now,” to provide free education and resources on these topics to help women better understand vision issues that are unique to them. You can check out the program here.

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FDA Recalls Online Vision Test

The company was formerly known as Opternative.

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The Visibly Online Refractive Vision Test has been recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The test by Visibly, formerly known as Opternative, “is being recalled since the firm has not received authorization from FDA to market the product,” according to a notice from the FDA.

The FDA states that the test has had worldwide distribution, including including Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Utah.

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Healio.com notes that the FDA sent a warning letter to Opternative in 2017. The news site reports that the company did not respond to a request for comment on the recall.

The American Optometric Association states that in April 2016, it “issued a formal complaint to the FDA that emphasized Opternative’s lack of premarket approval (PMA) prior to marketing. The organization says it “indicated that the test should be removed from the market altogether.”

AOA states that it had concerns about “the potential for inaccurate prescriptions, missed diagnoses of serious and general health conditions, and the creation of a prescription with little input from an eye doctor.”

“Optometrists and other physicians know that eye exams are essential care and that new health technologies must always enhance the doctor-patient relationship and help deliver improved outcomes,” said AOA President Barbara L. Horn, OD. “They must also comply with the law — that’s exactly what the AOA and our state associations have insisted on through the information we provided to the FDA and other agencies in this matter, and we’re proud that it appears to have made a difference.”

The action is a Class 2 recall, meaning the FDA considers it “a situation in which use of, or exposure to, a violative product may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences or where the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.”

The FDA explains that recall is “a voluntary action that takes place because manufacturers and distributors carry out their responsibility to protect the public health and well-being from products that present a risk of injury or gross deception or are otherwise defective.”

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6-Location Optometry Practice Acquired by VSP Ventures

All locations will continue to operate under the EyeZone brand.

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RANCHO CORDOVA, CA – VSP Ventures announced the acquisition of EyeZone, a six-location optometry practice in Nevada.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2004 by Daniel Rowan, OD, EyeZone serves Northern Nevada, with locations in West Reno, Midtown, South Reno, Carson City, Fallon and Lake Tahoe. All locations will continue to operate under the EyeZone brand.

“With an unwavering focus on patient care and commitment to their community, the EyeZone team is a shining example of what a top-notch eye care and eyewear experience looks like,” said Steve Baker, president of VSP Ventures. “We’re thrilled to welcome them to the VSP Ventures family.”

“As we explored options to transition ownership, it was critical that it be with partners that shared our care-focused philosophy and would allow us to continue delivering that care while freeing us from the day-to-day management of the business,” said Rowan. “Partnering with VSP Ventures has afforded us that opportunity.”

In 2014, Rowan merged locations with a practice owned by Mark Michitsch, OD, who became a partner in EyeZone. In 2018, Amber Belaustegui, OD, also became a partner following EyeZone’s acquisition of her practice. Today, there are seven optometrists across EyeZone’s six locations. All doctors and practice staff will remain in their roles.

“Looking towards the next phase in our careers, we wanted to find partners who shared our values,” said Michitsch. “Our reputation and legacy of comprehensive patient care will continue on, and we’re set up for even more success as we look to the future in partnership with VSP Ventures.”

“Transitioning away from the administrative aspects of running a practice allows us to focus on what we love most – seeing patients and providing a differentiated and personal eye care experience to the community,” said Belaustegui.

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‘Eyeglass Store Pioneer’ Dies at 84

He founded Eyear 1 Hour Optical Inc. in Tennessee.

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Jim Crittenden, founder of Eyear 1 Hour Optical Inc. in Tennessee, has died, Chattanoogan.com reports.

He was 84.

The website described Crittenden as an “eyeglass store pioneer” for starting the state’s first one-hour eyewear superstore more than six decades ago.

He was well-known for his marketing antics, such as dying his beard purple for a TV commercial.

According to Chattanoogan.com, Crittenden’s business was the first of its kind to advertise in the state, following a legal victory in the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Crittenden was also an owner of the Lookouts minor league baseball team for several years, and helped bring the team back to Chattanooga in the 1970s.

Read more at Chattanoogan.com

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