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Optometry College Names President

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He comes from Essilor of America.

The New England College of Optometry Board of Trustees has named Howard Purcell as the 13th president and CEO of the college. Purcell was selected following a national search to succeed Clifford Scott, who will be stepping down after serving for nine years. INVISION HowardPurcell 1000 667 80He will take office on July 2.

“I am honored and thrilled to join a team of outstanding educators, administrators and optometry students who are motivated to make a difference for the profession and the patients we serve,” Purcell said. “Dr. Scott has worked hard as president to guide the path of NECO with humility, grace, and professionalism while always keeping the student front and center in the decision-making process. I look forward to building on the solid foundation he has established.”

Purcell is a graduate of NECO’s Class of 1984.

“I am confident my experiences in private practice, academia, and industry will bring a unique perspective to the College,” he said. “This is truly the only position that could convince me to leave Essilor of America and the great mission, work, and people of the company I’ve called home for the last 10 years.”

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Purcell’s optometric career began with 11 years of private practice in Florida with his father, NECO alumnus Saul Purcell. He then joined the faculty at Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry, rising to the position of deputy dean prior to being recruited by Johnson and Johnson as senior director of professional affairs. Most recently, Purcell has been the senior vice president of customer development for Essilor of America.

Board Chair Pano Yeracaris announced the selection of Purcell to the NECO community.

“The most important job of the NECO president is to serve our students, ensuring that the College remains strong and moves us confidently into the future of optometry,” Yeracaris said. “Finding the right person as the new leader is the most important job for the Trustees. We are confident that Dr. Purcell is the best person to carry forward the mantle of leadership for NECO and he has demonstrated a strong commitment to optometry throughout his career.”

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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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Video: Adorable Cat Melts Hearts By Trying on Eyewear for Children

Kids see that ‘if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.’

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A rescue cat in Pennsylvania is getting attention for her role in making children feel comfortable with their eyeglasses.

Truffles happily wears brightly colored frames to set a good example for the young patients of A Child’s Eyes in Mechanicsburg, the Daily Mail reports.

“If a child is feeling a bit nervous I ask Truffles if she wants to show them her glasses,” says Danielle Crull, owner of the business. “When they see Truffles wearing them it’s a really good thing and shows that if she can wear hers, they can wear them too.”

A video of the cat trying on eyewear has been viewed millions of times.

Watch the video:

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