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July 2011 - Posts - The Contact Lens Blog

July 2011 - Posts

Dr Newton K Wesley: 1917-2011

Just spotted this impressive obituary from the Chicago Tribune for contact lens pioneer Dr Newton Wesley who was one half of the famous US contact lens firm Wesley Jessen that was eventually bought by CIBA Vision in 2000. An optometrist, Dr Wesley, who died at the grand age of 93 and sported a fantastic set of sideburns, researched and developed contact lenses with George Jessen in the 1940s. They eventually produced rigid contact lenses that were smaller, thinner and longer-wearing than those available at the time. Dr Wesley had been spurred to do so because he suffered from keratoconus and his product was also cited as saving his vision. Among the many interesting details about him were that as the son of Japanese immigrant parents he was interned in the Second World War. When promoting his lenses he then travelled so much that he became a pilot and he campaigned in the 1950s to get 'contact lens' into the dictionary.  A memorial service was held at Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford on August 20 to mark an inspiring life.

Biting back at vampfangs

There's a veritable flurry of activity on allegedly dodgy contact lens dealings at the moment. Next step on the journey is the United States, or the US to be succinct, where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reached a settlement with an internet marketer, his company Jokeshop and to put a stop to the allegedly illegal sale of cosmetic contact lenses without prescriptions. It prohibits them from selling contact lenses without obtaining or verifying prescriptions and requires the payment of $50,000 in cash and the proceeds from the sale of a 2009 Mercedes. The rest of the $200,000 judgement against the defendants is supended because of their inability to pay. This is part of the FTC's ongoing efforts to protect consumers from the health risks from improperly used contact lenses, a practice that seems to be something of a trend around the globe at the moment. Read more about this case here 

Posted 22 Jul 2011 by SiH Wear | no comments
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BICA Vision coloured lenses

A worrying news story here from Singapore where over 100 boxes of counterfeit CIBA Vision coloured contact lenses have been seized from at least five optical shops across the island. The lenses, which look authentic but have typographical errors on the packaging (thus my headline typo), have been found to be unsafe and of poor quality. Most worryingly, tests by the Health Services Authority showed that the storage liquid was not sterile and was contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Singapore News has a nice selection of photos to show the differences between the packaging of the authentic CIBA Vision Colorblends and the imitation packaging. The situation came to light with CIBA when some optical shops tried to exchange the counterfeit products. CIBA says it's the first time its lenses have been counterfeited, although other manufacturers have been victims to contact lens counterfeiting in the past such as CooperVision in the US back in 2004 It seems the shops in Singapore were 'knowingly not buying from an authorised dealer'.

Antimicrobial treatment

To date my only experience with any form of anti-microbial treatment was a pair of trekking underpants similar to these However, casting those silver-treated smalls aside, I'm much more excited about the possibilities of antimicrobial contact lens treatments and contact lens cases, some news of which follows. Researchers at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and University of New South Wales in Australia have been awarded a $300,000 Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant to develop a novel antimicrobial material to coat contact lens cases in an attempt to prevent microbial keratitis. They hope to be able to eliminate a key risk factor for the condition by developing new lens cases and I for one would be prepared to test drive one in the future. There's definitely research going on in the UK into antimicrobial CL and case treatments and I'll hopefully be able to report on that in the not too distant future.

Harry Potter - safer in contact lenses

I know that children and teenagers can be hard on their glasses, but I'm a little shocked to learn today that the boy wizard Harry Potter managed to get through 160 pairs of spectacles over the course of the EIGHT Harry Potter films. I lf ever there was a case for switching a young man into daily disposable contact lenses, this must be it - the producers would have saved an absolute fortune. Nonetheless the statistics reveal that he was almost as hard on his wands - wearing out 60-70 during the course of the filming.