• The Global Specialty Lens Symposium will be held January 24-27, 2013 at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The 2013 conference will include the fundamentals pre-conference, presentations by field experts, demonstrations of cutting-edge products, as well as scientific papers and posters and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.GSLSymposium.com.

GP Specialists, a custom soft and gas-permeable contact lens laboratory, received FDA clearance to begin manufacturing made-to-order soft contact lenses using the Definitive silicone hydrogel (Contamac). For more information, visit www.gpspecialists.com.

• A new EZ-Exchange program allows practitioners to make lens adjustments without having to return the original lenses, according to Alden Optical. When fitting adjustments are needed, practitioners can order new lenses and dispose of the originals. The new policy was designed to maintain efficiency and decrease shipping and handling costs. For more information, visit www.aldenoptical.com.

Minute-to-Fit 2.0 is a new fitting approach for Duette lenses (SynergEyes): The rigid center is fit like a rigid gas-permeable lens and the soft skirt is fit like a soft lens. The fitting does not require fluorescein. For more information, visit www.synergeyes.com/duette.html.

• A new 13-minute tutorial offers eye care practitioners and staff strategies for improving the sales of annual supplies of contact lenses, according to ABB Concise. The tutorial highlights the importance of selling annual supplies for patient retention and office efficiency, as well as the patient’s savings and compliance. The lesson presents scenarios such as how to handle objections and how to provide scripts. For more information, visit www.abbconcise.com.

Several New Lenses to Hit the Market
The 2012 Academy of Optometry meeting in Phoenix was the venue of choice for industry professionals to provide a glimpse into the ever-expanding contact lens market. Keep an eye out for these new additions:
• Bausch + Lomb announced FDA approval of the company’s new premium daily disposable contact lens, Biotrue OneDay. The lens offers high water content and delivers more oxygen than a traditional hydrogel, without using silicone. Biotrue OneDay was designed to alleviate the blurriness experienced by some lens wearers toward the end of the day that is thought to be caused by lens dryness.
• Launched at AAO 2012, the Astera (Alden Optical) multifocal toric soft lens features dual elliptical stabilization for improved orientation and rotational stability, and center-near multifocal optics with a large stabilized zone at near and distance. Tom Shone reported that this unique approach to stabilization is available in custom prescriptions and multiple replacement cycles.
• The Onefit (Blanchard) mini-scleral lenses, which completely vault the cornea, are designed for young contact lens wearers, sports active adult and youth populations, as well as dry eye and GP-intolerant patients. According to Richard Dorer of Blanchard, the unique design delivers extended hours of comfortable wear and improved vision performance due to a larger posterior optical zone.
• Alcon is developing a new daily disposable contact lens that will feature a core of silicone hydrogel material with high oxygen transmissibility and a surface of water-loving polymer chains with essentially no silicone, reducing friction. A unique “water gradient” design varies the water content from 33% at the core to more than 80% at the surface. According to the company, the result improves end-of-day comfort without compromising oxygen transmission.

A Quick Conjunctivitis Confirmation
Need reassurance in differential diagnosis of conjunctivitis? A new in-office test may help. AdenoPlus (Nicox) works by detecting adenovirus, which is responsible for 90% of all viral conjunctivitis and 25% of acute conjunctivitis cases. The test has 90% sensitivity and 96% specificity, and takes two minutes to complete a four-step process, according to the company. For more information, visit www.nicox.com.

Greater Precision in Dry Eye Diagnosis?
By measuring tear lactoferrin—the only available diagnostic biomarker to determine aqueous deficiency—TearScan (Advanced Tear Diagnostics) can provide a one-step ocular diagnostic test. The company believes that tear fluid holds the source material needed to identify aqueous deficient dry eye, assist in diagnostic differentiation between ADDE and evaporative dry eye, and develop effective treatments. TearScan also provides data that enables the provider to grade the level of dry eye severity and monitor the effectiveness of treatment. The test, which uses reflectance photometry, takes approximately four minutes and provides measurements with 98% specificity, the company says. For more information, visit http://teardiagnostics.com.

New Lotemax Gel in the Works
The FDA has approved a new drug application for Lotemax (loteprednol etabonate, Bausch + Lomb) in the 0.5% gel drop formulation. Lotemax is used for the treatment of postoperative inflammation and pain following ocular surgery. Recommended dosage is one or two drops of the gel into the conjunctival sac of the affected eye q.i.d. from the first day after surgery through two weeks of postoperative care. For more information, visit www.bausch.com.

Contact Lens Reserve May Aid Compliance
New data says that patients who keep an adequate supply of contact lenses handy tend to be more compliant with lens replacement schedules and are less likely to wear their lenses beyond the recommended interval. Researchers at Vistakon surveyed 958 two-month or monthly lens wearers from the United States and Canada. They collected weekly data including when lenses were replaced, how many lenses were kept on hand, and general perceptions of the wear experience.

For all wearers combined, 28.7% replaced their lenses on time when they had less than a six-month supply in reserve; one-third more, or 39.4%, replaced their lenses on time when they had more than a six-month reserve. On average, biweekly wearers replaced their lenses every 3.3 weeks, while monthly wearers replaced them at 5.6 weeks. For more information, visit www.acuvueprofessional.com.