Paragon Vision Sciences Opens State-of-the-Art Education and Training Center

GILBERT, Arizona — (January 24, 2017) — Paragon Vision Sciences, a world leader in orthokeratology, today announced the launch of the Paragon Education and Training Academy, a state-of-the-art comprehensive learning and training center, located at the company’s new headquarters in Gilbert, Ariz.

“Paragon Vision Sciences is dedicated to driving innovation in specialty contact lens technology and advancement in the science of ocular health,” says Richard Jeffries, president, Paragon Vision Sciences.  “The Paragon Education and Training Academy expands our commitment to provide clinical expertise and practice management know-how in the areas of fitting and patient management of CRT and specialty contact lenses.”

The high-tech facility includes a fully-equipped media suite, capable of offering live-streaming content, worldwide. The Academy will host a series of live monthly webinars from leading industry experts to help practitioners keep up to date on techniques and developments in myopia management, specialty contact lenses, and other subjects. Additionally, Paragon Vision Sciences will work with its strategic laboratory partners and leading experts from around the world to produce high-quality original digital video content in any language. 

“As contact lens technology continues to grow, we are committed to helping eye care practitioners fit specialty contact lenses with more precision, efficiency and confidence,” says Ken Kopp, Paragon’s Director of Clinical and Professional Services.   “Our on-line learning and in-house production capabilities are the foundation of our long-term goal to establish the Academy as a center of excellence where practitioners and students also will be able to receive hands-on training, share knowledge, and work together toward developing innovative solutions to unmet optical needs.”

 To learn more about the company’s vision for the Paragon Education and Training Academy, visit https://player.vimeo.com/video/200846646.

 

About Paragon Vision Sciences

Paragon Vision Sciences, independently-owned by its CEO Joe Sicari, is dedicated to “Changing Lives Through Better Vision.” For more than 40 years, Paragon Vision Sciences’ commitment to research and development of advanced polymerizations for gas permeable materials, along with the company’s sharp focus on technologically advanced ocular device design and superior manufacturing standards in the corneal reshaping/orthokeratology and scleral categories, has established Paragon as an industry leader in serving the global specialty contact lens market.  Prescribed in 50 countries around the world, Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses are the choice of many eye care practitioners for the management of myopia.  For more information, visit www.paragonvision.com.

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For further information, contact:

Gary Esterow

Esterow Communications, LLC

(908) 216-5200

esterowcommunications@gmail.com

Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses Approved by China Food & Drug Administration

Specially designed therapeutic contact lens offers eye care practitioners another option
to help treat myopia in children.


MESA, Arizona — (January 11, 2017) — Paragon Vision Sciences, a world leader in orthokeratology, today announced China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approval and commercial availability of its corneal reshaping/ orthokeratology brand, Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses in China.   The contact lenses, a non-surgical treatment option for managing myopia (nearsightedness), the leading cause of vision impairment worldwide1, are now available in 50 countries around the world, including the United States.

In China, one out of three people above the age of five suffers from myopia (a vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred) according to the National Visual Health White paper released in June 2016 by the China Health Development Research Center at Peking University. According to the report, in 2012 nearly 500 million people over the age of five had a visual defect in China, among which about 450 million had myopia. By 2020, nearly 700 million people are expected to have myopia in China—twice the population of the U.S.2

Generally, myopia first occurs in school-age children. Because the eye continues to grow during childhood, it typically progresses until about age 20.  In mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, the prevalence of myopia is between 80 percent and 90 percent in students completing secondary education.3   Later in life, if not treated properly, high levels of myopia may increase a person’s risk of developing serious ocular health problems such as retinal damage, cataract and glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Orthokeratology (also known as Ortho-K, corneal reshaping, and corneal refractive therapy [CRT]) is a non-surgical, option used to treat nearsightedness and low degrees of astigmatism using therapeutic contact lenses worn overnight. While asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of the eye (cornea), resulting in clear vision the following day after the therapeutic CRT lenses are removed. 

“Various optical approaches to the control of myopia progression have been evaluated over the past few decades, and numerous studies have demonstrated that overnight cornea-reshaping contact lenses are both a safe and effective treatment for slowing and reducing the progression of myopia in children,” says Maria Liu, OD, PhD, assistant professor of clinical optometry at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and founder and chief of UCB’s Myopia Control Clinic.  The clinic specializes in direct patient care and supervising optometry residents in optometric care of children and young adults with progressive or high myopia. 


Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses Approved by CFDA/2

 “Studies also have shown that 75 percent of children are capable of wearing corneal reshaping contact lenses4 and that this treatment method is as effective as other methods of treating myopia such as soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, and eyeglasses in children,” adds Dr. Liu. “Of course, selecting the appropriate vision correction option should be made after a discussion between the eye care practitioner, the parents, and the child.”

“Dramatic increases in and projections for the prevalence of myopia world-wide are a serious public health concern,” notes Richard Jeffries, president, Paragon Vision Sciences. “The practice of using overnight corneal reshaping with contact lenses to treat myopia is global and growing. With the availability of Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses in China, eye care practitioners have another evidence-based treatment option to help them treat myopia in children that may also contribute to preventing potential myopic-related ocular complications and vision loss from occurring later in life.”

Essilor China will serve as the exclusive distributor for Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses in China.  The lenses will be widely available to eye care practitioners within the next few months. 


About Paragon Vision Sciences
Paragon Vision Sciences is dedicated to improving lives through better vision.  For more than 40 years, Paragon Vision Sciences’ commitment to research and development of advanced polymerizations for gas permeable materials, along with the company’s sharp focus on technologically advanced ocular device design and superior manufacturing standards in the corneal reshaping/orthokeratology and scleral categories, has established Paragon as an industry leader in serving the global specialty contact lens market.  With over 1.5 million lenses sold in 50 countries, Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses are the choice of many eye care practitioners for the management of myopia.  For more information, visit www.paragonvision.com. 

Important Information for Contact Lens Wearers: Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses are indicated for use in the reduction of myopic refractive error in non-diseased eyes. The lenses are indicated for overnight wear with removal during all or part of each following day in a Corneal Refractive Therapy fitting program for the temporary reduction of myopia.  As with any contact lens, eye problems, including corneal ulcers, can develop. If a wearer experiences eye discomfort, excessive tearing, vision changes, or redness of the eye, immediately remove the lenses and do not wear them until instructed to do so by the eye care practitioner. 
WARNING:  The risk of ulcerative keratitis has been shown to be greater among wearers of extended wear lenses than among wearers of daily wear lenses. The risk among extended wear lens wearers increases with the number of consecutive days that lenses are worn between removals, beginning with the first overnight use. This risk can be reduced by carefully following directions for routine lens care, including cleaning of the lens storage case. 

Consult the package insert for complete information.  Complete information is also available from Paragon Vision Sciences by calling 1-800-528-8279 or by visiting www.paragonvision.com. 

# # #

1.    Bourne RR, Stevens GA, White RA, et al., Causes of vision loss worldwide, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis. The Lancet Global Health 2013; 1(6):e339–49.
2.    Li L, Summary of National Vision Care Report, China Center for Health Development, National School of Development, Peking University, https://visionimpactinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Summary-of-National-Vision-Care-Report.pdf Accessed December 31, 2016
3.    Morgan IG, Ohno-Matsui K, Saw SM. Myopia. Lancet. 2012;379(9827):1739-1748
4.    Walline JJ, Rah MJ, Jones LA., The Children's Overnight Orthokeratology Investigation (COOKI) pilot study. Optom Vis Sci. 2004 Jun;81(6):407-13. 3. 

Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses are a trademark of Paragon Vision Sciences 

For further information, contact:
Gary Esterow
Esterow Communications, LLC
(908) 216-5200
esterowcommunications@gmail.com

Get your most challenging practice management questions answered!

We are putting out a call for your most challenging practice management questions to be answered by long time member, Nick Despotidis OD, FIAO, and AAOMC President, Paul Levine, OD, FIAO. The questions will be answered in a special follow-up Webinar after the deadline of Friday, January 13th.

Please go to the following link on our new forums to post your Practice Management question. You simply post it as a comment to the original post and you are all set.

https://aaomc.silkstart.com/discussions/answering-your-most-challenging-practice-management-questions

You have until Friday, January 13th to get your question in, so don't delay if you want to make sure it gets answered!

If you haven't joined us yet on the forums or have any questions, please send me a private email at: oaaexd@gmail.com

Vision By Design 2016

Vision by Design 2016, the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthokeratology & Myopia Control (AAOMC) met in Scottsdale, Arizona in April.  Attendees from around the world attended the 3 day event which included 2 additional days of “Bootcamp” for newer orthokeratologists.  

With 180 in attendance for OrthoK Bootcamp and an additional 340 optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians for the general session, VBD 2016 was one of the most successful events in our history!  The Scleral Lens Education Society in partnership with the AAOMC ran the Scleral Wet Lab which was attended by 45 eyecare professionals and Wave Contact Lenses had an educational tract attended by 60 as well.  

This year’s keynote speaker was the esteemed Professor John Marshall whose address on the role of corneal biomechanics in facilitating topographic cross-linking for refractive change was both educational and entertaining.  He was followed by a scientific panel of experts including Dr. Sami El Hage, Dr. Earl Smith III, Dr. Joe Barr, Dr. David Berntsen and Professor Lu Fan with discussions on corneal cross linking, visual regulation of refractive development in myopia, orthokeratology and evidence-based myopia control.

Other topics of discussion included scleral shape factors in the design and fitting of scleral lenses, a multitude of orthokeratology fitting procedures, troubleshooting, marketing, practice management, alternative treatments and practice-building applications.  With such preeminent lecturers as Patrick Caroline, Randy Kojima, Dr. Lynette Johns, Dr. Eddie Chow, Dr. Cary Herzberg, Dr. Hsiao-Ching Tung and many more, Vision by Design was literally a who’s who of optometry, orthokeratology and myopia control.  The attendees left with volumes of new knowledge and a level of excitement for their profession that can only be described as practice altering.

The AAOMC presented its inaugural “Outstanding Achievement Award” to Professor Patrick Caroline for recognition of contributions to the specialty contact lens industry and the advancement of orthokeratology and myopia control.  In addition, Dr. Jeffrey Jeruss earned his fellowship in the International Academy of Orthokeratology and Dr. David Berntsen was presented an academic fellowship as well. 

The AAOMC’s Vision By Design has become the leading conference on orthokeratology, myopia control and specialty contact lenses while being known as a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere for eye care professionals from around the world.  If you want more information about the AAOMC, please visit www.orthokacademy.com

Top Ten Reasons to go to VBD 2016

 

10. Over 40 hours of COPE Approved CE

 

 


9. Our world famous OrthoK Bootcamp for new fitters…now 2 days of great education!


 

8. An opportunity to hob nob with colleagues from around the world


7. Our terrific Fellowship program


6.  Awesome workshops like SuperCharge, Practice Independence, How to Win Big With VT, Envisioning Your Future,  Advanced OrthoK Fitting,  The Art of Ultimate OrthoK, Wave, and OrthoTool.


5. An opportunity to learn the current state of  your Academy’s role in Myopia Control while at the same time supporting the group which promotes, safeguards, and supports OrthoK worldwide: your Academy!


 

4. Learn how to fit Scleral lenses, too.


3. Our best slate ever of  lecturers including Jaume Paune, Julio Arroyo, Earl Smith, Pat Caroline and Randy Kojima. 


 

2. Our beautiful venue, the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center

 

 

 


 

And the number one reason to go to VBD 2016:

OrthoK and Myopia Control will recession-proof, WP-proof, 1-800-proof, & vison care plan-proof your practice!

 


Passing of AAOMC Member - Nicki Wall

It is with sorrow that I must impart some very bad news, our friend and colleague Nicki Wall has passed away. We don’t know any details at this time as we just found out about her passing from the executor of her estate. We tried to follow up by checking her Facebook and it appears that other people are just as shocked as we are.

Unfortunately I did not know Nicki personally, but my perception of her was that she was a very nice person who always filled the room with joy and excitement. She was one of those people you look forward to seeing every year at VBD and I remember her always bringing a smile to my face. My favorite memory of Nicki was when she once gave Earl Smith one of the most genuinely heartfelt hugs I've ever seen. The height difference between the two was humorous in the most comforting way. I had no idea if they knew each other, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had just met. She seemed like that kind of person to me. The kind of person who could walk up to a stranger and give them a hug, and that would be just fine. And I was not alone in this impression of her.

Cary remembers Nicki as someone who was always there to give him a hug and a great big Texas greeting. Chris remembers Nicki’s high energy and the gift of her smile. 

If you knew Nicki personally, or just as an acquaintance as I did, please feel free to leave a kind memory about her as a comment.

- Matt Herzberg,

AAOMC Executive Director

Reaching out to MDs

I remember some years ago I made a politically incorrect comment in a meeting with a group of Ortho-k doctors.  I asked them to "reach out to MDs to get Ortho-k referrals”.  I noticed several ODs reacted with their eyes rolled up, apparently astonished with my "outrageous" statement.  One colleague humorously  said: "what have you been smoking lately?".   Everyone in the room laughed.  Knowing that I was in the minority at that moment, I wisely chose not to push my point any further.

Recently, I reviewed my patient records.  Since the beginning of last year, I have started 6  new cases of Ortho-k  on children of MDs.  Among these parents are pediatricians, general practitioners, and one ophthalmologist.  These patients were referred to me by  parents of successful OK wearers who had great results at my clinic.  Since these Ortho-k parents are doctors,  I suggested them to check out the websites:  www.myopiaprevention.org and www.myopiacontrol.org which are very informative in explaining the science of our specialty. Since then, these MDs became very active in referring their patients to my clinic.


I have been co-managing refractive surgeries with a surgeon for many years.  For years, it has been a one-sided referral.  I sent him Lasik patients and I get none from him.  Things began to change this last year; two children came to my office for an Ortho-k consult from his referral.  They are children of one of  his successful Lasik patients.  Apparently, when the surgeon was asked if one can prevent myopia progression, he directed the inquiry to me.  My Ortho-k and myopia control crusade must have " rubbed off".

Besides MDs,  I have been promoting Ortho-k to pharmacists and dentists.  They are also well-trusted professionals who come across many concerned parents who want advices on the well-being of their children.  What better testimonial can it be when these health care professionals telling their patients that their own children or themselves belong to your Ortho-k fan club!

Just to clear the record,  I don't smoke pot.  Well, I should say  not since college days.  Time is here to reach out to the MDs and other health professionals  about the wonders of Ortho-k. Today, I don't think I am the minority anymore.

The 15th International Myopia Conference(IMC)

 The 15th International Myopia Conference(IMC)

BY Cary Herzberg, O.D. FIAO

Just returned from presenting and attending at the IMC. I met a lot of fresh new faces most of them scientists and researchers who are investigating the causes and mechanisms of myopia. Retinal Scientists who have figured out that diseases and disorders of the Retina that lead to blindness or disability have an origin in the condition we refer to as myopia. Listening to all of this we were exposed to in Wenzhou China convinces me more then ever that we face a health crisis in the making if we carry on business as usual in how we look at and treat myopia. 

A  large part of the message we heard over the three and one half day event had to do with what is happening in our community that causing myopia.  Dopamine or its absence in the Retina seems to play a major part in why outdoor activity effectively reduces the rate of myopia progression. So altering behaviors to accomplish more outdoor activity was an important contribution. Much was also made of the Scleral contribution to axial length elongation with animal studies on increasing its rigidity and perhaps a likelihood of reduced elongation as a result. It seems as though a genetic cause and solution is very far off as more then 100 genes have ben identified as likely to effect myopia through at least as many different pathways. 

The group I moderated made the case for orthokeratology intervention for myopia control.The conference also heard presentations on SCL bifocals, Atropine, Dual Focus glasses and VT. The meeting had a special eulogy for Brien Holden and all that he had mean't for us and the public we serve around the world. The Brien Holden Institute delivered a meta analysis they had done of over 2,000 studies that dealt with myopia and then the projection of what those results mean't for our children and the generation that will follow them. It was sobering indeed with over half of the world's population being myopic by the year 2050. That would mean 5 Billion people with fully 10% of those at even  more risk of eye disease being that they fell into the high myopia category(>6 Diopters).  

The consensus from many was that something needs to happen now as to how we look at and treat myopia to avoid what many consider a healthcare catastrophe that awaits us. To this end efforts ware being mounted to try to persuade Ophthalmology to accept language consistent with that and a plan to alleviate the problem. At this moment that would be using low dose Atropine on adolescents for an extended period of time. Pediatric Ophthalmologists are opposed to the idea and for a good reason. We the Eyecare community are unclear on what effects that Atropine may have on the adolescents we treat. Will the use of an anti cholinergic on the CNS lead to dementia and cognitive dysfunction as some studies have suggested? What other side effects perhaps lay ahead for us to discover? Most of us remember when Statins were the treatment of choice for high Cholesterol only to discover a plethora of disturbing side effects after it came into vogue. Perhaps it would be better to argue for a less invasive alternative like increasing outdoor activity? Would it be possible for our patients to spend several hours a day out of doors even in if they live in the northern US? Successful application of this in a small study in China has shown promising results.

Of the other major methods for effective myopia control only Ortho-K is being considered at this juncture. Here Pediatric Ophthalmology also has objections again based on long term safety. These may have substance to them as well. In places like Hong Kong(HK) there have been more then a few reports of corneal damage as a result of Ortho-K use in children. This has happened enough that  a registry has now been setup in HK for reporting of all these cases. Many of us who work on a daily basis know that Ortho-K has given and will provide a safe outcome for our patients. The problem is not the procedure. If what were hearing is true of increased incidence of cornea's being damaged through use of Ortho-K lenses in HK and other locations it raises more troubling questions. 

I truly enjoyed my opportunity to attend and present at the IMC. It was helpful to me to hear other perspectives then mine and to see all the latest in myopia research. The best moments however were spent after conference at dinner when debate would begin lasting well into the night. We didn't get any better answers but perhaps we did get a different perspective on this worldwide epidemic were facing and the community that is dealing with it.

CKR/CXL: AN ALTERNATIVE KERATOREFRACTIVE PROCEDURE

CKR/CXL: AN ALTERNATIVE KERATOREFRACTIVE PROCEDURE

Correction of visual or optical defects such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can be achieved by surgical techniques, such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).  Non-surgical techniques to improve such refractive errors of the eye include corrective glasses, contact lenses, or Orthokeratology.  One particular procedure, termed “Controlled Kerato-Reformation” (CKR), uses a patient’s total corneal topography measurements and calculated shape factor (SF) to reshape the cornea to reduce myopia and astigmatism. These measurements may be calculated using computer assisted video-keratographic software (i.e., CornealMap) to produce a topographical map of the patient’s cornea, from which corrective CKR lenses can be produced to correct the particular defects of the patient’s eye.  Wear of the CKR lenses over time provides improved visual acuity by reshaping the cornea.  While the alteration in shape and visual acuity improvement is maintained for a period of time after the CKR lenses are removed, the change is not permanent, and reverts after a period of non-wear of the lenses. 
 It would be of great utility to provide a more long-lasting non-surgical and non-invasive reshaping and alteration of the curvature of the cornea, thereby creating a potentially permanent correction of visual acuity.

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