Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew contributes daily briefings to VMAIL LaunchPad, that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He also helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

The Birth of the U.S. Military’s ‘Birth Control Glasses’

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 28, 2022 8:30 AM Like many magazine editors, I’m also magazine fan. I read some of them online, but I still enjoy reading, and feeling, the print edition of the New Yorker, Guitar Player and a few other favorites. Honestly, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. When a new issue arrives, I start thumbing through it as I walk from the mailbox to my house. Last month, I discovered a magazine I hadn’t seen before, despite the fact that it’s been published for ages. It’s the Marine Corps Times, which bills itself as “the oldest and most trusted source for news and information about U.S. Marines, the military and the DoD.” One of the magazine’s article featured a headline that grabbed my attention: “How the U.S. Military Adopted its Famous ‘Birth Control Glasses.”

Singer Optical Lab Enters Third Generation of Ownership

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, October 11, 2022 12:38 AM EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Singer Optical Co. (www.singeroptical.com), a 74-year-old independent laboratory located here, has transitioned to its third generation of Singer family ownership. The company has changed ownership from founder Fred Singer to Fred’s two sons Roger and Martin, to now Martin and his son, Ben Singer.

When Creating Solutions for Color Blindness, EnChroma Colors Outside the Lines

By Andrew Karp
Friday, September 16, 2022 8:30 AM When Erik Ritchie took over in early 2021 as CEO of EnChroma, he told me that he saw a huge opportunity to grow the company’s share of the market for color blindness eyewear, as well grow the market overall. “Just in the U.S. alone there are 13 million people who suffer from color blindness, and that market has traditionally been underserved,” he said in a VMAIL interview. “One of my goals is to make sure we get the word out and raise awareness of not only the issue, but the solutions to that issue, and that we do that both in the U.S. and globally.”

Keeping Time With Stu Gleich: Horologist, Bootleg Music Collector and Optical Sales Pro

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 19, 2022 8:30 AM What makes Stu Gleich tick? This seems like a reasonable question to ask about a dedicated horologist—someone who studies and often buys, sells and collects wristwatches and other timepieces. So, I decided to find out more about the man and what motivates him in his personal and professional pursuits. Here’s what I learned. Although Gleich makes his living in optical sales, horology is a consuming interest. However, he approaches both with a similar attitude. For Gleich, the search for that special watch, along with the transactions that are part of the experience, is not just about the thrill of the hunt and the pleasure of owning a beautiful object. It’s also about the relationships he forms along the way.

Diagnosed Prevalent AMD Cases Projected to Top 40.3 Million in Major Markets by 2031

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 1:00 PM Diagnosed prevalent cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the seven major markets—U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, U.K., and Japan—combined is expected to increase from 33.66 million cases in 2021 to 40.32 million in 2031, at an annual growth rate (AGR) of 1.98 percent, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. AMD is a progressive eye condition that is characterized by the gradual deterioration of the macula, which is the area of the retina responsible for central vision.

Retinal Exam Could Predict Heart Attack Risk, Study Says

By Andrew Karp
Friday, July 22, 2022 8:30 AM A retinal exam may be able to predict a person’s risk of heart attack, when combined with other information, according to a recent study. Researchers found that the pattern of blood vessels in the retina could help identify those who are likely to experience heart problems, according to The Guardian. In a recent article posted on WebMD, writer Carolyn Crist reported that the researchers used data from UK Biobank, which contains medical and lifestyle records for 500,000 people, to calculate a measure known as fractal dimension. The research team then studied people in the database who had experienced a heart attack, or myocardial infarction, after retinal images had been collected, Crist said.

Presbyopia: The Art and Science of Matching Patients With Solutions

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:30 AM Along with receding hairlines, crow’s feet and sagging skin, presbyopia is one of the least welcome physical changes we experience as we age. The gradual loss of our eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects, a result of the stiffening of the crystalline lens, is an inevitable condition for most of us who are middle aged and older. In fact, you could even add presbyopia to the familiar litany of death and taxes. And it only gets worse with time.

Presbyopia Snapshots

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 1:27 AM

The Grolman Fitting System Was a Progressive Idea

By Andrew Karp
Friday, June 17, 2022 8:30 AM While researching and writing a feature article on presbyopia for the June issue of Vision Monday, I remembered a novel device called the Grolman Fitting System that was once used for fitting patients with progressive lenses. It was, excuse the pun, progressive for its time, though it has since been replaced with modern, digital technologies. Here’s a brief history of the device, drawn from an article I wrote about 25 years ago.

Fruit Flies Give Insight Into Age-Related Changes in Human Vision, Researchers Say

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, May 26, 2022 8:30 AM I’m always on the lookout for new research that help us better understand human vision as well as how to preserve and protect it. One study that caught my attention recently concerns a team of researchers at Purdue University who discovered that the circadian clock plays a significant role in protecting eyes from retinal degeneration. The team studied fruit flies, which serve as a good model for the human retina. In a recent interview with Purdue writer Elizabeth K. Gardner, team leader Vikki Weake, associate professor of biochemistry in Purdue's College of Agriculture, discussed how it might be possible to slow or prevent vision loss from retinal degeneration.

How OCT Scanning Technology Could Help Robots and Cars See Better

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 29, 2022 11:43 AM Most ophthalmologists and optometrists are probably familiar with optical coherence tomography (OCT), the non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section images of a patient’s retina. However, OCT is being applied in new ways that might surprise even the eyecare professionals who use it in their everyday practice. Duke University recently announced that researchers there are now applying lessons learned from decades of perfecting the eye imaging technology to autonomous systems sensor technologies used in robots and vehicles.

Eye Imaging Technology Breaks Through Skin by Crossing Beams

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 25, 2022 8:30 AM Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated a method for increasing the depth at which optical coherence tomography (OCT) can image structures beneath skin. The gold standard for imaging and diagnosing diseases within the retina, OCT has yet to find widespread use as an imaging technique for other parts of the body due to its inability to return clear images from more than a millimeter beneath the skin’s surface. Duke researchers found that tilting the light source and detector used in the technique increases OCT’s imaging depth by almost 50 percent, putting skin diagnoses within reach. The “dual-axis” approach opens new possibilities for OCT to be used in applications such as spotting skin cancer, assessing burn damage and healing progress, and guiding surgical procedures.

A New Look at Smart Glasses

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:15 AM NEW YORK—If the term “smart glasses” still conjures up images of Google Glass for you, it’s time you took another look at them. Smart glasses have come a long way in the eight years since Glass’s brief but controversial run as a consumer product, which ended due to its unconventional styling, high price and privacy concerns related to its onboard video camera.

Product Profiles

By Andrew Karp
Thursday, March 17, 2022 1:14 AM