Some Positive Trends, but Many Eyecare Practices Still Lag April 2019 Performance Metrics, Jobson Research Survey Finds

By Staff
Thursday, May 6, 2021 4:35 PM NEW YORK—Even as the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. decline and the number of Americans who have completed the vaccination regimen rises, the eyecare segment continues to see challenges along the pathway toward a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels, according to the findings of Wave 22 of the Coronavirus ECP Survey conducted April 26-30, 2021, by Jobson Research. Notably, 75 percent of the respondents to Wave 22 said they believe their practice currently has capacity to see more patients, with the average respondent indicating the practice could see 26 percent more patients. In addition, key metrics—such as profitability per patient, patients per day and optical sales —for many practices show that business and patient activity is running slightly behind April 2019 levels, but have rebounded significantly from the lows experienced in April 2020. Read More

Women In Optometry: Putting in the Work Against Racial Bias

By Staff
Thursday, May 6, 2021 4:32 PM In the past year, I’ve talked with program directors leading diversity and inclusion initiatives at schools and colleges of optometry, as well as organizers of the 13% Promise and the National Optometric Association’s efforts to increase representation of people of color in the optometric profession. Recent news stories about violence and aggression toward those of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage brought new horrors into what has been a volatile and politically and racially charged time. In March, WO conducted a Pop-up Poll on attitudes of racial bias toward the AAPI community—and the results were sobering. Read More

Vision Expo Extends Free Registration, as Show Organizers Anticipate 5,000+ Attendees for Vision Expo East Orlando

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 8:29 PM ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, organizers of Vision Expo, announced that free registration for Vision Expo East 2021, taking place June 2-5 in Orlando, Fla., will be extended indefinitely. The decision to extend the free registration deadline is based on what they describe as a "recent, notable spike in attendee registration. Mitch Barkley, vice president of trade shows and events at The Vision Council, co-owner of Vision Expo, said, “With just four weeks to go until Vision Expo East, we are expecting to have at least 5,000 attendees at the show." Read More

Review of Optometric Business: 5 Steps for Effectively Treating Chronic Dry Eye While Growing Your Practice

By Staff
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 8:26 PM Dry eye is becoming increasingly common, with 16 million people in the U.S. experiencing it, according to the National Eye Institute. Published reports estimate 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with dry eye disease (DED). Researchers found that the actual number of Americans suffering from dry eye symptoms is likely much higher. Some reports estimate that nearly half of all U.S. adults experience dry eye signs and symptoms. Fortunately, there is a new way, free of manufactured chemicals, of providing relief to patients while growing your practice’s patient base and profitability. Read More

Rx Optical Will Partner With MyEyeDr.

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:45 PM VIENNA, Va.–Rx Optical, with 54 locations across Michigan and Indiana, announced today that it is partnering with the MyEyeDr. family of practices. The deal will bring the total MyEyeDr. office count to 731 over 26 states and the District of Columbia. Details of the transaction were not disclosed. The partnership further solidifies the presence of MyEyeDr. in the Midwest. Since partnering with Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking in 2019, MyEyeDr. has added 185 offices to its list of optometric practices focused on the vision healthcare needs of a diverse patient base across the country, the company said. Rx Optical was founded in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Mich. and is owned by Edward J. Fletcher and Stephan Jepson. Read More 

Review of Myopia Management:How to Educate Parents and Patients Who Know Nothing About Myopia Management

By Staff
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 6:40 PM It’s a typical day at the office. You take a quick glance at the next chart before entering the room to meet the patient, a first grader who just failed his school screening with visual acuity of 20/50 OD, OS. It could be one of the many false positives we see from school screenings, particularly this year when ODs haven’t been able to access schools to volunteer due to the pandemic, or you could be about to give this child a first diagnosis of myopia. Defining this as life changing may sound extreme since we’re just talking nearsightedness of about -1.25D, but think about the lifelong implications in terms of quality of life, cost, and ocular health risk. Myopia is quite a big deal. How can you make this patient’s parents understand the implications? Read More

Scientists Gain Insights in Causes of AMD by Studying Worm Physiology

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 8:03 AM Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have identified a new potential mechanism for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—the leading cause of blindness among older adults—by studying laboratory-grown roundworms as well as human and mouse eye tissue. The UMSOM researchers said that the findings suggest a new and distinct cause that is different from the previous model of a problematic immune system, showing that the structural organization of the eye’s light-detecting cells may be affected by the disease. The discovery offers the potential to identify new molecular targets to treat the disease, according to an announcement by the University. Read More

2020 Europe: Fashion Retailer Gap Signs Licensing Agreement With De Rigo

By Staff
Monday, May 3, 2021 8:00 AM De Rigo, has announced a licensing agreement for the design, production and distribution of Gap branded prescription frames and sunglasses in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Founded in 1969 in San Francisco by Donald and Doris Fisher, Gap is a well-known casual lifestyle brand in the U.S., which embodies modern American optimism. The agreement with De Rigo, brokered by IMG, marks a step in the evolution of Gap's lifestyle concept through eyewear with a collection for men, women and children. The collection will reflect Gap’s current values of producing well-made and responsibly produced products that define the brand and its seasonal offerings. The first collection is scheduled in 2022 and will be distributed through De Rigo's sales network and in select Gap specialty stores. Read More

Indies Tackle Allergy Season

By Staff
Sunday, May 2, 2021 5:10 PM NEW YORK—For many, springtime brings joy. Spring and summer mean longer days, warmer weather, and more outdoor adventures—but, for millions, it can also mean brutal and sometimes debilitating allergies that make this beautiful season unbearable. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, a professional medical membership organization of nearly 6,800 allergist/immunologists and related professionals, roughly 7.8 percent of people 18 and over in the U.S. have hay fever. This week, we’re taking a look at how some ECPs around the country are tackling the dawn of allergy season. Read More

20/20 Magazine: Be Bold

By Staff
Sunday, May 2, 2021 5:07 PM My sister-in-law called, worried about her husband. He was having headaches and neck and shoulder pain, and she didn’t know why. My optical instincts kicked in, and I asked when he had his last eye exam. It was about four years ago. He is 65, working from home on digital devices, and wearing the readers he got at his last exam. I told her his complaints were consistent with digital eye strain, that he needed an eye exam, and most likely progressive lenses. “But they’re so expensive!” she replied. I did my best to convince her that the investment was well worth it. It worked. Read More

Prevent Blindness Declares May as Ultraviolet Awareness Month to Educate Public on Potential Health Dangers of UV Exposure to Eyes

By Staff
Thursday, April 29, 2021 9:03 AM CHICAGO—Because extended exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause damage to the eyes, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, has declared May as Ultraviolet Awareness Month. The group seeks to educate the public on the increased risk of everything from “corneal sunburns” (photokeratitis) to diseases such as cataract and eye cancers. Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free resources on UV protection to keep vision healthy, including fact sheets and a dedicated webpage at: PreventBlindness.org/sun-and-vision. Shareable infographics on sun safety are also available. Read More

Optical Sales in the U.S. Continue its Month-Long Decline, Jobson Practice Performance Tracker Says

By Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 5:23 PM NEW YORK—Optical sales throughout the U.S. continued their gradual decline that started nearly a month ago, according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. Over the course of last week, April 19-25, all product/service categories being tracked declined by 2 index points. This downward trajectory began when comparing the week of March 29-April 4 with the week of March 22-28, when national optical sales began falling during the Easter and Passover holidays and have continued in that direction since. Read More 

Review of Optometric Business: 5 Ways to Achieve a Fully Vaccinated Staff

By Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 5:20 PM Vaccine hesitancy is common. A recent NPR/Marist poll found that one in four Americans said they would refuse a coronavirus vaccine outright if offered. Another 5 percent are “undecided” about whether they would get the shot. Some of those people may work for your practice. Here are a few tips on how to encourage employees to get vaccinated against COVID. Have you already gotten vaccinated against COVID-19? You have an opportunity to lead by example. There is tremendous misinformation circulating about the COVID-19 vaccination. Take time to educate employees about the truth, including sharing information about the safety and approval measures that are in place when a new vaccine comes on the market, and the trials that took place before the COVID vaccines in use in the U.S. were given the green light. Read More

Optical Sales in the U.S. Continue its Month-Long Decline, Jobson Practice Performance Tracker Says

By Staff
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 12:33 AM NEW YORK—Optical sales throughout the U.S. continued their gradual decline that started nearly a month ago, according to the latest Jobson Practice Performance Tracker. Over the course of last week, April 19-25, all product/service categories being tracked declined by 2 index points. This downward trajectory began when comparing the week of March 29-April 4 with the week of March 22-28, when national optical sales began falling during the Easter and Passover holidays and have continued in that direction since.

Click here to view the complete Jobson COVID-19 Performance Tracker