Welcome, Women’s History Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, March 1, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—In 1978, in California, The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women planned the first-ever Women’s History Week, the National Museum of Women’s History reports. Organizers chose the week of March 8 to line up with International Women’s Day, an already established holiday, and, from there, the holiday grew. It was in 1981, according to the Library of Congress, that Congress first passed Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested then-President Ronald Reagan to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987, the National Women’s History Project petitioned Congress to pass Pub. L. 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.”

ECPs Play a Key Partner Role in Workplace Safety

By Sarah McGoldrick, Contributing Editor
Friday, February 23, 2024 8:30 AM With March just around the corner, eyecare professionals (ECPs) are focusing their attention on Workplace Eye Awareness Month. Each year, thousands of Americans experience some form of workplace eye injury. These types of injuries can be the result of many things, ranging from chemical spills to sharp objects. Many ECPs are also trying to educate their patients about the risks of spending too many hours in front of the computer, which can cause digital eyestrain. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 25,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room each year with a workplace eye injury.

A Newer, Faster Way to Diagnose and Treat Eye Stroke at Mount Sinai’s N.Y. Eye and Ear Infirmary

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, February 16, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Eye stroke, or central retinal artery occlusion, happens when the main artery that supplies blood to the retina is blocked, typically by a clot, depriving the retina of oxygen. Often categorized by painless, sudden loss of vision in one eye, it is similar to a stroke in the brain and can lead to permanent vision loss if the clot is not dissolved as soon as possible. At New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE), though, ophthalmologists have created a novel protocol to rapidly diagnose eye stroke and expedite care to prevent this potentially irreversible vision loss. Based on a recent study, the protocol describes using high-resolution retinal imaging in the emergency room along with rapid remote consultation to confirm diagnosis and expedite care.

Valentine’s Day: From Past to Present

By Daniel Breeman
Friday, February 9, 2024 8:30 AM With Valentine’s Day just a few short days away on February 14, The National Retail Federation (NRF) reminded the public just how much joy it takes in spending money on gifts for our loved ones, such as flowers, candy and jewelry. In fact, this year’s NRF annual survey revealed that total spending on significant others for the holiday is expected to reach a record $14.2 billion. Consumers expect to spend $185.81 each on average, nearly $8 more than the average Valentine’s Day spending over the last five years. Read on for some interesting fast facts about today’s holiday shoppers as well as some historical background about the origins of St. Valentine's Day.

Are We on the Way to Restoring Vision?

By Mary Kane
Thursday, February 8, 2024 8:30 AM The Transplantation of Human Eye Allografts (THEA) program is on the cusp of making whole functional eye transplantation to restore vision for the blind and visually impaired a reality in our lifetime. Last month, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) announced that the THEA program intends to transplant whole human eyes to restore vision by reestablishing visual connection to the brain. Dr. Calvin W. Roberts, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, is the program manager of ARPA-H’s transplantation program. VMAIL Weekend reached out to Dr. Roberts to get his thoughts about how the THEA program will work and what it will mean to the millions who are experiencing severe vision loss.

Education Is Key to the Prevention and Treatment of AMD

By Sarah McGoldrick, Contributing Editor
Friday, January 26, 2024 8:30 AM As the U.S. population ages, the number of Americans with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) continues to rise. A recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, The Prevalence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the U.S. in 2019, found that the number of Americans with age-related macular degeneration has risen to nearly 20 million people. This is nearly three times previous estimates. There are many new treatment options available that, with early detection, can help slow the progression and make living with AMD easier for patients and their families. This is why eyecare professionals around the world are boosting their education programs to keep patients in the know when it comes to AMD diagnosis and treatment. Here are descriptions of some of those efforts posted on Instagram by ECPs.

Celebrating Eyecare in January

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 19, 2024 8:30 AM NEW YORK—National Eye Care Month, which falls each January, gives us all a chance to celebrate the important work the eyecare industry does every day. From saving sight around the world to helping a nervous child choose their first pair of glasses, there is no limit to the lives this industry changes—and a month like National Eye Care Month allows us to truly take time to recognize that work. National Eye Care Month gives ECPs the opportunity to remind patients and their communities of the importance of taking care of their eye health and, thus, their overall health. This weekend, we’re taking a look at how some members of the community have been celebrating on social media so far.

The Best Podcasts and Blogs for the New Year: Optical Leaders Weigh In

By Daniel Breeman
Friday, January 12, 2024 8:30 AM With the start of each New Year comes resolutions for many of us for improved physical and mental health, better financial management, spending more time with loved ones and perhaps finally getting that job or promotion you’ve been seeking. According to a YouGov survey of American adults conducted in December of 2023, one-third (34 percent) plan to make New Year’s resolutions or set a goal for 2024. Along with making resolutions, the turn of the calendar also dictates that many “experts” share their own personal lists of must-read books for the New Year or the most highly-anticipated movies to hit the screen in 2024. Self-help media of all forms is also high on many lists. Podcasts have become a big part of many Americans’ normal routine and so we asked some optical industry leaders to share their recommended podcasts and blogs, be it industry, business-related or personal.

VM’s Most Read Weekend Features for 2023

By Staff
Friday, January 5, 2024 8:30 AM Keeping track of “most read” stories is a good benchmark for many people in the media world—it gives us a sense of what is resonating with our readers and guides us as to what interests them as consumers of our print and digital products. As journalists, reader preferences also alert us as to what’s top of mind for our readers and what types of subject matters and business tools they might need to navigate today’s ever-changing optical landscape. Today, we take a look back at our most read Today’s Read features for 2023. The subject matter runs the gamut from fun facts about Super Bowl LVII and stats from past games to how automation helped one lab reinvent itself to a U.S. patent for sunglasses that could repair vision.

VM’s Top 20 News Stories for 2023

By Mary Kane
Friday, December 29, 2023 8:30 AM We can’t take a look back at Vision Monday’s most read stories of the year without considering VM’s Latest News features, the backbone of our VMAIL e-newsletter. Even against the backdrop of a year filled with rising inflation and fears of a recession the optical industry still got down to business despite the personal and business hurdles they faced due to an uncertain financial landscape. VM readers were especially interested in an ongoing problem in the eyecare industry concerning unsafe eye drops—the story “Dry Eye Foundation Reports Potentially Unsafe Eye Drops to FDA” occupies the top spot for 2023. Other stories in the most read category included features about business mergers and acquisitions, company reorganizations, a new location for Vision Expo East in 2025, and a perennial VM favorite with readers, VM’s Most Influential Women in Optical. Here’s a look at the 20 most read stories for 2023.

Gen Z Takes on 2024

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, December 22, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—The new year is almost upon us, bringing with it 365 days of new trends online and in real life. And when it comes to trends, there’s no better group to look to than Gen Z, of course. Gen Z—or those born between the years of 1997 and 2012—has been influencing our cultural trends for years now, especially in the online world. These 11 through 26-year-olds are a large part of how we determine what’s fashionable, who’s famous, what to watch on Netflix and so much more. And many of the trends they create start on social media, specifically TikTok and Instagram.

Keeping Eyes Healthy During the Holiday Travel Season

By Daniel Breeman
Friday, December 15, 2023 8:30 AM ‘Tis the season for extended family holiday gatherings and celebrations, which means not just the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and preparations, but for many a chance to get away to visit with loved ones or in some cases simply to take a well-deserved end-of-year vacation. While many preparations go into holiday travel, from securing reservations to making sure the details of family gatherings are set, one item that may not be at the top of everyone’s holiday wish list is taking the time to be sure their eyes and vision stay safe and healthy.

Optical Industry Brings Awareness to Winter Eye Health Via Social Media

By Sarah McGoldrick, Contributing Editor
Friday, December 8, 2023 8:30 AM During the winter months, your eyes can be at increased risk for injury. Despite the sun spending more time hidden behind clouds and shorter days, vision health can still be at risk due to Ultraviolet rays. This is also known as snow blindness and many people who live in northern climates are at risk. There is also an increased risk for developing photokeratitis, a condition resulting from exposure to ultraviolet light or man-made sources such as UV lamps. Today, sports enthusiasts use modern snow goggles featuring the latest sun blocking technology to protect their eyes. ECPs are working with their patients, both in-office and online, to educate and provide the right resources to prevent photokeratitis including helping them better identify the warning signs.

New Study Reveals How AI Can Help Detect Diabetic Retinopathy in Children and Young Adults

By Mary Kane
Friday, December 1, 2023 8:30 AM As Diabetes Awareness month comes to a close, the promise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the role it can play in helping doctors to detect and diagnose diabetic retinopathy—a common complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness—is front and center. A recent study by eyecare nonprofit Orbis International has found that AI can accurately detect diabetic retinopathy in children and young adults, an important breakthrough that can mean the difference between healthy sight and irreversible vision loss for youngsters with diabetes. The peer-reviewed study, shows that Orbis’ e-learning platform Cybersight AI can be an effective tool to support medical staff who are often overburdened with patient caseloads, especially in low-resource settings.

Peeking Into the Holiday Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Wednesday, November 22, 2023 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Thanksgiving has come and gone and there’s no denying it anymore: we are officially in the holiday season. Holiday shopping has already kicked off, and this year is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). In early November, the NRF reported that holiday spending was expected to reach record levels throughout November and December, growing between 3 percent and 4 percent over 2022. Spending is expected to reach between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion. Although consumers are expecting to spend more this year, most are still making sure they get some serious bang for their buck.