Celebrating Mother’s Day, and Protecting Eye Health

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, May 7, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Celebrating mothers and motherhood has been a part of human history for pretty much as long as it has existed, but it wasn’t until 1914 that Mother’s Day actually became an official holiday in the United States. The first American Mother’s Day happened in 1908, when West Virginia woman Anna Jarvis wanted a way to honor the sacrifices that mothers make for their children, History reports. Jarvis’ own mom had died three years prior, so she organized the first Mother’s Day celebration as a tribute to her, at a Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. The holiday took off, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson officially declared the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day throughout the country.

Scientists Gain Insights in Causes of AMD by Studying Worm Physiology

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 30, 2021 8:30 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 Story Behind the 50th Anniversary of the Soft Contact Lens

By Staff
Friday, April 23, 2021 8:30 AM ROCHESTER, N.Y.—More or less taken for granted today, the soft contact lens has a storied history and a fascinating backstory on its road to discovery and mass production. This story is getting attention today—or at least more attention—because it is the 50th anniversary of Bausch + Lomb’s introduction of SofLens in 1971. Bausch + Lomb introduced SofLens as the first mass-produced soft contact in the U.S. market shortly after the Food and Drug Administration had granted its approval of the novel device. This breakthrough and the many follow-on innovations have led to a $15 billion a year contact lens market today.

A Q&A With Vision Expo Execs Fran Pennella and Mitch Barkley

By Mary Kane
Friday, April 16, 2021 2:00 PM VMAIL Weekend recently sat down with (remotely of course) Fran Pennella, VP of Vision Expo at Reed Exhibitions and Mitch Barkley, VP of Trade Shows and Events at The Vision Council for an update on what’s in store for attendees at the upcoming Vision Expo East in Orlando, Fla. The two executives spoke about the new Neighborhoods debuting on the Show floor, safety precautions and procedures that are being put in place, and new Show events that attendees can expect to find. The two show organizers also detailed how this year’s Show experience will differ from years past as Vision Expo settles into its new location at the Orange County Convention Center from June 2-5, 2021.

The Optical Community Takes to Instagram to Mark Women’s Eye Health & Safety Month

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, April 9, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—For many of us, April is when Spring truly begins. It’s a month of more sunlight, warmer days, blooming flowers, and a look toward what summer might have in store. And in the optical world, April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, too. Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, as declared by Prevent Blindness, is an effort to raise awareness of women’s increased risk of vision health issues, as well as the steps that they can take to prevent vision loss.

Using Eye Tracking Technology to Understand Human Behavior, Ocular and Neurological Health

By Andrew Karp
Friday, April 2, 2021 8:30 AM As a journalist who covers vision technology, I’ve become fascinated with eye tracking and its many uses, which range from health care to virtual and augmented reality, sports training, gaming, retail, marketing, education and military applications. Eye tracking uses motion-detecting sensors embedded in special eyeglasses or behind a computer screen to detect and measure eye movement. As many VMAIL readers know, it’s used for diagnosing and treating vision problems related to the eye-brain connection. “We use eye tracking on virtually every single one of our patients who are coming in with a visual processing issue,” said Charles Shidlofsky, OD, FCOVD, a vision development and vision rehabilitation specialist whose practice, Neuro-Vision Associates of North Texas, is in Plano, Texas.

Meet the New Office: Out Go the Desks, In Come the Breakout Spaces and Armchairs

By Mark Tosh
Friday, March 26, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Many Americans have been working remotely for much of the past 12 months. But recently there has been much discussion about how and when those who have been out of their offices will begin the process of re-entry and what the office will look like when they arrive. The return to work in New York City took a step forward this week when mayor Bill de Blasio said city employees would begin making a return to their offices beginning May 3. “We’re going to make it safe, but we need our city workers back in their offices where they can do the most to help their fellow New Yorkers,” he said. Read on for a look at how some of the country’s biggest employers hope to get their workers back to life in the office.

Digital Eye Strain—Another Pandemic Pain Point

By Mary Kane
Friday, March 19, 2021 8:30 AM We’ve all seen those notifications and displays on our phones tallying up our average screen time for the week. Ever since we went into lockdown last March, we’ve all been spending way too much time not just on our phones, but on electronic devices in general—including laptops, ipads and TVs. And once you add in children learning remotely on screens, you have a recipe for digital overload throughout the entire family. Here are some eye opening statistics about the rise of Digital Eye Strain (DES) and some advice from several eye doctors on how to combat the problem.

Last Weekend, Oprah’s Frames Stole the Show

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Thursday, March 11, 2021 4:07 PM NEW YORK—If you spent any time on the internet at all last week, you probably saw people talking about Meghan, Harry and Oprah. Oprah’s bombshell interview with the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex trended for days, prompting important discussions about race, mental health and misogyny, and has reframed how many look at institutions like the British royal family. In addition to these important discussions, the two-hour long interview inspired another trend: serious love for Oprah’s glasses. In fact, her Götti OR02 frames in the colorway Sand pretty much stole the show—and prompted people all across the world to post on social media about how much they loved the frames, or wanted them for themselves.

Scientists Take Important Step Toward Using Retinal Cell Transplants to Treat Blindness

By Andrew Karp
Friday, March 5, 2021 2:00 PM Retinal cells derived from a cadaver human eye survived when transplanted into the eyes of primate models, an important advance in the development of cell therapy to treat blindness, according to a study published on January 14 in Stem Cell Reports. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), a layer of pigmented cells in the retina, functions as a barrier and regulator in the eye to maintain normal vision. RPE dysfunction can lead to eye disorders including macular degeneration and can cause blindness, which affects about 200 million people worldwide.

After What We’ve All Been Through, the Optical Industry Is Pining for Baseball to Begin

By Mark Tosh
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Spring is in the air—at least we can hope. Yes, it does appear the tide is finally starting to turn against this awful year-long pandemic and perhaps even the harshest days of winter are winding down across the country. But another sure sign that a new spring isn’t far off is the start of the Major League Baseball season. Those magic words—pitchers and catchers are reporting—resonated against a wintry backdrop just two weeks ago and, thankfully, the real spring training games began this past weekend.

The Pandemic Takes Its Toll on Our Mental Health

By Mary Kane
Friday, February 19, 2021 3:30 PM It’s no secret that after living with COVID-19 for nearly a year now, most of us are pretty burned out. Many of us are coming up on the one-year anniversary of working from home, and let’s face it, working where you live isn’t everything we thought it would be. Sure, saving money and time on the daily commute is a plus, but the ability and addiction to work harder and longer hours has blurred the lines between our work and personal lives. Add in the stress of trying to stay safe from COVID-19, home-schooling kids, and juggling the responsibilities of work and family and you have a recipe for a mental health pandemic.

This Valentine’s Day, Love Is in the Pair

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, February 12, 2021 8:30 AM BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—No matter how you feel about the sometimes-controversial holiday, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day brings a special feeling along with it each and every year. Whether you’re coupled up or practicing self-love, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to spend a little more time thinking about the people and places you love. In Bloomington, Illinois, independent eyewear shop Specs Around Town is celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing the love for their customers—and their frames. On Instagram, the Specs Around Town team debuted a series called Love is in the Pair, which spotlights the shop’s customers, their other half, and, of course, their frames.

CES, Much Smaller in Virtual Form, Remains a Prime Showcase for Optical Tech

By Andrew Karp
Friday, February 5, 2021 8:00 AM It’s hard to say how many miles of aisles I’ve walked over the 10 years that I’ve attended CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Let’s just say I have worn out several pairs of shoes while treading the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Convention Center and other CES venues.  This year I spared my soles and let my fingers do the walking, as they used to say in those old Yellow Pages ads. (Remember them?) That’s because CES, like countless conventions and meetings around the world, was a virtual event.

A Swirl of News About COVID-19 as J&J's New Vaccine Reports Positive Trial Results

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 29, 2021 7:33 AM The news from Johnson & Johnson early Friday about the positive results of its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial comes amid a swirl of conflicting news about coronavirus, including the increasing spread of variants of the virus, a push by the Biden Administration to speed up the immunization process for Americans and reports that the number of COVID-19 cases globally surpassed 100 million (or 1.3 percent of the world’s population) in mid-week, according to news reports. To catch you up on what the companies and some health care observers are saying about the vaccines, VMAIL Weekend recaps some of the latest developments.