Taking the Temperature of Optometry as a Profession

By Mark Tosh
Friday, January 21, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This seems to be the time of the year when “taking the temperature” of various professions and industry sectors is a popular undertaking. It’s especially popular these days because of all the upheaval and displacement in the labor force that observers lay at the feet of the COVID-19 pandemic. Who among us doesn’t want to get a better understanding of what’s going on in our day jobs? For ODs and others working in eyecare practices, three surveys and/or reports have dropped over the past few weeks that shine a light on where ODs stand on a number of topics today. Here’s a brief summary of the key findings.

The Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Day

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, January 14, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—This Monday, Americans across the country will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day—always on the third Monday in January, a day to honor the life of the Civil Rights hero who changed the United States for better. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968, but wasn’t necessarily hailed as a hero by all right away—in fact, it was a long road to celebrating him with an annual federal holiday. History.com reports that Dr. King was “the first modern private citizen to be honored with a federal holiday,” with the first big push to create a holiday in honor of him coming just a few days after his assassination. Today we take a look at how the federal holiday came about.

VM’s Top 5 Print Cover Stories for 2021

By Mary Kane
Friday, January 7, 2022 8:30 AM We can’t take a look back at Vision Monday’s most read stories of the year without considering VM’s print Cover Stories which are also available to our readers electronically. Even against the backdrop of another year of the COVID pandemic, the optical industry still got down to business despite the personal and business hurdles they faced due to the ongoing and seemingly never-ending pandemic. A perennial VM favorite with readers, VM’s Most Influential Women in Optical, occupies the top spot for 2021 with the Special Report taking up a record 26 edit pages in our July issue. VM’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers Report, How Brick Is Learning to Click, A Look at Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and The Vision Monday Leadership Summit rounded out the list of the Top 5 most read Cover Stories for 2021.

My Top 10 Today’s Read Picks of 2021

By Andrew Karp
Wednesday, December 29, 2021 8:30 AM Growing up listening to rock ‘n’ roll radio, I always had my ear tuned to the weekly Top 10 countdown. For many of us Boomers, those hit songs, selected on the basis of radio airplay across the country, were the soundtrack of our youth. As enjoyable as it was to hear these hits in descending order, with the #1 song played last to goose the excitement, I often found myself disagreeing with the ranking. Why was my favorite song #4 on the chart, not #1? These and other burning questions made me question the Top 10 ranking. I knew I could it do better if I’d only had the chance. So, with the new year fresh upon us, I figured it’s a good time to create my own Top 10 list. But instead of songs, I’ve assembled a list of my 10 favorite Today’s Read stories from the past year. I hope you enjoy my look back on these features.

Merry Christmas. It’s a Day for Crackling Fires, a Glass of Good Cheer and a Holiday Movie

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 8:30 AM NORTH POLE—This is—as the old Andy Williams’ song goes—“the most wonderful time of the year.” Or, at least we can try to make it feel that way on this late December Saturday morning when many across the U.S. will celebrate the Christmas holiday. A crackling fire, the sounds of children playing, a family dinner and a glass of Christmas cheer add to the joy of the day, but it’s nonetheless possible to rejoice in the day in any of a number of ways on this final holiday of the year. If you haven’t overdone the holiday movies this year—which is a distinct possibility given the rise of the Grinch-like omicron variant—another good way to mark the day is to watch one of the many great holiday movies that seem to proliferate the airwaves and streaming platforms.

A Look Toward 2022, Trends and Gen-Z

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, December 17, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—We’re hurtling closer to 2022 every day, but, for some, 2022 has more or less arrived. Those who work in and live for things like fashion and tech are always looking ahead, both anticipating and creating trends for the next year. With 2022 on the horizon, many trendsetters have already started taking a look at what we’ll all be talking about for the next 12 months, from fashion to social justice to sustainability and everything in between. 

A Q&A With Sandra Block, OD, President-Elect for the World Council of Optometry

By Mary Kane
Friday, December 10, 2021 8:30 AM VMAIL Weekend recently caught up with Sandra Block, OD, for an update on the World Council of Optometry’s efforts to fight myopia. Dr. Block, the WCO’s president-elect, spoke about the organization’s commitment to address the global epidemic of childhood myopia. In April, the WCO board of directors unanimously approved a resolution advising ODs to include a standard of care for myopia management within their practices. Dr. Block also spoke about the dangers of too much screen time for kids and she offered some sound advice to ECPs who are interested in incorporating myopia management into their primary care practices.

Biomed Engineering Professor Converts Contact Lenses into Smart Devices to Monitor Glaucoma

By Andrew Karp
Friday, December 3, 2021 8:30 AM New contact lens technology to help diagnose and monitor glaucoma and other ocular health conditions may soon be ready for clinical trials. A team of researchers from Purdue University worked with biomedical, mechanical and chemical engineers, along with clinicians, to develop the novel technology. The team enabled commercial soft contact lenses to be a bioinstrumentation tool for unobtrusive monitoring of clinically important information associated with underlying eye health conditions. “This technology will be greatly beneficial to the painless diagnosis or early detection of many ocular diseases including glaucoma,” said Purdue’s Chi Hwan Lee.

New Football Documentary Goes Inside ‘The All Blind Fantasy League’

By Mark Tosh
Wednesday, November 24, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Fantasy football is not for everyone, of course, but thanks to an effort by Yahoo the popular group game for avid football fans is available to people with vision loss and/or issues with their sight. The Internet company recently highlighted the efforts it has made to enable vision-impaired fans to take part in fantasy football with its short documentary, “The All Blind Fantasy League.”

Battling Winter Darkness With Your Own Light

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 19, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Every year, the end of Daylight Saving Time is a bit of a shock to the system. Sure, we’ve all done this before, but it always seems to feel like the days are shorter than we remember, and the nights darker than we imagined. Here in New York City, the sun is setting a little before 4:30 p.m. each day, making it really hard to get daily time outside while working a 9 to 5 schedule—this is even harder for people further north, or those who work longer, or different, hours.

Staying Safe From COVID While Giving Thanks

By Mary Kane
Friday, November 12, 2021 8:30 AM With the kickoff of the holiday season right around the corner, the picture for this year’s Thanksgiving festivities is beginning to look a lot different from last year’s, when a majority of people opted not to travel or even gather as a family. This time around, Americans' outlook for the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has improved, as the summer surge brought on by the delta variant has waned in many parts of the country. So while many of us are starting to feel better about a return to normalcy, we are not out of the pandemic woods just yet. As people make plans to travel and gather indoors for Thanksgiving, the threat of COVID is still real. Read on for some advice on how to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

How Dick Paul Became Desmond Drue

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 5, 2021 8:30 AM What makes a man take on an assumed name and a new identity? There are many reasons. For instance, maybe he’s a criminal who is evading the law, or is in a witness protection program. Perhaps he’s a con man, or even a spy. Or he could be suffering from dissociative disorder. Then again, he might be a performer using a stage name, or a writer doing business under a pen name. The possibilities are vast. I recently learned that the man I’ve known for years as Dick Paul has crafted a new name and persona for himself. Many readers probably know him as a successful independent optical sales rep. Lately, Paul has been showing a very different face to the world, that of Desmond Drue, an accomplished novelist, poet and screenwriter.

How the Visually Impaired Can Experience the World of Gaming, Sports and Movies Through the Power of Sound

By Mary Kane
Friday, October 29, 2021 8:30 AM Have you ever wondered what it’s like for a blind person to experience a movie, follow sports or play a video game? Thanks to the world of podcasts, specifically a program called Twenty Thousand Hertz which reveals the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds, you are about to find out. In honor of October’s Blindness Awareness Month, Twenty Thousand Hertz recently released a three-part series celebrating the auditory experience of the blind community. Throughout the month of October, the leading podcast about sound has explored the extraordinary worlds of audio descriptions in film and TV, blind sports and most recently, blind gaming.

CooperVision’s Michele Andrews Talks About the Evolution of the ‘Best Practices’ Recognition Program

By Mark Tosh
Friday, October 22, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—CooperVision opened the application process for its Best Practices program in mid-September, and in doing so provided some updates that are designed to make it easier for eyecare practices to enter the program and for the judges to evaluate the diverse group of entries and focus areas the competition has come to attract. With the changes, in 2022 Best Practices will be recognized specifically for the areas of optometry in which they truly shine, CooperVision noted. VMAIL Weekend recently sat down with Michele Andrews, OD, CooperVision’s vice president, professional & government affairs, to get a better understanding of what’s new in the Best Practices program.

Halloween: A History

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, October 15, 2021 8:30 AM NEW YORK—Earlier this week, Dr. Fauci told CNN’s State of the Union that he thinks Halloween 2021 is a go. “I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it,” he said, referring to trick-or-treating for kids, and Halloween parties for adults.  Last year, Halloween celebrations were muted, with fewer parties and fewer trick-or-treaters all around—and while there’s nothing wrong with a cozy, spooky Halloween at home celebrated with a scary movie marathon, there’s something special about knowing we can get back out there this year and spread the Halloween joy.