The Dangers of Diabetes to Our Vision

By Mary Kane
Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:30 AM According to the 2022 National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 11 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 37.3 million people) have diabetes. Alarmingly, 96 million people aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which is 38 percent of the adult U.S. population. And, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years. VMAIL Weekend sat down with Kristen Nwanyanwu, MD, MBA, MHS, associate professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale School of Medicine. Here’s what she had to say about how ECPs can improve the lines of communication with Primary Care Physicians and why it’s so important for diabetes patients to have a care plan.

New Study Shows AMD Can Be a Signal of Cardiovascular Disease

By Mary Kane
Friday, November 18, 2022 8:30 AM It is said that the eyes are a window to the soul, but in some instances the eyes are also a window to the heart. According to a new study from New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, patients with a specific form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are also highly likely to have either underlying heart damage from heart failure and heart attacks, or advanced heart valve disease, or carotid artery disease associated with certain types of strokes. The research, published this month, is the first to identify which types of high-risk cardiovascular and carotid artery disease are linked to the eye disorder.

Fresh Frames and Fast Cars: When a Day Job and a Passion Intersect

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, November 11, 2022 8:30 AM The list of things I love is pretty typical, I think: my friends and family, my dog, reading and writing, baking and good food, travel and fashion, learning Italian, watching documentaries, supporting the New York Islanders. Then there’s Formula 1. I was raised a sports fan, one of those kids whose parents put her in an Islanders onesie before she could walk or talk, but my family was never into motorsport. There's something about the sport is just irresistible to me: the high intensity and high speed nature of it all, the mayhem of the media circus surrounding it and the beauty of the tracks all around the globe. I love going to live sports whenever I can—so, naturally, this year I decided it would be fun to attend my first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Shining a Spotlight on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

By Gwendolyn Plummer and Marge Axelrad
Friday, November 4, 2022 11:30 AM NEW YORK—Long term societal issues, like those of diversity, equity & inclusion, have been fighting the hard fight for many years. With the escalation of the disruption unleashed by the global pandemic, the brighter spotlight on the topic from media, and a groundswell among individuals and organizations that more vocal and active commitment was needed, DE&I initiatives continue to expand. Voices from within health care, business, family, politics and culture are starting to join with those in structured organizations along with more assertive storytelling from groups victimized or impacted by the lack of inclusion in hiring, in receiving or accessing fair and equitable business or health care services and more. Individuals, groups and organizations across the optical industry and vision care profession, are stepping up to support these as part of an expanding commitment.

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.”

Looking at the 2022 Holiday Retail Landscape

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, October 21, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—There’s just over a week until Halloween, and Americans are probably preoccupied with thoughts about exactly that: how much candy will this year’s trick or treaters need? Are the kids’ costumes ready to go? What scary movie should we queue up for the 31st, to watch in between doorbell rings? The scariest night of the year is looming. But something else, something that might be equally as scary, is fast approaching too: the holiday retail season.

With Halloween Approaching, Contact Lens Safety Is Top of Mind

By Mary Kane
Friday, October 14, 2022 8:30 AM With Halloween just two weeks away, it’s a good time for ECPs to talk with patients about contact lens safety and the dangers of wearing lenses that are dispensed without an eye exam or a prescription. According to the Food and Drug Administration, wearing decorative contact lenses can be risky and wearing any kind of contact lenses, including decorative ones, can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are obtained without a prescription or are not used correctly. Here are some of the things that can go terribly wrong with your eyes when wearing decorative or cosmetic contact lenses sold in stores or online.

Good for the Lab, Good for the Planet

By Julie Bos / Contributing Editor
Friday, October 7, 2022 8:30 AM RLab, formerly Rochester Optical, has always believed in putting its best foot forward for its customers, its people and the planet. So, in June 2020, when the lab experienced a main water line break that flooded its 30,000 square foot facility and damaged millions in equipment and infrastructure, leaders already knew they were facing a complete rebuild. But they took it one step further—viewing the challenge as a tremendous opportunity to transform its entire operations, and ultimately, achieve an aggressive goal to reach a zero-carbon footprint.

Skeletons, Spellcasting, ‘Stranger Things’ and Spending: A Look at 2022’s Halloween Trends

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 30, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—October has arrived, and for many people that can only mean one thing: Halloween season is in full swing. There are just 30 days until the sweetest and spookiest day of the year, and, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are taking full advantage of the witching season. The NRF reported that Halloween spending is back to pre-pandemic levels this year, with Halloween sales up to $10.6 billion in 2022, up from $10.1 billion in 2021. Consumers are planning to spend $100 on average for Halloween candy, décor, cards and costumes; the NRF said that this amount is on par with last year’s record of $103 and is the second highest in the survey’s history.

Amid a Renewed Sense of Normalcy, the Industry Gathers as Vision Expo West Returns to Las Vegas

By Mary Kane
Monday, September 26, 2022 12:00 AM LAS VEGAS—It was a wrap for Vision Expo West 2022 in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 17, as the four-day event concluded at The Venetian Convention Center & Expo. The Conference and Exhibiton, brought thousands of members of the optical industry together from Sept. 14-17 for four days of trailblazing trends, education and plenty of networking opportunities. “It was amazing to see the full scope of the vision care industry come together in Las Vegas last week, both on and off the Show Floor,” said Fran Pennella, vice president, Vision Expo, at RX, co-organizer of Vision Expo.

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.”

Optical Gets Behind Sports Eye Safety Month, With an Emphasis on Proper Eye Protection

By Mary Kane
Friday, September 9, 2022 8:30 AM With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, the back-to-school season is upon us, which means kids’ after school sports activities are in full swing. Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer nonprofit eye health organization, has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Month to help educate the public on the importance of wearing the proper eye protection while playing sports. Annual data from Prevent Blindness shows that there were more than 26,000 sports-related eye injuries treated in the U.S. last year. The new data also showed that the category of “non-powder guns, darts, arrows and slingshots” had the overall highest rate of eye injuries for the previous year.

Looking West Toward Las Vegas

By Gwendolyn Plummer
Friday, September 2, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—If you’re anything like the VMAIL team, you’re probably reading this story while thinking about Vision Expo West. We’re just under two weeks away from this year’s show, and things are kicking into full gear now that we’re down to the wire. Let’s be honest: free time is scarce at any Vision Expo—it’s easy to lose track of time in those big, engaging show halls, to spend hours catching up at dinner with industry friends you haven’t seen in a while. But if you do have some free time, or if you’ve scheduled an extra day or two in Nevada, Las Vegas is a city worth exploring. 

As College Football Kicks Off, Weekend Checks in With Dawgs, Tigers and Fighting Irish

By Mark Tosh
Friday, August 26, 2022 8:30 AM NEW YORK—After the longest offseason in major sports, college football is back this weekend with a handful of games. Nebraska and Northwestern open the season in, of all places, Dublin, Ireland, as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series. Some fans, especially those in West Virginia and parts of western Pennsylvania, would say the season doesn’t really start until Thursday, when the Mountaineers of Morgantown, W.Va., visit Pittsburgh for another edition of the Backyard Brawl. (Watch out for this Pitt team in ’22, we hear from one of our field reporters.) There are plenty of other contenders as the season opens, including the defending champion Georgia Bulldogs.

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.