CooperVision Sets the Social Media Stage at Optometry's Meeting

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our social media presentations at the AOA’s Optometry’s Meeting were recently recognized on the American Optometric Association’s blog (News from the AOA). Read the excerpt below and click here to read the full article:

CooperVision has taken a unique approach to educating ECPs on social media by partnering with them directly.

Over the course of six weeks, CooperVision worked with hundreds of eye care practices to build and implement social media strategies aimed at attracting and retaining patients. The practices had varying levels of social media experience and executed different plans depending on the networks already in use.

Numerous social media platforms were tested, including Facebook fan pages, Facebook advertising, Google, RSS feeds and blogs. As a result of these efforts, each practice saw an increase in fans or followers – with an average of 60 fans per page – and increased traffic to practice Web sites.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to market our practice and better connect with patients – particularly through social media,” said Jason Miller, O.D., who recently worked with CooperVision to build a Facebook page. “I think Facebook is a relatively untapped market, and practices that take the initiative to create a fan page may gain a competitive advantage.”

Looking ahead, CooperVision will continue to work to strengthen its connection with the vision care community through social media channels.

Are you interested in getting started in social media, or would you like help optimizing your current social media efforts? Sign up for our Social Media Consultation program at www.coopervision.com/form or talk to your sales representative for more information.

Gear Up for Hunting and Shooting Season with Multifocal Contacts

Posted by Jeff Machemer on Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aside from working in the ophthalmic industry for the past 30 years, I’ve also spent the past 30 years being active in competitive handgun and rifle shooting. Based on my experience in both fields, I’d like to discuss the effects of vision correction and aging on the sport of hunting and shooting.

Whether you’re a competitive target shooter, experienced hunter, or new to either sport, you need the right gear to be successful. You spend time, energy, and money prepping for the season and purchasing new equipment. Why not spend some time reviewing one of your most important pieces of equipment – your eyes. You may be surprised, but a review of your vision may help improve your performance.
 
Optics and Sight:
A younger shooter (under the age of 40) has native vision capabilities, meaning he or she is able to take full advantage of the optics on their firearms. As a shooter gets closer to 40 (the average age for the onset of presbyopia, a natural vision condition in which the eye starts to lose clarity for near images), he or she begins to lose the ability to use the sights or optics of their firearms, due to near vision loss, usually causing a decrease in performance level.

In these sports, simultaneous vision is key. Avid hunters and shooters purchase expensive equipment to ensure they can see the sights and target clearly. If you’re nearing 40 (or older), and facing the issue of losing near vision, one of the simplest ways to improve your game is to consider multifocal contact lenses.

How to Improve Your Performance: Multifocal Contact Lenses
If you want to fully maximize your capabilities for simultaneous vision, I highly encourage you to talk to your doctor about multifocal contact lenses. Multifocal contact lenses are the contact lens alternative to bifocal glasses. Bifocal glasses provide distance vision on the top level and near vision on the bottom level. With bifocal glasses, you have to adjust your line of sight to either the distance target or the near target. Multifocal contact lenses use optics specifically designed to produce both distance and near clarity at the same time, eliminating the need to force your eyes into different viewing levels.

Besides providing more natural vision, other benefits to wearing contact lenses while hunting or shooting include the elimination of foggy glasses, misplaced glasses, and not having to deal with rain on your lenses or the hassle of taking your glasses on and off. No matter what your vision correction need is, contact lenses are a great option for full time or occasional wear for sports.

*While you may choose to wear contact lenses for your personal vision needs, it is always recommended that you wear some form of eye protection when participating in shooting and hunting sports.

Whether you are an early presbyope (just discovering the need for reading glasses) or a presbyope with astigmatism, we have contact lenses for most every vision need. For more information about multifocal contact lenses, please visit our website

To find the doctor nearest you, use our Practitioner Locator and ask about the Proclear line of contacts. Gear up for your best hunting and/or shooting season yet!

Janice Gaub Named One of Vision Monday's Top 40 Most Influential Women in Optical

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Congratulations to Janice Gaub, our Senior Director of Marketing and Internet, who was recently named one of Vision Monday's Top 40 Most Influential Women in Optical. Janice was nominated in the Innovators category and chosen because “she is bringing her great experience to bear in teaching eyecare professionals how to utilize the web and social media as practice building tools.”
 
A Pacific Northwest native, Gaub grew up outside Seattle, getting her undergraduate degree from the University of Puget Sound in international affairs and foreign language. She then went on for her MBA from Seattle University while she was working and learning many lessons from her family’s retail/wholesale grocery business, which taught her a great deal about the power of data and providing value to the customer. 

She began a range of jobs in the consumer packaged goods realm, which took her around the country, first as brand and marketing manager for such companies as Olympic Home Care, Paragon Trade Brands and Nile Spice Foods. She was VP of marketing for Gargoyles Performance Eyewear and Hobie Polarized Sunglasses from ‘95 to ‘97 and joined Eddie Bauer, Inc as divisional VP brand marketing.

As the internet became a new marketing force, Gaub joined Drugstore.com as its VP marketing and site management and then moved to Kodak, where she was chief marketing officer and VP for the company’s professional division and ultimately, director of corporate branding. She moved on to become VP of consumer marketing for Shutterfly.com, eventually moving to Rochester, N.Y.

In 2009, she joined CooperVision where there is a growing recognition of the internet and social media’s role in building connections with patients and practitioners. “We are looking to make the practices more effective and activate social media efforts, like our new teen campaign and help them directly build up their sites and presence online.” Gaub’s team also includes six social media consultants, now on board to help doctors understand the potential.

SHE SAYS...“It’s about continuously learning, believing in yourself and staying balanced. Be confident in what you do and do it with grace and poise."

Read more about Janice and the other 39 Most Influential Women in Optical at VisionMonday.com.

Think Twice About Lady GaGa's Wide Eyed Look

Posted by Harvard Sylvan, OD on Thursday, July 15, 2010

A new trend in cosmetic contact lenses has caught a lot of attention in the media lately due in part to a recent music video debut from pop phenom Lady GaGa.  A ‘Circle Contact’ is a specific type of cosmetic contact lens that is manufactured in South Korea, in which the iris appears larger due to the opaque design of the large diameter contact lens covering a portion of the sclera (the white part of the eye).  This trend is modeled after Japanese anime cartoon characters, in which the eyes (and in particular, the pupils) of characters are enlarged to make the appearance of doll-like eyes. While Lady GaGa’s look from her “Bad Romance” video is reportedly computerized, the trend of purchasing the non-FDA approved contacts is growing.

Watch this clip from ABC News detailing the dangers of this trend.

‘Circle Contacts’ are not FDA approved and are not approved for purchase in the US as sales of lenses without a valid prescription have been banned since 2005.   While the cartoonish-look may be desirable to some, the potential dangers and risks outweigh any fashionable benefit.

Contact lenses are a medical device. To prevent potential eye problems, some of which may be serious, contacts need to be fit properly, require a prescription from a licensed eye care professional and the health of the eye needs to be monitored periodically.   Always consult an eye doctor before considering or using any type of contact lenses.  To find an eye doctor closest to you, please click here.

 

Vote for Your Favorite Story & Enter to Win a Year's Supply of Contacts

Posted by CooperVision on Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The voting is now open - we recently announced the top 30 finalists for our Gear Up Grants $25,000 giveaway! Cast your vote for your favorite story - which team or athlete do you think deserves the $2,500 grant? You can vote once a day until September 6th, and with each vote, you're automatically entered to win a year's supply of free CooperVision contact lenses. Vote today!

Did you miss the deadline to submit your story? We're now accepting submissions for Round 2 - we will be giving away 10 more $2,500 grants to teens across the country - for more information and to submit your story, visit mycontactsports.com.

Life is a contact sport, Gear Up!

Increase Your Sports Performance by Better Understanding Your Vision

Posted by Dr. Alan Glazier on Thursday, July 8, 2010

“See the ball, hit the ball” is how Pete Rose described his amazing ability to hit the baseball with consistency. Ted Williams' vision was tested by tarring a bat – he hit 10 balls and 7 out of 10 times he could tell you where he hit on the ball, be it above the seam, below the seam etc. Wesley Walker of the New York Jets, an all-pro receiver is blind in his left eye, thus lacks true depth perception. Every sport taxes different visual skills of the athlete, whether amateur or professional. It would be incorrect to say that the athlete with the better vision will play better in every instance, as Mr. Walker has shown. So how might a better understanding of our eyes and vision needs lead to increased sports performance?

A few years ago a father brought his high school age son to our practice. Let’s call the son Mike. Mike’s batting average had been dwindling, and the coach astutely recommended that Mikes parents look into vision as a possible cause. Mike aced our eye examination – both eyes could see better than 20/20 independently and together, his depth perception was perfect, his visual skills and reaction time were stellar and he had no problems reading print on a page. His school work was going well. The health of both eyes inside and out was perfect. At this point the average eye examination would end and the dwindling batting average may be attributed to a problem with confidence, stamina or one of many other factors. In this case however, the next step was to observe Mike in his batting stance. Mike was a righty. I noted that Mike had a prominent nose bridge. With Mike in batting stance and head turned toward the pitcher, the bridge of his nose was prominent enough that it interrupted the vision in his right eye. Mike seemed to be keeping his chin close to his right shoulder. The closer he held his chin to his right shoulder, the more of the line of sight of his right eye was blocked by the bridge of his nose. I then tested his eye dominance. It turns out that like most right handed batters Mike was right eye dominant. The eye the brain favored was blocked during hitting, and he was counting on the non-dominant eye alone to judge pitches. He was viewing the pitcher and the pitch with only his left eye. In essence, either because of his growth in the past year (he had put on 3 inches) or because of a general stance change, he was viewing the pitch with one eye, causing his depth perception to be decreased. I recommended the coach train him to keep his chin farther away from his right shoulder and as Mike got more comfortable, his batting average improved dramatically.

But time to switch sports. Basketball and tennis players might have perfect “acuity”, or 20/20 vision or better, but be unable to deliver the ball where they need to. This might be because acuity is important for static objects, but something called Dynamic Acuity is important for traveling objects. Dynamic Visual Acuity is acuity when viewing a moving target, or when ones body is in motion against or past a stationary target. If an athlete has good acuity but is missing shots, they might need help achieving better dynamic acuity. Peripheral vision is also a major factor in basketball – knowing where the ball is and where your opponents are on the opposite side of your body is a skill that an athlete can build to increase their performance.  Football players are in need of a great range of visual skills that vary by position – the wide receiver must have great dynamic acuity, depth perception and hand eye coordination; offensive and defensive linemen must have excellent peripheral vision and quarterbacks must have all of the above including a great visual memory.

Swimmers can benefit from a relatively new technology called Orthokeratology. Also known as OrthoK or vision braces, it is a method which is used for people who need glasses or contact lenses so they can see perfectly without them without need for surgery. The OrthoK device looks and feels like a contact lens. The person puts it in their eye before bed and in most cases can remove it in the morning and go glasses and contact lens free for the entire day into the evening. If an athlete finds contact lenses uncomfortable, OrthoK can be a lifesaver. Swimmers are forced to leave glasses and contacts out and, if they’re lucky, have prescription goggles.

Marksmen and sharpshooters can increase contrast to shoot better, soccer players can increase eye-foot coordination, and golfers can benefit from eye-hand coordination help, acuity and stance improvements to maximize their game. Visual skills of many types are used by athletes to improve performance so if you are a professional athlete or weekend athlete, be sure to ask your optometrist about your vision status as it relates to your sport at your next eye examination.

Courtesy of the Doctors at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care; Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Opticians working together to help you see better.  Serving the Rockville, Potomac and Gaithersburg Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC for over 40 years. For more information visit youreyesite.com or call (301) 670-1212.

For more information about the connection between sports and contact lenses, visit www.mycontactsports.com.

Children and Contact Lenses: The Great Debate. What Age is Appropriate for Contact Lens Wear?

Posted by CooperVision on Thursday, July 1, 2010

At what age is it appropriate for your child to wear contact lenses? What modality of contact lenses are best for children? Are contact lenses even an option for your child? There are many different opinions regarding children and contact lenses, and while an industry standard may not currently exist, a few leading OD's rely on key factors such as motivation and maturity when deciding whether or not to fit a child in contacts.

Hear from a few experts in the industry and read the full article on Primary Care Optometry News Online for even more information:

Mile Brujic, OD: Contact lenses offer our patients a number of benefits such as enhanced peripheral vision that is unattainable with eyeglasses, improved visual acuity in those with high prescriptions and not having to worry about damaging their glasses, because they simply are not wearing them. Realizing that these benefits are achieved by all ages of patients and that pediatric patients are more active than adults, I have removed age as a barrier to contact lens wear. 
 
Instead, I analyze motivation for lens wear, maturity level of the patient, physical characteristics of the ocular surface, prescription requirements and the patient’s lifestyle. It is a combination of these five factors that will ultimately determine whether a child will be fit with contact lenses.

Parents have to be in agreement that contact lenses are the right thing for their child. This oftentimes involves educating them in the exam room of the safety of contact lenses when fit and worn properly and the fact that adverse events are usually caused by contact lens abuse. Parents will either be very supportive, neutral or opposed to contact lens wear for their child.

I explain to parents that I want to be an objective source for them and will give them the information that they need to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with contact lens wear for their child.

The modality of contact lenses that I prescribe for children is one that I do not try to pigeonhole to a certain age patient. So, I will usually not have one modality of lens that I recommend to a certain age group. Instead, I assess each patient individually utilizing my five criteria and determine from those factors what modality would be best for the patient, regardless of age.

Jason R. Miller, OD, MBA, FAAO: As long as the child’s eyes are healthy, with no corneal disease, and the refractive error is necessary to have correction full-time, contact lenses are an acceptable alternative to eyeglasses when the child is motivated to wear them. That is the response I give to most of the parents when I am asked in my office. 
 
I want this to be an incredibly positive experience. If I can make the transition to contact lenses extremely smooth for this young group of patients, they will likely tell many of their friends at school. Their friends who need glasses will likely start asking their parents for contact lenses and will hopefully turn into multiple referrals for my office.

For those reasons, I encourage daily disposable contact lenses most of the time when I am fitting a pre-teen contact lens wearer. I do not trust that the child will thoroughly clean their lenses or change them as recommended at a young age. Daily disposable contact lenses are much more convenient and will provide less stress on the parents.

If daily disposable contact lenses are not the best option for some reason, I immediately look to fit a silicone hydrogel material. In addition, I encourage an “extra” contact lens follow-up at about 3 months post-fitting. This enables me to check in with the child, trouble shoot any issues and make sure they are taking care of their eyes properly before I dispense an annual supply of contact lenses.

There are times when I will fit contact lenses at an even younger age if I am treating amblyopia or for myopia control. In that situation, I will provide thorough instructions to the parents on how to take care of the contact lenses in addition to taking them in and out of their child’s eyes.

Are you interested in contact lenses for your child or teen? Refer to www.mycontactsports.com to hear from more experts in the industry and to learn about the benefits of contact lenses for extracurricular activities, occasional wear, and daily wear.

About On Eye

On Eye is the contact lens blog from CooperVision. On this site, you will find insights about fitting, technology, and the business of contact lenses. The On Eye blog is designed to meet the needs of both Eye Care Practitioners and consumers. ECP and medical professional-specific portions of the blog will be password protected in order to protect and reserve the privacy of the profession. To read more about our terms of use, please see the Legal tab.

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