All posts by Mark Andre

Spotlight on Adopt a Patient Program

Posted by Mark Andre on Friday, August 20, 2010

Three years ago, we started the Adopt a Patient program to provide third and fourth year optometry students the opportunity for an additional hands-on fitting experience. The program also benefits prospective contact lens patients who are otherwise unable to afford contact lenses.

Each third year student in participating schools is encouraged to “adopt” a deserving patient into the program. The patient will be fit with CooperVision soft contact lenses and followed up with visits throughout the student’s clinic time at the school. The patient also receives a complimentary year’s supply of lenses from CooperVision (all lenses are available except for those with opaque or enhancing tints).

After a year, patients are eligible for re-adoption by a student from the next year’s class. The primary target audience for the Adopt a Patient program is teenage patients who demonstrate need for contact lenses and come from low income families. Older patients are not excluded from the program, but recruitment is up to the discretion of the clinic supervisor.

Launa Kind, the Adopt a Patient program office administrator at Pacific University agrees that the program is a win-win situation for all parties involved.  “Most of our Adopt a Patient participants are kids and teenagers with high astigmatism or anisometropia, a condition that is preferably treated with contact lenses (versus spectacles). Without this program, they truly would not have been able to afford contact lenses. Our patients that have received lenses have been most thankful, and our students are gaining valuable, real-world experience.”

Wesley Crocket, current 4th year optometry student, had a great experience in the program last year. “I adopted a 9 year old boy with a large hyperopic astigmatic correction in his glasses. He was complaining that his lenses kept falling out of his frames and that they made his eyes look really big. He really wanted to wear contact lenses but his mother was unemployed at the time, and unable to pay for contacts. I advised him to practice touching his eye and keeping his hands clean. A few weeks later, he came back in and I fit him in Biofinity Toric lenses. He did great with them! When he returned a week later for his follow up appointment, it seemed as if his self esteem grew leaps and bounds. He talked about how everyone at school though it was ‘so cool’ that he was wearing contacts, and that his classmates couldn’t even tell that he had anything in his eye. I think for this young hyperopic kid, being able to wear contacts changed his life.”

Today, the program is operating in 6 optometry schools across the country, benefitting approximately 300 patients. If you’re an optometry student or professor and want to get your school involved in our Adopt a Patient program, please email me at

iHealth in a Digital World

Posted by Mark Andre on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In today’s digital world, our eyes are increasingly strained by computer screens, smart phones, e-readers, and digital TV. Our eyes are our most valuable resource to keep up with the digital world, yet we tend to forget to pay close attention to their health. I’ve compiled 11 easy steps to help you navigate the digital world and see it all in clear detail. By making these small adjustments, you can be one step closer to digital eye health.

Here are 11 tips for digital iHealth:

  • Get an annual eye exam: The only way to monitor your vision health is through annual exams by an eye care professional.  Let your doctor know if you are a “heavy user” of technology.
  • Abide by the 20/20/20 Rule:Take a 20 second break after every 20 minutes of use. Make sure you shift your vision to something in the distance (at least 20 feet away) during this break. If your work area is small, even looking out the window will allow your eyes to relax.[1]
  • Screen Placement: Keep your monitor at least 25” away from your eyes, preferably more.[2]
  • Monitor Tilt: Tilt your computer screen so that the top is slightly farther away from you than the bottom.[3]
  • Lighting: Reduce eye strain by using ceiling-mounted, indirect lighting and control outside light with blinds or shades.[4]
  • Font size: Reduce eye strain by enlarging the font. [5] Most hand-held devices and phones have a feature to increase font size when reading emails and text messages.
  • Adjust Display settings: Set your screen settings so the background blends easily into your surrounding environment.  Adjust the brightness and contrast so that on-screen images and letters are easy to read.[6]
  • Minimize Glare: Consider using an anti-glare film on your monitor or hand held devices.[7]
  • Upgrade to an LCD: Older CRT monitors are more likely to cause strain on your eyes than a liquid crystal display (LCD). [8]
  • Remember to Blink: We tend to blink less often when using a computer, so remember to blink frequently during continuous digital usage. Blinking will keep your eyes moist and prevent you from developing dry eye. [9] [10]
  • Find the right vision correction solution: Choosing multifocal contact lenses may help you see near, far, and everything in between. Whether you’re starring at a computer monitor or using your handheld device, multifocal contact lenses provide exceptional vision at any distance.

When wearing progressive spectacles, the area used for near vision is very small. With multifocal contact lenses, you can see clearly in all areas of gaze. For computer users, wearing multifocal contact lenses eliminates the need to raise your head to look through the bottom of your glasses to view the screen. By looking straight ahead, you can also reduce neck strain. For more information on digital iHealth, check out



[1] Computer vision syndrome. (n.d.). American Optometric Association, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[2] Eyestrain. (2008, July 12). Mayo Clinic, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[3] Ankrum, D. (1999). Visual ergonomics in the office. Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[4] Ankrum, D. (1999). Visual ergonomics in the office. Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[5] Eyestrain. (2008, July 12). Mayo Clinic, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[6] Eyestrain. (2008, July 12). Mayo Clinic, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[7] Computer vision syndrome. (n.d.). American Optometric Association, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[8] Tips for selecting a monitor. (n.d.). UCLA Ergonomics, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[9] Computer vision syndrome. (n.d.). American Optometric Association, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

[10] Eyestrain. (2008, July 12). Mayo Clinic, Retrieved from <>. Accessed on March 12, 2010.

ToriTrack: More Than Just a Soft Toric Lens Calculator

Posted by Mark Andre on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ToriTrack is a toric soft lens management system developed for contact lens practitioners by CooperVision. ToriTrack is more than just a soft toric contact lens calculator – Log In or Register to read more!

Practitioners: Log In or Register to view this post.

Attention Optometry Students:

Posted by Mark Andre on Thursday, December 24, 2009

Do you have a burning question about contact lenses? Did a recent lecture leave you wanting to know more? Are you interested in learning a key way to differentiate yourself in the interview process? Or learning how to be proficient in fitting contact lenses to drive value to the practice you will join or lead?


Well, here’s your chance. We’ve got our resident expert, Mark Andre, on hand to entertain and answer your questions. Here’s what he has to say:


My name is Mark Andre and I'm an associate professor at Pacific University School of Optometry. I have been a clinical instructor of contact lenses for the last 24 years and a consultant to CooperVision for the last 17 years.

My primary responsibility with CooperVision is to promote and provide contact lens education to students and eye care providers. As part of my duties, I conduct workshops on toric and multifocal soft contact lenses at the schools and colleges of Optometry.
I am constantly searching for better ways to provide educational support to the schools and the students. I'm hoping this blog will give us the opportunity to share ideas that will lead to the development and implementation of new educational programs at the schools.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say and answer any questions that you might have.


Would you be interested in seeing an Optometry Students section to this blog? Let us know! Ask questions or leave comments by using the “comments” section. We look forward to hearing from you!

About The Author

Mark Andre

Mark is a consultant to CooperVision and an Associate Professor of Optometry at the Pacific University College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. Mark’s areas of expertise include fitting specialty contact lenses and contact lens design. Mark lectures internationally and is a recipient of the Contact Lens Society of America's prestigious Joseph W. Soper award for Excellence in Education. He is also a contributing editor of the monthly publication Contact Lens Spectrum.

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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