CORE News

CORE and Myopia Profile Form Alliance to Expand Clinical Research and Professional Education Capabilities

WATERLOO, CANADA and BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, November 30, 2020— The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and Myopia Profile today announced an alliance designed to expand both organizations’ services and reach. This unique venture brings together two groups both at the forefront of research and education in their respective fields. The affiliation will grow CORE’s already extensive clinical research capabilities, adding expertise in specialty lenses, gas permeable, orthokeratology and scleral contact lenses, provide Myopia Profile with priority access to a world-leading clinical research site, and further extend the professional and patient education capabilities for which each team is internationally known, including the areas of myopia management.

The heads of CORE and Myopia Profile—Dr. Lyndon Jones and Drs. Paul and Kate Gifford, respectively—have a multi-decade professional relationship dating back to the mid 1990’s. They have often collaborated on projects, lectures and other initiatives designed to advance ocular health and science.

“Our new alliance is a natural extension of our respect for one another, which has grown into friendship as the years have passed. We have long been aware of synergies in our work, along with areas where we can each extend the capabilities of the other. I’m delighted that the time is right for our respective organizations to take this step, and I am excited to see what we can achieve together,” said Dr. Jones.

“We share many points of view with CORE—clinically and personally—making this partnership a natural evolution of our relationship. Paul and I are delighted to be able to work more closely with the wider team at CORE, and look forward to sharing the results of this joint venture with the profession,” said Dr. Kate Gifford.

CORE and Myopia Profile will maintain their individual identities, facilities and staffing while pursuing projects together.

About Myopia Profile
Myopia Profile is the world’s largest and most popular, multi-channel educational resource dedicated to childhood myopia management. Developed by husband-and-wife optometrist team Drs Paul and Kate Gifford, it was first built around the Clinical Myopia Profile patient communication tool developed by Kate from 15 years’ experience in her Brisbane CBD practice. Starting as a bulk email to share the tool, then a website, then a Facebook group, Myopia Profile has now grown into a thriving, engaged community of many thousands of optometrists around the world, across web and social media platforms. The Myopia Profile team develops internationally accessible professional education, online courses, clinical communication tools and public awareness assets, and has expertise in bespoke industry learning and software solutions, and collaborative translational research. For more information, please visit myopiaprofile.com.

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

American Public Health Association Honors Five Ocular Scientists for COVID-19 Papers

WATERLOO, Ontario, November 17, 2020—The American Public Health Association (APHA) has recognized the work of five of the world’s most prominent ocular scientists with its 2020 Vision Care Section (VSC) Outstanding Scientific Paper Award. Two papers published by the group as the COVID-19 pandemic took root provided timely, evidence-based guidance to address and correct misinformation regarding safe contact lens wear.

The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners and The Ocular Surface, Coronaviruses and COVID-19 and authors were honored with the award during APHA’s 2020 Annual Meeting in late October for contributing “significantly to the advancement of eye/vision care in the public health field.” The gathering is the largest public health conference in the world. 

Both papers hold the highest ever Altmetric scores for the journals in which they were published, regardless of topic. Moreover, The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners is among the top 0.2 percent of all research scored by the analytics service across all disciplines. They have received widespread attention in more than 40 countries, generating over 6,000 medical, scientific, and mainstream media stories with a potential reach eclipsing 6 billion. The findings spurred the most cohesive alignment on a single public health issue by contact lens manufacturers, educators and fitters in the last decade.

Lyndon Jones, DSc, director of the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo, initiated the project and was lead author of the first paper. Mark Willcox, DSc, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), headed up the second paper, with Karen Walsh, MCOptom, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at the CORE, Jason Nichols, PhD, associate vice president for research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, and Philip Morgan, PhD, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester, contributing to both.

Since 1979, the APHA Vision Care Section (VCS) has been an advocate for equality in and access to vision and eye health care. By working alongside other health disciplines, the VCS helps keep vision and eye health at the forefront of healthy advancement for the good of everyone.

Other APHA award winners this year included Robert Cramer, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, for his contributions to suicide prevention training for health care providers and Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for his lifetime of service in shaping response to public health challenges over four decades.

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

Power of One: Roadmap to Better Contact Lens Patient Care

Presenter: Judith Parks:
Dec 2nd | 9pm EST

New Contact Lens Update Focuses on Scleral Lens Research and Future Uses

Scleral Expert Dr. Melissa Barnett Curates Issue No. 56

WATERLOO, Ontario, November 2, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has published issue number 56 of its free online education magazine, Contact Lens Update. The latest edition reviews multiple topics relevant to current and future uses of scleral contact lenses.

Melissa Barnett

The issue is curated by Melissa Barnett, principal optometrist at the University of California, Davis Eye Center and past president of the Scleral Lens Education Society. Her editorial tackles hot topics including the use of scleral lenses in keratoconus and how to recognise and address midday fogging. She also explores potential future uses of scleral lenses, from ocular drug delivery to smart lenses.

Fiona Stapelton

The role of the filling solution is examined in both the feature article and the conference highlight. A unique challenge of scleral lenses is midday fogging that can occur in the post-lens fluid reservoir; which is a frustrating problem for practitioners and patients alike. The results of a study by Jennifer Fogt to investigate if a novel filling solution can mitigate this challenge are reported along, with a review of midday fogging in general.

Fiona Stapleton’s conference highlight looks at the impact on comfort and vision by adding a lubricating drop to the filling solution ahead of lens wear.

Spotlighting advice that is always necessary yet elevated in the COVID-19 climate of ensuring safety, a downloadable practitioner reference details the correct steps to disinfect reusable diagnostic lenses in practice. The simple directions in the printable fact sheet cover the different steps required for rigid, soft and hybrid contact lens materials.

Published six times per year, Contact Lens Update provides a global platform for unbiased clinical insights based in current research. Since 2011, each issue has provided dependable and up-to-date ocular health information for more than 60,000 leading eye care professionals.

In addition to a complete archive of back issues, ContactLensUpdate.com offers a resource library that provides no-cost professional tools, patient resources, images and video. It also houses complimentary technical training videos produced by International Association of Contact Lens Educators, plus an industry glossary. Industry professionals can access the latest issue directly from ContactLensUpdate.com or quickly sign up for email receipt of future issues.

The publication receives support from the educational arms of Alcon, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

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About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.545.1815

COPE Approved Online Event: Power of One – Roadmap to Better Contact Lens Patient Care

Presenter: Harbir Sian

October 21st, 2020 at 8pm

A ‘Dose’ of Myopia: Contact Lens Update Explores Importance of Selecting Correct Myopia Management Treatment Strength

Globally recognised academic research and clinical practice experts contribute insights

WATERLOO, Ontario, September 30, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has published issue number 55 of its free online education magazine, Contact Lens Update. The latest edition reviews a number of new publications focused on how the efficacy of myopia management interventions varies with the dose of treatment used.

Mark Bullimore

Mark Bullimore, internationally recognised scientist, speaker and educator, provides an extensive review of the implications of the results from the recently-publicized BLINK study. He describes how the findings fit into the overall understanding of myopia management, and how eye care practitioners can make use of them in practice.

Philip Cheng

Philip Cheng, clinical director of the Myopia Clinic Melbourne, offers two contributions. He builds on the BLINK study results, reviewing evidence of a dose-dependent response in other myopia management interventions. He then draws on his considerable practical experience to demonstrate how to apply this information directly to the choice of recommended treatments.

The theme of a dose-dependent response is also covered in the issue’s conference highlight. A study conducted by Jan Roelof Polling and colleagues in a myopia control clinic in the Netherlands confirms the previously reported relationship between improved control of axial length change and higher concentrations of atropine.

“This new content exemplifies our aims for Contact Lens Update—direct translation of current research into clinical application,” said Karen Walsh, the magazine’s editor and CORE clinical scientist and professional education team leader. “I am sure many eye care practitioners interested in myopia management will find this information especially useful when advising children and their parents on available options.”

Published six times per year, Contact Lens Update provides a global platform for unbiased clinical insights based in current research. Since 2011, each issue has provided dependable and up-to-date ocular health information for more than 60,000 leading eye care professionals.

In addition to a complete archive of back issues, ContactLensUpdate.com offers a resource library that provides no-cost professional tools, patient resources, images and video. It also houses complimentary technical training videos produced by International Association of Contact Lens Educators, plus an industry glossary. Industry professionals can access the latest issue directly from ContactLensUpdate.com or quickly sign up for email receipt of future issues.

The publication receives support from the educational arms of Alcon, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.545.1815

CORE’s Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE) Infographics Now Available in 22 Languages from COVIDEyeFacts.org

Recent Outreach on the Issue Attracts Global Attention

WATERLOO, Ontario, September 21, 2020—Efforts by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) to educate eye care professionals and the general public about mask-associated dry eye (MADE) have attracted widespread attention during the past several weeks. In a nod to requests from around the world for more information, CORE has now released its downloadable MADE infographic in 22 languages at COVIDEyeFacts.org.  Alcon Europe provided translation services.

“In less than a month from when we first described MADE in The Conversation, interest has skyrocketed. I think this outreach shows the essential role that ocular science and optometry can play in shaping larger healthcare discussions, including the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of CORE. “We thank Alcon for helping us spread the word even farther.”

CORE’s strong affirmation that responsible mask wear remains critical to public health has been central to its work.

Since late August, CORE’s MADE insights have been published or broadcast in more than 20 countries on six continents, with a potential audience approaching 1 billion people. In addition to being embraced by the optometry and ophthalmology communities, MADE has also been the subject of feature stories in The Washington Post, The Mirror, CTV, Health.com, The National Post, Sina.com, Lifehacker Japan, and nearly 200 other media outlets.

The MADE infographic is available in the following languages: Bosnian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

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 About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACT
Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838

CORE Alerts Practitioners to Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)

ECPs Should Ask Patients About Symptoms, Offer Tips to Mitigate Issue

WATERLOO, Ontario, August 31, 2020—Widespread use of face masks has been determined essential to combat COVID-19’s spread, yet is giving rise to a new phenomenon: increased reports of dry, uncomfortable eyes. Experts from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) are advising eye care professionals (ECPs) on how to recognize mask-associated dry eye (MADE) and methods to mitigate the condition.

Reports of MADE have circulated since early summer and a recent review1 concluded that eye dryness and irritation from mask wear may become a problem for a large percentage of the population.

“Face masks are crucial in the fight against COVID-19, and ECPs are well-positioned to provide patients with advice on appropriate wear in order to maximize eye comfort,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of CORE. “Asking patients about their mask-wearing experiences and providing a few helpful tips takes little time and can make a substantial difference.”

MADE: What, Why and Who’s at Risk?

Masks significantly reduce the outward spread of air. However, exhaled air still needs to disperse; when a mask sits loosely against the face the likely route is upwards. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, creating conditions that accelerate tear film evaporation, leading to dry spots on the ocular surface and discomfort.

In addition to worsening symptoms in patients with pre-existing dry eye disease, MADE can affect a wide-spectrum of others: the elderly who typically have a poorer quality tear film, contact lens wearers, and masked people working extended hours in air-conditioned settings and/or while using digital screens.

Beyond discomfort, MADE may encourage people to rub their eyes for temporary relief—raising the possibility of unwashed hands being brought to the face. In turn, this increases the likelihood of coronavirus infection through the mouth, nose, and to a lesser extent, the eye.

Guidance for Practitioners

CORE suggests that ECPs consider incorporating three MADE-related actions into their examination lane protocols:

  1. Consider the role of the face mask if there are worsening symptoms and signs in patients with confirmed dry eye disease, or if patients report dry, uncomfortable eyes or variable vision for the first time.
  2. Routinely ask all patients how their eyes feel while wearing a mask, since many may not think to volunteer their experiences or associate their symptoms with mask use.
  3. Provide advice on alleviating the symptoms, including using a new CORE-developed infographic to help show how a few simple steps can likely provide relief and minimize reoccurrence.

Tips for Patients

As illustrated in its new MADE infographic (available for download from COVIDEyeFacts.org), CORE recommends that mask wearers experiencing dry eye symptoms try straight-forward solutions:

  1. Ensure that a mask is worn appropriately, particularly with spectacles or sunglasses. A carefully taped top edge that does not interfere with blinking may help.
  2. Apply lubricating drops, asking their ECP for recommendations.
  3. Limit time in air-conditioned environments and take regular breaks from digital devices.

CORE experts are also been quick to state that people should first check with their eye care practitioner for advice and to rule out other cases—a good approach with any new eye-related concern.

Don’t Ditch the Mask

Dr. Jones is adamant that bringing more attention to MADE should not be used to support anti-mask wearing sentiments.

“Responsibly wearing a mask, even when having to contend with eye dryness, is a critical part of overcoming the global pandemic. The good news is that we understand MADE and can address it—an opportunity for ECPs to further communicate their knowledge and ongoing value to patients at a time when sound, scientific guidance is needed more than ever,” he noted.

# # #

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150

  1. Moshirfar, M., West, W.B. & Marx, D.P. Face Mask-Associated Ocular Irritation and Dryness. Ophthalmol Ther 9, 397–400 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40123-020-00282-6

COPE Approved Online Event: Power of One – Roadmap to Better Contact Lens Patient Care

Presenter: Todd Ruhl: Aug 18 and Aug 19
Presenter: Gord Young: Aug 25

Comprehensive Searchable Contact Lens Database Launched in US

CORE’s Latest Contact Lens Compendium Features US Products

WATERLOO, Ontario, July 14, 2020 For the first time, the premier searchable contact lens database for eye care practitioners (ECPs)—the Contact Lens Compendium—is available for United States practitioners. With the launch of US Compendium, ECPs now have free access to the most up-to-date listing of contact lens products, including the latest parameters on lenses, solutions and rewetting drops currently available in the US market.

Maintained by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo, this vital resource is updated regularly online and offers a variety of search options for product filtering and comparison, enabling practitioners to easily find suitable products for their patients. Manufacturers are also able to log in to update product information directly. The project is a resource of Contact Lens Update and the US version may be accessed at https://compendium.contactlensupdate.com/us.

With a few keystrokes, ECPs can quickly find and compare contact lenses across the entire universe of available products. For instance, a fitter can pull up silicone hydrogel daily disposable lens options for a patient with a -8.00D prescription in seconds, or easily query all monthly hydrogels for a hyperopic astigmat of +4.00/-2.25 x 35. The advanced search function enables exact parameters to be used, saving time and presenting perhaps otherwise overlooked possibilities.

Compendium has long been available for the Canadian market in both print and online formats. The online version has become a valuable resource for thousands of Canadian optometrists.

“As we’ve seen online usage of Compendium grow in Canada, we’ve heard from practitioners that it is their go-to resource for contact lens product information,” says Sarah Guthrie, Senior Research Scientist at CORE. “We wanted to bring that same comprehensive online reference for lenses and solutions to optometrists in the US.”

A print version will be updated annually and is available for either free download or bound hard copy purchase at https://compendium.contactlensupdate.com/us/print_version.

The Contact Lens Compendium versions exist with the financial support of both the optometric profession and the contact lens industry.

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About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Aimee J. Lewis or Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.414.9838  |  mike@mcdougallpr.com +1.585.434.2150