CORE News

New Paper in Clinical and Experimental Optometry Summarizes SARS-CoV-2 Interaction with the Ocular Surface

WATERLOO, Ontario, May 20, 2020—“The ocular surface, coronaviruses and COVID-19,” an extensive literature review now published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry, considers a number of questions regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission and the ocular surface. In a complex and fast-moving subject area, the paper provides a timely and useful overview of the current evidence base, along with its relevance for clinical practice.

The authors suggest it is possible coronaviruses may not bind to ocular surface cells and initiate infection. Additionally, hypotheses that the virus could travel from the nasopharynx or through the conjunctival capillaries to the ocular surface during infection are examined.

Published May 13, the paper is available at no charge to researchers, ECPs and other health care professionals via open access at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cxo.13088.

The review is written by Mark Willcox, DSc, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Karen Walsh, MCOptom, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo, Jason Nichols, OD, associate vice president for research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, Philip Morgan, PhD, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester, and Lyndon Jones, DSc, director of CORE.

It follows publication of the five authors’ widely read paper in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 pandemic: Important considerations for contact lens practitioners.”

HOW TO CITE
Willcox, M.D., Walsh, K., Nichols, J.J., Morgan, P.B. and Jones, L.W. (2020), The ocular surface, coronaviruses and COVID‐19. Clin Exp Optom. doi:10.1111/cxo.13088

MEDIA CONTACT
Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

University of Waterloo Appoints Lyndon Jones as Newest University Professor

Honour Recognizes Exceptional Scholarly Achievement for Full-Time Faculty

 WATERLOO, Ontario, April 30, 2020—The University of Waterloo has appointed Dr. Lyndon Jones, professor at its School of Optometry & Vision Science, as a University Professor. The designation is awarded to professors who exemplify exceptional scholarly achievements and international pre-eminence. It follows his appointment as a University Research Chair in 2012.

Dr. Jones is one of three faculty members across the entire University to receive the designation in 2020 from the University’s Board of Governors. He joins 18 other active, full-time faculty who currently hold the title—approximately one out of every 60 professors on campus.

In addition to his faculty position, Dr. Jones serves as director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE). His research interests primarily focus on the interaction of contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye, myopia control and the development of materials for ocular drug delivery.

“Lyndon brings a unique perspective and keen insights in conducting significant inter-disciplinary research with engineers, chemists, and material scientists in both academia and industry.  He has authored over 400 refereed and professional papers, one textbook and is a co-inventor on eight patents with impressive metrics to support the impact of his efforts,” wrote School of Optometry & Vision Science Director Stan Woo in his nomination letter.

“He is tireless in his quest to lead innovation in the field of contact lens and biomaterials, and his energy inspires those around him to realize their full potential. Lyndon is a gifted speaker and educator, being equally comfortable lecturing to optometry students as he is leading discussions with graduate students and eye care practitioners.”

“It is a great privilege to be named a University Professor,” said Dr. Jones. “I am humbled and honoured to be recognized among other talented professors who have helped shape the university’s international reputation.”

Once appointed, a University Professor retains the designation for life. The School of Optometry & Vision Science’s only other recipient of the honor was Dr. Jake Sivak, who was appointed in 2007 and has since retired.

# # #

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

New Peer-Reviewed Paper in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye Offers Advice to Contact Lens Practitioners During COVID-19 Pandemic

Findings Help Eye Care Practitioners Provide Evidence-Based Guidance to Patients,
Including Five Important Facts for Every Contact Lens Wearer

WATERLOO, Ontario, April 13, 2020—A new peer-reviewed paper from five prominent ocular scientists will help eye care practitioners (ECPs) instruct and reassure contact lens wearers during the global COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic. Published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners” delves into multiple aspects of eye health amidst the global health crisis, with a specific emphasis on the safe use of contact lenses.

The paper and related ECP and patient resources can be accessed from COVIDEyeFacts.org

“Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people observe good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo and the paper’s lead author. “Unfortunately, we have seen a number of erroneous reports regarding contact lenses and spectacles in recent days. Our goal is to make sure that science-backed truths are understood and shared, helping eye care practitioners provide accurate, timely counsel to patients.”

Based on the paper, CORE has developed five facts (also available as a downloadable infographic) for ECPs to share with anyone who relies on contact lenses or glasses / spectacles:

    1. People Can Keep Wearing Contact Lenses. There is currently no scientific evidence that contact lens wearers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with glasses / spectacles wearers. Patients should consult their eye care practitioners with questions.
    1. Good Hygiene Habits are Critical. Thorough handwashing and drying are essential, as well as properly wearing and caring for contact lenses, ensuring good contact lens case hygiene, and regularly cleaning glasses / spectacles with soap and water. These habits will help wearers stay healthy and out of their doctor’s office or hospital, thereby minimizing impacts on the wider healthcare system.
    1. Regular Eyeglasses / Spectacles Do Not Provide Protection. No scientific evidence supports rumors that everyday eyeglasses / spectacles offer protection against COVID-19.
    1. Keep Unwashed Hands Away from the Face. Whether people wear contact lenses, glasses / spectacles or require no vision correction at all, individuals should avoid touching their nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands, consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
    1. If You Are Sick, Temporarily Stop Wearing Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers who are ill should temporarily revert to wearing eyeglasses / spectacles. They can resume use with fresh, new contact lenses and lens cases once they return to full health and have spoken with their eye care practitioner.

On April 8, the CDC issued updated guidance on contact lens wear during the COVID-19 pandemic, further supporting key findings from the Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper. The CDC additionally points out that personal eyeglasses and contact lenses do not qualify as personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper also reviews why management of adverse events should be retained within optometric systems, offers guidance on sleeping in contact lenses, considers wearing modalities and lens materials, and offers areas for further study.

Joining Dr. Jones as paper authors were four globally respected researchers, educators and clinicians: Dr. Karen Walsh, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at CORE, Dr. Mark Willcox, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Dr. Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and Dr. Jason Nichols, associate vice president for research and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum.

The latest findings complement and significantly expand on CORE advisories regarding handwashing and safe contact lens wear issued in mid-March 2020.

About 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 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

 

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1-585-414-9838 (mobile)

New Research Reassures & Advises Contact Lens Wearers During Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic; Offers Clear Facts and Hygiene Advice

Peer-Reviewed Paper by Prominent Scientists Reinforces Need for Hand Washing,
Warns that Wearing Glasses / Spectacles Does Not Reduce Risk of Infection

WATERLOO, Ontario, April 13, 2020—Moving swiftly to address and correct harmful myths and misinformation, a new peer-reviewed paper from five of the world’s most prominent ocular scientists reassures contact lens wearers during the global COVID-19 / coronavirus pandemic. Published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Important Considerations for Contact Lens Practitioners” offers five important facts for anyone who relies on contact lenses or eyeglasses / spectacles:

    1. You Can Keep Wearing Contact Lenses. There is currently no scientific evidence that contact lens wearers have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with glasses / spectacles wearers. Consult your eye care practitioner with questions.
    2. Good Hygiene Habits are Critical. Thorough handwashing and drying are essential, as well as properly wearing and caring for contact lenses, ensuring good contact lens case hygiene, and regularly cleaning glasses / spectacles with soap and water. These habits can help you stay healthy and out of your doctor’s office or hospital.
    3. Regular Eyeglasses / Spectacles Do Not Provide Protection. No scientific evidence supports rumors that everyday eyeglasses / spectacles offer protection against COVID-19.
    4. Keep Unwashed Hands Away from Your Face. Whether you wear contact lenses, glasses / spectacles or require no vision correction at all, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands, consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) and S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
    5. If You Are Sick, Temporarily Stop Wearing Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers who are ill should temporarily revert to wearing eyeglasses / spectacles. You can resume use with fresh, new contact lenses and lens cases once you return to full health and have spoken with your eye care practitioner.

On April 8, the CDC issued updated guidance on contact lens wear during the COVID-19 pandemic, further supporting key findings from the Contact Lens & Anterior Eye paper. The CDC also points out that personal eyeglasses and contact lenses do not qualify as personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Millions of people are asking how COVID-19 affects eye care, especially since approximately two out of every three adults worldwide wear contact lenses, spectacles or eyeglasses. Unfortunately, misinformation has become widespread in recent days. Our goal is to make sure that science-backed truths are understood and shared, replacing fear with fact,” said Dr. Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and the paper’s lead author. “Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people practice good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions.”

The complete paper incorporates findings from more than 100 referenced sources. It delves into multiple aspects of ocular health amidst the pandemic, including practical advice for eye care professionals. The paper and other resources for good wear and care can be downloaded from COVIDEyeFacts.org.

This new research-based review complements and significantly expands on CORE advisories regarding handwashing and safe contact lens wear issued in mid-March 2020.

Dr. Jones is a preeminent authority on eye care, having authored more than 400 refereed and professional papers and delivered more than 1,000 lectures worldwide in over 40 countries. In 2019, he was named by Expertscape as the most published expert in the field of contact lens research.

Joining him to author the COVID-19 paper were four globally respected researchers, educators and clinicians: Dr. Karen Walsh, professional education team leader and clinical scientist at CORE, Dr. Mark Willcox, director of research at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW (Sydney), Dr. Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester (United Kingdom), and Dr. Jason Nichols, associate vice president for research and Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum.

About 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 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
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com +1-585-414-9838 (mobile)

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

Contact Lens Update Special Edition: COVID-19 and Contact Lens Wear

A special issue of Contact Lens Update addresses the facts, and dispels misinformation about contact lens wear and coronavirus (COVID-19)

WATERLOO, Ontario, March 16, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has published issue number 53 of its free online education magazine, Contact Lens Update. This special issue provides a timely response for practitioners, providing evidence-based information on contact lenses and COVID-19, along with clear recommendations of techniques to use with patients to help promote safe lens wear.

Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo (Canada); Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester (United Kingdom); and Jason Nichols, Associate Vice President Research and Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor in chief of Contact Lens Spectrum

The editorial addresses these issues, expanding on a recent joint statement from three global contact lens experts. Professors Lyndon Jones, Philip Morgan and Jason Nichols provide clarity on contact lens wear safety, correct handwashing techniques and best-practice when feeling unwell. Information that is echoed by an increasing number of professional bodies, academic institutions and contact lens manufacturers.

Hand washing remains a fundamental cornerstone of safe contact lens wear, a message central to the paper by Emeritus Professor Desmond Fonn that is reviewed in the feature article. The evidence for patient education and simple interventions to help patients reduce their contact with water is also shared in the conference highlight section. To help support practitioners when educating patients, the clinical insight page pools the relevant tools that can be used with patients to help support safe wear and care of their contact lenses.

We understand the relevance of good hand washing practices for everyone in the current climate of COVID-19” said Dr Jones, “beyond the current heightened focus, it is also prudent to remind contact lens wearers of their ongoing need to conduct good hand hygiene prior to touching their lenses and eyes.”

This contact lens update special issue has been produced to reassure eye care practitioners, providing clear information that can be used with patients to promote continued safe wear of their contact lenses

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

Top Contact Lens Experts Dispel Misinformation Regarding Coronavirus / COVID-19 Protections for Contact Lens Wearers

Research scientists in Canada, United Kingdom and United States share guidance on safe wear and handling; thorough hand washing and disinfection compliance are important

WATERLOO, Ontario, March 12, 2020—Three of the world’s most published researchers in eye health are responding to misinformation circulating regarding contact lens and spectacles/glasses wear amidst Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.

Lyndon Jones, director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo (Canada); Philip Morgan, director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester (United Kingdom); and Jason Nichols, Associate Vice President Research and Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry (United States) and editor in chief of Contact Lens Spectrum are advising eye care professionals and consumers to heed sound, evidence-based practices.

  • Contact Lens Wear is Safe. Despite myths and misinformation that have arisen over the past 48 hours, contact lens wear remains a safe and highly effective form of vision correction for millions of people worldwide.
  • Proper Hand Washing is Essential. When using contact lenses or spectacles, careful and thorough hand washing with soap and water followed by hand drying with unused paper towels is paramount. For contact lens wearers, this should occur before every insertion and removal.
  • Disinfect Contact Lenses. Contact lens wearers should either dispose of their daily disposable lenses each evening, or regularly disinfect their monthly and two-week lenses according to manufacturer and eye care professional instructions.
  • Disinfect Spectacles and Glasses. Some viruses such as COVID-19 can remain on hard surfaces for hours to days, which can be transferred to spectacles wearers’ fingers and faces. This especially holds true for presbyopes (people generally over the age of 40). Most presbyopes require reading glasses and they may be putting them on and off their face multiple times a day. This age group appears to be among the more vulnerable population for developing COVID-19, as compared with contact lens wearers, who are typically younger.
  • Discontinue Lens Wear Only if Sick. Ceasing contact lens wear when sick is advised, consistent with guidance for other types of illness.
  • Spectacles are Not Proven to Offer Protection. There is no scientific evidence that wearing spectacles or glasses provide protection against COVID-19 or other viral transmissions.

A recent peer-reviewed paper published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye draws attention to how hand washing habits could affect the development of contact lens related microbial keratitis and corneal inflammatory events.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommend that people clean their hands often to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. Specifically, they advise all people to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use approved personal protective eyewear (medical masks, goggles or face shields) in certain settings involved in the care of patients (https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331215/WHO-2019-nCov-IPCPPE_use-2020.1-eng.pdf).

About the Experts

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, Director Lyndon Jones and the 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.

Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester is a specialist contact lens and ocular surface research group, founded in 1990.  The group is led by Professor Philip Morgan who also serves at Head of Optometry and Deputy Head of the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University.  Professor Morgan is Immediate Past President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and Vice President of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators.

Jason J. Nichols, OD MPH PhD is an Associate Vice President for Research in the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor in the School of Optometry. He also actively conducts ocular surface and contact lens research and trains PhD students and Fellows. He writes and lectures extensively on contact lenses and ocular surface conditions such as dry eye and meibomian gland disease.  Dr. Nichols is currently Editor of Contact Lens Spectrum and Contact Lenses Today®, whose publications reach over 50,000 eyecare practitioners worldwide. He also chairs the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, which is the largest contact lens specific meeting in North America. Dr. Nichols also serves as an Associate Editor for Eye and Contact Lens and is on the editorial board of The Ocular Surface. Dr. Nichols is a dual diplomate in both the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) sections of Public Health and Environmental Optometry and Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technology. His awards include three Ezell Fellowships and the Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry and Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1-585-545-1815 (mobile)

Mike Addelman, Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester
michael.addelman@manchester.ac.uk or +44 7717 881567

Adam Pope, Public Relations Specialist
University of Alabama at Birmingham
arpope@uab.edu or +1-205-934-6986

CORE Advises Contact Lens Wearers on Safe Use Amidst COVID-19 Concerns, Reinforces Proper Hand Hygiene

Recent Study Highlights Importance of Good Practices to Avoid Infection

WATERLOO, Ontario, March 11, 2020—As bottles of soap are flying off the shelves and hand sanitizer is in short supply since the global spread of Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, people are paying more attention to hand washing practices. While there is no suggestion of an association between COVID-19 and safe contact lens wear, for the millions of lens wearers worldwide, the increased focus on hand washing is a welcome message.

A recent literature review from Professor Emeritus Desmond Fonn and the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) reports that proper hand hygiene is especially important for people who use contact lenses. The peer-reviewed study, published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, draws attention to how hand washing habits could affect the development of contact lens related microbial keratitis, which can be severe and sight-threatening, and corneal inflammatory events.

“Everyone is suddenly Googling handwashing techniques with the spread of COVID-19,” said Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, the paper’s co-author and director of CORE. “Clearly this is sensible advice to help reduce the risk of transferring the virus, however, outside of the current crisis, focus on good hand washing techniques should be mandatory for contact lens wearers too. With the amount of information available on this topic right now, it is timely to remind lens wearers of just how much the simple act of thorough hand washing can reduce their risk of lens-related complications occurring.”

The paper notes that in line with its ability to reduce the spread of disease, careful and thorough hand washing with soap and water followed by hand drying with unused paper towels should greatly reduce the transfer of microbial contamination from hands to the contact lens or eye. Clean hands plus use of daily disposables results in the lowest risk of contact lens-related complications. For wearers of reusable lenses there are additional guidelines on lens and case cleaning which can be downloaded for patient use from CORE’s Contact Lens Update educational resource.

Seeing is Believing

In 2018, CORE published a series of eye-popping photos that demonstrate the rapid growth of bacteria associated with mishandling contact lenses.  CORE researchers exposed new, clean contact lenses to both clean and unwashed hands. Unwashed hands were pressed into agar (Figure 2a), and also used to handle a new contact lens (Figure 2b). Scientists then repeated the procedure after following recommended handwashing practices, touching both the agar directly, along with applying and removing a contact lens (Figures 2c and 2d). The results clearly demonstrate the impact handling has on contact lenses. Samples that had been touched with unwashed hands showed significantly higher numbers of visible bacteria. By comparison, the contact lens touched with clean hands had only a minimal bacterial load.

“Contact lenses are a safe, highly effective form of vision correction used by millions of people worldwide, but ignoring good contact lens care can have a devastating effect on eye health and vision,” says CORE senior research associate Miriam Heynen, MSc, who conducted the experiment with laboratory research assistant Vivian Chan, BSc. “Taking care of your contact lenses with clean, dry hands is essential, a point that is clearly illustrated in the images shared here.”

Photos from the handling study are available for use by eye care professionals and contact lens wearers alike at https://core.uwaterloo.ca/news/seeing-is-believing-eye-popping-photos-show-why-good-contact-lens-hygiene-is-essential/

Dr. Jones concluded by saying “We understand the relevance of good hand washing practices for everyone in the current climate of COVID-19. Beyond the current heightened focus, it is also prudent to remind contact lens wearers of their ongoing need to conduct good hand hygiene prior to touching their lenses and eyes.”

# # #

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

CORE Offers Insights on Contact Lens Industry Growth, Safety, Wearer Satisfaction and Pediatric Use at NCC 2020

Organization Continues to Extend Its Global Reach in Ocular Research;
Multiple Scientists to Present Papers, Posters and More in the Netherlands

WATERLOO, Ontario, February 24, 2020—Scientists from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) will have their largest-ever presence at the 8th Dutch Contact Lens Congress (Nederlands Contactlens Congress / NCC), which runs March 15-16 in Veldhoven, The Netherlands. CORE researchers are scheduled to present multiple papers, posters and education sessions on some of the most critical issues in contact lens prescribing and development, including industry growth, contact lens safety, wearer satisfaction and pediatric use.

“The theme of the conference is ‘Beyond 2020’ and we consider this an apt description of what we have in store for NCC this year,” said CORE Head of Clinical Research Jill Woods, MSc, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA. “Our topics are central to what’s ahead for the entire contact lens category. CORE’s independence, the breadth of our research capabilities, and our work with a range of sponsors globally generate unique perspectives—ones we’re excited to share in Veldhoven.”

Dr. Woods is the lead author of “5 years of daily disposable contact lens wear in children,” which will be presented on Monday, March 16 at 1:30 p.m. in conjunction with the MiSight® 1 day clinical study group. She will also deliver a podium review of the “Satisfaction of habitual wearers of reusable multifocal lenses when refitted with a daily disposable, silicone hydrogel multifocal lens” poster on the afternoon of Sunday, March 15, in addition to co-moderating the larger session.

Doerte Luensmann, PhD, Dipl. Ing. (AO), FAAO, a senior clinical scientist at CORE, will speak on new digitally-aided techniques for successful lens fitting as part of two paper presentations. “The use of a modern web-application to assist reusable toric lens fitting success” and “Toric lens fitting success supported by an online fitting app” will be shared back-to-back, beginning on Monday, March 16 at 2:12 p.m.

CORE Clinical Scientist Karen Walsh, BSc(Hons), PGDip, MCOptom, FIACLE, FBCLA, and Director Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, are teaming up at NCC for two continuing education programs that are sure to draw sizable crowds.

The first program, on Sunday, March 15 at 11:15 a.m., explores the opportunities for continued expansion of the daily disposable modality. They will be joined by Philip Morgan, BSc, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester.

The second program will take place on Monday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m. Drs. Walsh and Jones will partner with Marco van Beusekom, BOptom, FIACLE, Professional Affairs manager, Benelux, Johnson & Johnson Vision, to discuss best practices in safe wear and care of contacts and the importance of encouraging compliance in practice.

In addition to its clinical education tracks, NCC is also known for bringing together eye care professionals with social events, celebrating friendships and professional relationships alike. The eye care professionals attending NCC will be in for a special treat as the opening day comes to a close, when Drs. Jones and Walsh assist Sarah Morgan, BSc(Hons), MPhil, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, in a comedy and live music-filled eye and music-themed quiz. Those festivities get underway at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 15 in the Baronie Room.

For more information about CORE, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

# # #

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

Material Considerations: New Contact Lens Update Explores Future Contact Lens Technologies

 Issue #52 Showcases Biosensing and Integrated Displays;
Provides Advice on Scleral and Orthokeratology Materials for Immediate Use in Practice

Chau-Minh Phan

WATERLOO, Ontario, February 17, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has published issue number 52 of its free online education magazine, Contact Lens Update. With contributions from experts in North America and Australia, the new edition explores multiple aspects of current and future contact lens material technologies.

In a provocative editorial, CORE research scientist and OcuBlink co-founder Chau-Minh Phan discusses ongoing research into biosensing contact lenses, noting the many and varied diseases that can be detected and monitored through tears. He also evaluates the Mojo smart lens, whose recent concept unveiling at the 2020 CES conference generated unprecedented worldwide attention from the technology and healthcare communities.

Alex Hui

Imagine being able to recommend a contact lens that contains an antihistamine to help with seasonal allergy symptoms. This technology is on the near horizon. Alex Hui, senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, reviews a recent clinical study in patients with confirmed allergic responses who wore special drug-loaded contact lenses while exposed to allergens.

Langis Michaud

While the future is filled with intriguing advancements, the good news is that today’s eye care professionals do not have to wait for all new materials technologies. In a clinical insights story, Langis Michaud, professor at the University of Montreal, discusses the evolution of highly oxygen permeable materials for scleral and orthokeratology use. He shares research that can help increase the oxygen delivery of the scleral lens system, and practical advice that can be applied immediately for patient benefits.

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

CORE Announces Significantly Expanded Presence at 2020 Global Contact Lens Symposium

Dry Eye, Contact Lenses, Myopia Management and Instrumentation Sessions Highlights Organization’s Expertise in Specialty Segment

WATERLOO, Ontario, January 13, 2020—The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) has announced its largest-ever participation in the upcoming Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS). The annual conference is expected to attract prominent researchers, clinicians and educators from 35 countries later this month in Las Vegas.

“The range of CORE-led sessions on dry eye, contact lenses, myopia management and instrumentation across four days reflects how we have taken a markedly increased role in the specialty segment, which is growing more exciting by the year,” said CORE Director Lyndon Jones, PhD, DSc, FCOptom.

For the first time, GSLS is opening with two pre-meeting interactive workshops. “Contemporary Dry Eye Disease Practice” features CORE’s Dr. Jones and Karen Walsh, BSc(Hons), PGDip, MCOptom plus Aston University’s James Wolffsohn, MBA, PhD. The high-energy session, slated for Wednesday, January 22 at 6 p.m. PDT, showcases and demonstrates multiple elements that can be incorporated into diagnosis, treatment and ongoing management dry eye patients.

On Friday, January 24, Drs. Jones and Wolffsohn partner again in the 10 a.m. PDT general session to discuss “A Clear Vision on Dropouts.” Moderated by educator and consultant Eef van der Worp, BOptom, PhD, the presentation focuses on three aspects behind the dropout phenomenon to stabilize and increase the wearer base.

Later that day, Drs. Walsh and Jones bring attendees inside one of the latest diagnostic devices for the dry eye arsenal. “Working Smart: Streamline Your Dry Eye Practice with New Technology – Medmont” begins at 1:30 pm PDT.

On Saturday, January 25 at 9 a.m. PDT, “Dry Eye and Contact Lenses: Harmony or Havoc” pairs Drs. Jones and Walsh to review methods to determine if patients truly have dry eye disease, discuss various approaches used by companies to manage contact lens discomfort, and describe the science behind these approaches.

Just prior to the conference close, beginning at 2:20 p.m. PDT, a panel of prominent researchers addresses “A 2020 Vision on Specialty Lens Care.” Dr. Jones collaborates with Shalu Pal, OD, Kelsey Steele, OD, MS and Loretta Szczotka-Flynn OD, PhD—plus moderators Karen DeLoss, OD, and Dr. Van der Worp—to share academic and clinical viewpoints on best practices in specialty contact lens solutions, hygiene and handling.

In addition to its presentations, a CORE venture will be represented among the conference’s scientific posters. “Deposition of fluorescently tagged lysozyme on contact lenses in a physiological blink model” provides insights on daily disposable lenses using OcuBlink, the CORE-affiliated in vitro eye model that accelerates ophthalmic product research and development.

In parallel with GSLS, CORE Clinical Scientist Debbie Jones, BSc, FCOptom, will be a featured speaker at CooperVision’s annual Educator’s Meeting regarding the MiSight® 1 day contact lens clinical study for slowing the progression of myopia in children. CORE has been the largest site for the multi-year landmark study, which is now entering its seventh year.

# # #

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