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Monday, 22 November 2010
Trunk Shows on Rise
Topic: Optical
"Retailers and ECPs are rediscovering the trunk show as a means of deepening relationships with patients. For suppliers, taking part in the events means building better bridges with their accounts, getting a feel for the industry and expressing the brand’s point of view to customers." That's the report from a VisionMonday report.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:07 AM EST
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Friday, 19 November 2010
Video Games Good for Vision? Some Scientists Think So!
Topic: Optical
"They are often accused of being distracting, but recent research has found that action packed video games like Halo and Call of Duty can enhance visual attention, the ability that allows us to focus on relevant visual information," according to a story on MedicalNewsToday. "This growing body of research, reviewed in WIREs Cognitive Science, suggests that action based games could be used to improve military training, educational approaches, and certain visual deficits."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 5:39 PM EST
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Thursday, 18 November 2010
UK Optical Chain Expands in Tough Economy
Topic: Optical
The Financial Times reports that "in spite of tough economic conditions, the world’s biggest privately owned optical retailer [Specsavers] has continued its trend for aggressive expansion." The 26-year-old optical retailer has expanded into Australia. "In the process it has driven up turnover from about £1bn {$1.6 billion] in 2008 to an expected £1.6bn [$2.56 billion] this year and it now has 1,600 stores in 10 countries."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 6:42 AM EST
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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Vision Implant Design of the Year
Topic: Optical
The Implantable Miniature Telescope by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz was named "Best of What's New" 2010 by Popular Science magazine, according to a press release from VisionCare Ophthalmic Technology Inc. The first-of-kind telescope implant is integral to a new patient care program, CentraSight™, for treating patients with end-stage macular degeneration.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:11 AM EST
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Tuesday, 16 November 2010
You and an Angelfish Seeing Eye to Eye
Topic: Optical
A week ago MedicalNewsToday reported about a new vision discovery. "To a hungry fish on the prowl, the split-second neural processing required to see, track, and gobble up a darting flash of prey is a matter of survival. To scientists, it's a window into how our brain coordinates the eye motions that enable us to hit a baseball, sidestep an errant skateboarder, and otherwise make our way in a world full of danger and opportunity. This process is now better understood, thanks to a team of scientists that imaged the activity of individual neurons in a part of a zebrafish's brain called the optic tectum. The optic tectum receives signals from the retina, filters them, then sends the signals to other parts of the brain that control motion. "

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 8:02 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 18 November 2010 6:43 AM EST
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Saturday, 13 November 2010
Rewiring the Brain to See Patterns
Topic: Optical
"A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering have found that an early part of the brain's visual system rewires itself when people are trained to perceive patterns, and have shown for the first time that this neural learning appears to be independent of higher order conscious visual processing," according to a post on MedicalNewsToday

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:56 AM EST
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"Seeing" Like a Fruit Fly?
Topic: Optical
We all know that an image is projected on the retina. Then what? Nerves cells separate the image into different channels, and "this pre-sorted information is then transmitted to the brain as parallel image sequences," notes MedicalNewsToday. "Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have now discovered that fruit flies process optical information in a similar way. The evidence suggests that this type of wiring is an effective energy-saving mechanism and is therefore deployed by a diverse range of animal species. (Nature, November 11, 2010)"

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:52 AM EST
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Saturday, 6 November 2010
Duffer Reports His Experience with Eye Surgery
Topic: Optical
"For those of us who wear glasses or contact lenses, playing golf is one of those occasions when we curse our poor vision. As a reasonably OK golfer, I decided long ago that hitting the ball in the middle of the club head is hard enough without trying to keep your glasses perched on the end of your nose, so I was forced to invest in contact lenses," reports Mike Norrish in the British Telegraph. He then gives up on CLs to try...

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 9:22 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Pissed Off Optician Accused of Stealing from Target
Topic: Optical
St. Peterburg Times posted the following: "An optician at Target who was angry about not getting a raise decided to get even by stealing items from the store, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 10:36 PM EDT
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Monday, 1 November 2010
CR Readers Rate Costco Best Nationwide Chain for Eyewear
Topic: Optical

A pubicity release from Consumer Reports notes: "Consumer Reports surveyed more than 30,000 bespectacled readers about their most recent purchase of a pair of eyeglasses and found that Costco topped the Ratings of eyeglass retailers, which included large chains, independent local optical shops, and private doctors offices....Costco Optical earned the highest score for overall satisfaction among chains, and also beat out most of its competitors for price -- a pair of glasses cost a median of $157 compared with a median of $211 at independent optical shops and $212 at eye doctors' offices."

Several points are not mentioned in the press release. Average price makes little sense; price will depend on what type of frame and lenses the individual selects. Another point: With more than 400 locations, making its optical department the fourth largest in the U.S., one can logically assume that more of CR's readers went to Costco than to any 100 independent practices, skewing the results. 


Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 6:25 AM EDT
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Sunday, 31 October 2010
UK Opticians under Media Microscope--about Pricing
Topic: Optical
OptometryToday has posted a notice that "optics is preparing for a fresh media exploration of its High Street pricing which is planned to be screened later this year on national television. Rip Off Britain, the BBC One consumer investigation programme, is producing an report on how opticians price their products alongside online pricing." The series begins in the UK on 22 Nov. 2010. Maybe the BBC will run it in the States. It's always good to see how the other guy lives.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 9:25 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Hard Times in This Economy?
Topic: Optical
Melissa Preddy of BusinessJournalism.org reported recently that "hard numbers are difficult to come by, but reports on professional organization sites suggest that – as more Americans lose insurance and as income dwindle, oral hygiene and visits to the eye doctor tend to suffer.  (See my recent blog post on poverty, which includes a link to the recent Census Bureau report about Americans, poverty and medical insurance for background data.)"

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 8:03 AM EDT
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Friday, 22 October 2010
Brit Firefighter Sees a New World
Topic: Optical
"When firefighter Lynsey Philpott noticed her eyesight was deteriorating, she went for a check-up at the opticians – only to be told they could do nothing for her," according to an article for the YorkshirePost. "Instead she was referred to hospital where specialists were surprised to discover she had cataracts in both her eyes which had remained undiagnosed since birth."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:57 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 22 October 2010 7:58 AM EDT
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Thursday, 21 October 2010
Negative Refraction Power Causes Underestimation of Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fibre Layer Thickness
Topic: Optical
"Measured RNFL thicknesses decreased significantly with soft contact lenses of higher plus dioptres and increased with those of more minus dioptres. This finding was consistent with or without controlling factors including the signal strength and test–retest variability of the machine. Measurement of peripapillary RNFL thicknesses was not varied between scans performed with and without plano contact lenses," reports the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 8:04 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Eye Care Professionals Turn Glum
Topic: Optical
"Following an uptick in August, independent ECPs’ attitudes about business declined in September to be the lowest of the year, according to the latest edition of Jobson Optical Research’s Optical Business Barometer (OBB)," according to a report in VisionMonday. "Compared to the previous month, respondents’ attitudes toward business decreased for September 2010 at an Index of 3.3 compared to the August 3.7 score."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:17 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 October 2010 7:06 AM EDT
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Eye Care Professionals Experiment with Social Media Marketing
Topic: Optical

"Monica Dillon wasn't happy with her eye care provider, so when she saw an online deal for an exam and glasses for $50, she clicked on it," noted a recent post by the BaltimoreSun. "The accountant, who lives in Columbia and works in Washington, doesn't ordinarily get medical care without a recommendation. But the offer was too good to resist — and, as she notes, there would be no surgery or undressing."

 Read how Accuvue used Facebook to market CLs to teenagers.


Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:08 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 October 2010 7:07 AM EDT
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New ABO/NCLE Group Formed
Topic: Optical
At the end of the recent ABO/NCLE National Education Conference, the organization created the Society For Advanced Opticianry. Its purpose is “to elevate the profession of opticianry through advanced education thus providing a higher level of skill and care.” Pick up more details at VisionMonday.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:03 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 October 2010 7:08 AM EDT
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Monday, 18 October 2010
Salaries for Opticians
Topic: Optical

 Recently the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported generated the following data about opticians. 

Employment Estimate and Mean Wage Estimates

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
60,840 2.2 % $16.73 $34,790 0.9 %

Percentile Wage Estimates

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $10.16 $12.54 $15.74 $20.03 $24.31
Annual Wage (2) $21,120 $26,070 $32,740 $41,660

$50,560

 
 
Top Paying States
 
State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment per thousand workers
Connecticut 460 $25.09 $52,180 0.282
Massachusetts 1,550 $23.89 $49,690 0.490
New Jersey 1,350 $23.62 $49,130 0.350
Virginia 1,880 $22.37 $46,540 0.524
New York 2,920 $22.09 $45,940

0.343

 

Top Paying Metropolitan Areas

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment per thousand workers
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division 390 $29.05 $60,420 0.316
Lynchburg, VA 60 $28.03 $58,300 0.557
Punta Gorda, FL 50 $27.99 $58,210 1.177
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division 750 $27.89 $58,010 0.445
New Haven, CT 140 $27.04 $56,240 0.517
 
The Bureau defines opticians as follows: "Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames. Include contact lens opticians."

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 7:12 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 22 October 2010 10:19 AM EDT
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Friday, 15 October 2010
Faced with Competition, Canadian Opticians Rebrand
Topic: Optical
"Canada's opticians, squeezed between their professional rivals — optometrists — and non-professional fly-by-night and online dispensaries are setting out to carve a larger niche in the vision-care business," reports CBC News. "The Opticians Council of Canada launched a national public awareness campaign Friday, which includes television ads and a website aimed at steering consumers to licensed opticians. 'We're calling ourselves "vision architects,"' explained [Janice] Schmidt, a former chair of the OCC and co-ordinator of the optician program at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont. 'We're the ones that will design the eyewear, design the lens that is going to go into the frame.'" Should American opticians do the same?

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 8:40 PM EDT
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Monday, 11 October 2010
Eye Care Turning to Social Networks on Web
Topic: Optical
Check this out from the BaltimoreSun: "Monica Dillon wasn't happy with her eye care provider, so when she saw an online deal for an exam and glasses for $50, she clicked on it...'The timing was right so I jumped on it,' she said about her purchase via Groupon, a deal-of-the-day e-mail sent to tens of thousands of people in the Baltimore region and millions nationwide....'This worked out; they found a problem with my prescription.'Katzen Eye Group, the company behind the deal, is among the growing number of health care providers testing the latest in social media.

Posted by ct3/opticalceu at 6:54 AM EDT
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