Driving more than 25,000 miles a year is third most dangerous job: UK study

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has ranked driving more than 25,000 miles per year the third most dangerous job in the United Kingdom behind deep sea diving and coal mining, Optician reports.

And a quarter of British people who drive for work are not having regular eye tests, new research conducted on behalf of Vision Express has found.

The YouGov research also showed that 6 per cent of drivers had not had an eye examination in at least ten years and 2 per cent admitted to never having their eyes examined.

Of the research respondents, 13 per cent stated they would not inform the driving licence authority if their eyesight was too poor to drive, with 39 per cent saying their job would be at risk if their eyesight did not meet minimum requirements for driving. The research highlighted the potential danger those drivers pose to other road users.

Mr Jonathan Lawson, Vision Express chief executive officer, said: “Many don’t realise that changes in sight can be gradual, and it’s possible to lose up to 40 per cent of your vision before even noticing. Tellingly, the vast majority (93 per cent) of drivers in our research believed they did meet the legal eyesight requirement for driving, yet over half (56 per

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By | December 22nd, 2017|Research|

Paramedics to become registered with AHPRA

Paramedics are to become registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency by late 2018.

They will join 14 other health-care practitioners registered with AHPRSA, including medical practitioners and optometrists.

National regulation of paramedicine will mean that for the first time paramedics will be able to register once and practice anywhere in Australia. It will also increase public safety as all paramedics will be required to meet the same registration standards, no matter where they live.

‘Can help protect the public’

The chair of the Paramedicine Board of Australia, Associate Professor Stephen Gough, said on 20 December: “Setting registration standards is an important part of how the board and paramedics can help protect the public. 

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By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

Optometry Australia to close online store

Optometry Australia is to close its online store on 30 June next year, citing a significant drop in member demand for optometry books and eye-care brochures over the past few years.

All current book and merchandise orders will be fulfilled. Last orders will be accepted until 28 February 2018. All outstanding coupons will be honoured provided they are used by 31 May 2018. Orders for brochures can be placed up to 30 June 2018.

The chief executive officer of Optometry Australia, Ms Lyn Brodie, said: “An assessment of member demand, combined with a highly competitive retail environment and increasing distribution costs, has led us to the difficult but financially prudent decision to close our optometric online store.

“With expenses starting to out-strip revenue, we believe that we can no longer continue to divert members’ funds into keeping the store open.”

Optometry Australia will continue to promote new optometric books on its website.

By | December 22nd, 2017|Education|

Luxottica appoints new CEO

In what the company describes as a move to “simplify its organisational and governance structure,” Luxottica Group has announced the departure of Mr Massimo Vian, who has been chief executive officer for products and operations of the group, three months before his term expires.

The group will consolidate executive responsibilities in the hands of the executive chairman Mr Leonardo Del Vecchio and the deputy chairman Mr Francesco Milleri, who also assumes the position of chief executive officer. Mr Stefano Grassi, chief financial officer of the group, has been appointed to Luxottica’s board of directors.

By | December 22nd, 2017|People|

British College of Optometrists research identifies weaknesses in eye-health data

A lack of public health data on the prevalence of eye conditions in the United Kingdom is affecting the ability to adequately plan and meet eye-health needs, according to the College of Optometrists, Optician reports.

Despite an increasing amount of clinical data being held electronically in optometry-practice systems, the Ophthalmic Public Health Research Project found that data is not organised in a way that can be easily used for research and service-planning purposes.

The project was undertaken by the college to collate existing research and improve understanding of ophthalmic public health by optometrists. It was also hoped that the study would help to engage government and policy makers on eye health issues.

Researchers have now recommended a minimum dataset containing standard clinical information that could be used to facilitate analysis of the evidence for public health purposes and identify trends and areas of need in optometry practice.

Mike Bowen, director of research at the college, said: “The project has provided an important benchmark about what information is currently available, and allows for more extensive projects, such as the National Eye Health Survey, to provide the additional data needed to understand the nation’s eye health needs.”

By | December 22nd, 2017|Research|

New portable gel could save an injured eye

University of Southern California scientists and engineers have develop an on-the-spot, temperature-sensitive gel that could seal eye injuries on the battlefield before they have access to hospital facilities.

  • When a soldier sustains a traumatic eye injury on the battlefield, any delay in treatment may lead to permanent vision loss. With medical facilities potentially far away and no existing tools to prevent deterioration, medics are in a high-stakes race against the clock.
  • According to USC, a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at USC is close to solving the problem. They have developed a reversible, temperature-sensitive temporary seal that changes from a fluid to a super-strong semi-solid when applied to the eye.
  • When the patient is ready for surgery to permanently close the injury, doctors can remove the seal by adding cool water.

Results of the study were published on 6 December in Science Translational Medicine.

“If you look at historical data over the last several decades, the rate of war-related ocular injuries has steadily increased from a fraction of a percent to as high as 10 to 15 percent. Some of that can be attributed to changes in warfare, especially with the use of improvised explosive devices,” corresponding author John Whalen, assistant professor of research ophthalmology at the USC Roski Eye Institute and member

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By | December 22nd, 2017|Health|

‘Made in Italy’ case dropped

A lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York that challenged the validity of Kering Eyewear’s ‘Made in Italy’ claims for its brands has been voluntarily dropped by the plaintiff, Selima Optique.

Kering Eyewear designs, develops and distributes eyewear for Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, McQ, Boucheron, Pomellato, Brioni, Tomas Maier, Christopher Kane and Puma.

Complaint voluntarily dropped by complainant

 Kering said in a statement: “Selima Optique voluntarily dismissed a complaint it filed against Kering Eyewear and Kering with prejudice and without any payment from Kering Eyewear or Kering.”

Selina Optique filed the class action complaint in June at a court in Manhattan. The company, which at the time was a customer of Kering, claimed it “deliberately and falsely represented that their eyeglasses and sunglasses are ‘Made in Italy’,” after it received a package of Saint Laurent frames that were marked Made in Italy and Made in China.

False representations

Selima claimed in its suit that Kering falsely represents its eyewear as being made in Italy when “in truth, their products, or substantially all parts of their products, are made in China, and (at best) shipped to Italy for final assembly and packaging, and then exported.”

Kering Eyewear, which disputed the allegations, claimed it was a production and warehousing

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By | December 22nd, 2017|Business|

Cooper vision buys Paragon for $106 million

Contact lens firm Coopervision has acquired Paragon Vision Sciences for approximately $US80 million ($A106 million).

The acquisition of Paragon added orthokeratology, specialty contact lenses and oxygen permeable rigid contact lens materials to Coopervision’s product portfolio.\

Mr Robert Weiss, Coopervision’s president and chief executive officer, said: “The acquisition of Paragon strengthens Coopervision’s industry-leading specialty lens business through the addition of several successful products which will be a great fit within our existing product portfolio.”


Expected to be neutral to earnings earnings per share


The transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings per share in fiscal 2018 excluding one-time charges and deal-related amortization.

Paragon had trailing twelve-month revenues of approximately $US15 million and is forecasted to grow low double digits over the coming years.

By | December 22nd, 2017|Business|

Ulysses comments …


Yes, you’re reading it here first

The name of the MP who has been up to hanky-panky can now be revealed: it’s none other than Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce!


Political correctness

Boots Opticians in the United Kingdom have been criticised on social media for a frame display that featured pink and blue frames with what were described as sexist slogans.

A busy-body tweeted a photo of the display in the unnamed practice, which showed there were slogans such as ‘Pretty as a princess’ next to pink frames and ‘Super tough for super heroes’ next to blue ones.

Boots apologised for any offence caused, but doesn’t this episode show that so-called political correctness gone absolutely mad?


The ‘Made in Italy’ game

The lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York that challenged the validity of Kering Eyewear’s ‘Made in Italy’ claims for its brands has been voluntarily dropped this month by the plaintiff, Selima Optique.

That’s disappointing, because the claim of frames and sunglasses being made in Italy has largely been a sham for years, with huge numbers of them being either shipped to China for final finishing and then return to Italy, or being completely manufactured from scratch in China.

Conveniently, most of the time, there’s so much turning of blind eyes as

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By | December 22nd, 2017|Comment|

Critical trigger found for AMD

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in the United States have discovered a critical trigger for the damaging inflammation of macular degeneration.

Dr Jayakrishna Ambati, vice-chairman for research of UVA’s Department of Ophthalmology and the founding director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Vision Science, and Nagaraj Kerur, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, and their laboratories have determined that an enzyme called cGAS plays an important role in the body’s immune response to infections by detecting foreign DNA. But the molecule’s newly identified role in the dry form of AMD was unexpected.

Dr Ambati said: “For the first time, we know in macular degeneration what is one of the very first events that triggers the system to get alarmed and start, to use an anthropomorphic term, hyperventilating.

“This overdrive of inflammation is what ultimately damages cells, and so, potentially, we have a way of interfering very early in the process.”

The researchers noted that cGAS may be an alarm not just for pathogens, but for other harmful problems that warrant responses from the immune system. The enzyme may also play important roles in conditions such as diabetes, lupus, and obesity, and researchers already are working to create drugs that could inhibit its function.

By | December 4th, 2017|Research|