Winner Announced of This Month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge”

Andrew W. Nahas, OD of Boscobel, Wisconsin, was announced as this month’s “Ocular Photography Challenge” winner for his photographs of an 11-year-old boy with Marfan syndrome. As the winner, Kowa Optimedwill award Dr. Nahas with Kowa’s new state of the art YF Binoculars for his excellent work.

As shown in the photographs, Nahas said the patient’s manifest refraction time in the right eye was -10.50 D -0.25 D x 180 with visual acuity of 20/40-2. In the left eye, the patient’s manifest refraction time was -8.50 D -2.00 D x 170 with a visual acuity of 20/25 +1.For more information regarding Kowa Optimed products, please visit: www.kowa-usa.com

For more information regarding the Ocular Photography Challenge by Primary Care Optometry News

please visit: www.PCONSuperSite.com. Submissions for the contest can be emailed to nhemphill@slackinc.com.


Eyecare Professionals Select Kowa Marketing Campaign Number 1 in Medical Device Category as conducted by Signet AdProbe Survey

In a recent survey done by Signet Research Inc. for Optometric Management, Kowa Optimed was honored by being recognized as having the best advertisement in their category and third place overall. The advertisement for the WX3D retinal camera by Kowa Optimed was the ad critiqued by the survey.

The purpose of the Signet AdProbe study was to provide those who purchased ad space in Optometric Management with feedback regarding the noticeability and information content of their advertisement. The report was based on the responses of 243 subjects questioned during the study. In order to reduce bias and respondent fatigue, a split sample technique was used and the sequence in which respondents viewed the ads was rotated. The desired end result of this survey is to help advertisers to better communicate with their audience through more effective advertising.

Of survey responses, 33% ranked Kowa’s ad’s noticeability as “excellent” and 47% responded to Kowa’s noticeability as “good.” Twenty-nine percent of those surveyed rated the ad’s information content as “excellent” and 56% rated the information content as “good.” The advertisement for Kowa’s WX3D was categorized overall as “excellent” by 33% of survey responders and “good” by 47%. Survey responders remarked about the advertisement with comments such as, “informative and pleasing to the eye” and “strong images, easy to understand.” The ad was mostly highlighted for its clear imaging and easy to read information. Another large portion of comments served to attest to Kowa’s quality and ease of use by those who are already familiar with their products.

Information regarding Kowa Optimed eyecare division visit: www.kowa-usa.com/eyecare.


Smartphone Eye Exams for Underdeveloped Countries

Measuring someone for eyeglasses normally requires expensive, bulky equipment that isn’t easily transported. The researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed a simple $1 piece of plastic that when attached to a smartphone, functions as a diagnostic instrument. In underdeveloped countries, eye care is very often a luxury for most citizens. That’s why Ramesh Raskar and Manuel Oliveira, two professors at the Media Lab along with post-doc Ankit Mohan created the Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment, or NETRA

NETRA is as simple as a patient peering into a small lens attached to a smartphone. This smartphone must have the corresponding application that is equipped with the testing feature. On screen, the patient sees parallel red and green lines. The patient is instructed to use arrow keys on the phone to adjust those lines until they overlap. This test is extremely quick and after just two minutes of testing, the application produces the proper eyeglass prescription based off the test results. The way the test works, someone with 20/20 eyesight would be able to correctly overlap the lines which would only appear blurry. However, to someone with less than perfect sight, the lines would appear separated, skewing their test results. The application then reads how far off the patient’s results are and fits them for the ideal lens strength.

With this system, a patient doesn’t need lenses to bring a blurry image into focus, contrary to typical diagnostic instruments and machines that optometrists more commonly use. Instead, the smartphone attachment uses a basic system of lenses and pinholes.


Kowa Optimed to Participate in 2012 Vision Source National Meeting

This year has already been a busy one for Kowa Optimed who has participated in a number of events including Heart of America, Vision Expo East, and SECO International.  Next on this month’s agenda is the 2012 Vision Source National Meeting to be held April 26th – 28th in the beautiful city of Orlando. Florida.

Vision Source was founded in 1991 with the belief that eye health care is best provided by an independent family eye doctor, free to make his or her own decisions about what is best for the continued good vision of the patient. As a member of Vision Source, a private practice optometrist has access to the shared knowledge and resources of a network with more than 2,000 offices.

Eye care is forever evolving and we are excited to be apart of yet another event allowing us the opportunity to share our knowledge as well as gain insight into what others are doing to help everyone posses the best vision possible.

For over 50 years Kowa has been a leader in providing the most advanced instrumentation to ophthalmic practices. Some of our products to be presented at the event include a line of the largest selection of precision instruments including digital fundus imaging, perimeters, tonometers, slit lamps, and binolcular loupes. The DigiVersal image management system and our comprehensive activeEHR practice management solutions is designed specifically for eye care professionals and supported by a network of dedicated service specialists.

For more information on Kowa Optimed products and services visit our booth, #34,  in the Bonnet Creek Ballroom or visit our website at http://www.kowa-usa.com/Eyecare/index.html .


Kowa Optimed and Walman Optical to Participate in the 2012 Heart of America Event

Kowa Optimed and ophthalmic marketing partner, Walman Optical, are proud to announce our participation in the 2012 Heart of America’s 51st Annual Contact Lens  Primary Care Congress February 17-19th. The Heart of America Contact Lens Society (HOACLS) was founded nearly fifty years ago and has made tremendous strides in changes to the profession over the years with its mission to continue education in primary care optometry and the contact lens specialty. Each Congress meeting strives to provide a wide variety of workshops, symposia, and courses providing the opportunity for optometrists and paraoptometrics to learn new tricks of the trade.

Not only does HOACLS continue to offer camaraderie, education, and innovation to its member doctors, but they take pride in giving back to the community as well. Each year the event funds numerous scholarships, grants, and prizes which sets this meeting apart from the rest.

Both Kowa Optimed and Walman Optical are honored to be a part of such a prestigious event. Be sure to stop by our booths in the Exhibit Hall. Look for booth #519 for Kowa displays and find Walman Optical at nearby booths #518 and #520. Walman Instruments booths will be labeled as #512 and #514.

For more information about the event check out the HOACLS website  http://www.hoacls.org/Exhibitors.cfm

To learn more about ophthalmic instruments and Walman Instruments homepage refer here  www.walmaninstruments.com 

For more on Kowa Optimed browse through the homepage at     www.kowa-usa.com   and to sign up for an activeEHR webinar click on the EMRlogic Webinar homepage link here   www.emrlogic.com 


New and Improved Kowa Optimed Website

With New Years freshly behind us, many resolutions included reinventing oneself whether that be their character within or  sticking to hitting the gym a couple times a week in order to shed those holiday pounds. A common theme always includes changing physical appearances or removing complications from life in general. In 2012, Kowa Optimed has also made some changes to their website appearance with the addition of a few helpful tools creating a more user friendly site.

With the new layout and design, viewers will discover clearly labeled tabs which help navigation and allow for information to be accessed much quicker and easier. With everyone so on the go in today’s society this is sure to be much appreciated.

The new website also includes a contact page where buyers, clients, job seekers etc, can leave their information and comments. Need answers to your questions right away? Well with just a click of the mouse you can be directed to chat with a specialist online.

Want up to date info on events? Check out this new section which allows users to know in advance when and where Kowa Optimed will be in a city near them. Find out more about products and services when they come to your area.

Don’t want to leave home or are there no upcoming events near you? A cool new feature of the website includes the addition of online Webinars. Here viewers can sign up to view videos of product demonstrations from the comfort of their own living room.

Become an instant follower or fan of Kowa Optimed by utilizing social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook as they are also only a click away on the home page.

The new website will be up and running very shortly.  Customer service is always the top priority of the organization and with these new improvements all users are sure to gain the best experience possible. Check back with us soon to be a part of this new and improved online experience!


December is National Safe Toys and Gift Month

December is national Safe Toys and Gift Month.  As it is the holidays and many gifts will be given it is important to understand the safety and hazards of certain gifts.  Many toys now come with recommended age usage, as well as warnings.  But, there are some toys that the safety and hazards are not clearly labeled.  For instance a BB Gun needs to be worn with safety goggles, but rarely is the BB Gun sold with safety goggles.  Here are a few ways to buy and use toys safely.

There are a few basics.  One should always read the recommended age group and assess from there.  These labels are put on toys specifically to help a consumer. Secondly it is important to show your child how to use the toy properly.  Although it may obvious to us, it is not so obvious to children!  The third and more obvious one is to keep an eye on your child while they are playing with their toys, especially new ones.

Before even beginning your holiday shopping it is important as a parent, or consumer, to educate one self.  Toys are imported from other countries often and they may have different standards of production.  Older toys were made with high levels of lead and hand-to-mouth contact exposed children to this lead.  Check for any toys that are being recalled.

Before you buy a toy there are a few other labels to look out for.  If the box says ASTM it means that the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.  Also look out for any choking hazards!  Make sure there are no sharp edges (depending on the age).

Before letting your child play with the toy inspect it.  Inspect it for edges, broken parts, and any safety hazards.  Explain or show your child how to use it.  This way they can learn!  Train sets and such may need some explaining.  Lego’s can be hard to put together!

Many times sharp edges or broken pieces end up getting in one’s eye because they are flung around.  It is important to always check your children’s toys after usage for any broken parts.

We love the holiday season, but we all want to avoid disasters.  Be smart about your shopping this holiday season and be aware of the safety of the toys you buy!


Diabetes Awareness Month and Your Eye Health

This month is Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes is a very serious disease affecting millions of Americans, and the rate of diabetes is steadily increasing.  Diabetes is a chronic disease in which there are abnormally high levels of sugar in the blood.  Insulin is the hormone produced by the pancreas that controls blood sugar levels. Too little insulin in the blood, resistance to insulin, or both can cause diabetes.

When we eat food a sugar called glucose, a source of fuel for the body, enters our blood stream.  The role of insulin is to move glucose from our blood into our other organs, fat, and muscle to then be used as fuel.  When a person has diabetes their body cannot remove the glucose from the blood stream to the other areas in our body because not enough insulin is produced, or the cells do not respond to insulin normally.  There are three types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.  Type 1 can happen at any age, but it is mainly found in children and it caused by lack of insulin.  Type 2 diabetes is the most common.  Gestational diabetes happens to women during pregnancy, but this is not chronic.

One of the most common causes of eye problems in adults is diabetes.  It is a disease called diabetic retinopathy and it affects the retina.  The retina is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of your eye and you need a healthy retina in order to see properly.  Diabetic retinopathy happens when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye.  Some other diabetic eye problems are cataracts and glaucoma.

Any one with diabetes should make sure to have a yearly eye check up – along with all those who think they may have perfect eyesight!


Knowing Your Family Eye Health History is Important!

We all wonder at times, what part of our parent’s genes did we get?  What genes are inheritable, which are not?  What disease could we have passed to our children?  There are a few eye diseases, which are genetic and can be passed down through generations.  That is why knowing your families history is so important.   Some of these diseases we are able to prevent or slow down with the proper knowledge.

The most common genetic, but preventable, eye disease is Macular Degeneration.  This is preventable with some simple change in lifestyle.  The first step is to use UV protection.  UV rays have been known to both increases the risk of macular degeneration as well as to stimulate the onset of the disease.  Most doctors recommend having 98% or higher UV protected sunglasses.  Wearing polarized glasses is even better because it will protect one’s eye from blue light.

Another preventative measure is the right nutrition.  Diets high in antioxidants, as well as vitamins A, C, and E greatly reduce the risk of macular degeneration.  Foods such as dark leafy greens, spinach, carrots, and oranges.  Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for other recommendations.

Regular eye exams are the number one recommended prevention and treatment method.  Early diagnosis to such a disease is key.  It is recommended to go in once a year for a check-up, but if you are worried always go to see your doctor.


October is Eye Injury Prevention Month

October is Eye Injury Prevention Month.  Preventing injury starts with precautionary safety measures.  For most people thinking about eye protection is not primary, we wear gloves when gardening, hats for sun, shoes and hard hats for machinery.  But, during all of these tasks are eyes are also in danger.  Our eyes should be on the first things we think about, and the good news is they are easy to protect!

More than 1 million people suffer from eye injuries each year in the US, almost 90% of these are easily preventable.  The first step is to buy, and wear safety goggles.  Today, as fashion can be a big issue, these safety goggles comes in different colors, shapes, and sizes.   They even sell tinted ones for wearing outside.

When working with any inside with any chemicals always read the labels first.  Many times the label with explain precautionary steps to take for your eye health, as well as steps to take if the fluid does get in one’s eye.  By reading the label before hand, one is not caught off guard when the fluid does come into contact with one’s eye.

When in a workshop think about the work one will be doing: will debris particles be in the air?  Are you working with gases or chemicals?  Are you working with fire?  Will your eyes be exposed to the sun?  When any of the answers to these questions are “yes” wearing protective goggles is a must.

When working outside it is important to wear at the very least sunglasses.  Sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV radiation.  They also help to protect your eyes from other debris, but they are not as protective as safety goggles, as they don’t have a protective side.

Prevention is key to protecting your eyes from injury.  In the case that an injury does occur go to the doctor or hospital as soon as possible so that as little damage as possible may be done.  Keep your eyes safe and healthy this month, no one wants to be wearing a  real patch for Halloween!