Watch the Upcoming Solar Eclipse Safely

Planning for the Solar Eclipse

West Tennessee is in a great viewing position for the August 21 solar eclipse, with near totality anticipated in the afternoon hours. Safely viewing a solar eclipse, however, is critically important to avoid permanent damage to your eyes.
 

Eclipse Safety

In the spirit of public health and safety, please take a moment to learn more about the solar eclipse:

The solar eclipse is exciting and educational, but above all, you must take steps to ensure the safety of your vision. Please ask your eye doctor if you have additional questions.

 

Learn more in this article from USA Today.

 

Southern College of Optometry Eclipse Day with Memphis Redbirds 

Southern College of Optometry is proud to partner with the Memphis Redbirds to provide solar eclipse glasses to attendees during the team’s baseball game timed to coincide with the eclipse. The first 5,000 attendees will receive glasses approved for safely looking at the eclipse.




 

at Monday, July 31, 2017 | 0 comments

American Optometric Association Complaint Urges FDA Enforcement of Device Standards on Vision "App"

Southern College of Optometry’s Clinical Programs supports the American Optometric Association’s important appeal to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety and efficacy of online vision testing. We take this opportunity to stress the importance to our patients about the benefits of an eye examination. There is no substitute for having a professional eye doctor examine your eye and vision health each year through an annual exam.


American Optometric Association Complaint Urges FDA Enforcement of Device Standards on Vision "App"

AOA argues that Opternative test can lead to inaccurate prescriptions, and poses serious health risks to the public—and should be removed from the market 

ST. LOUIS (April 04, 2016)— The American Optometric Association (AOA) is today asking the Food and Drug Administration to take legal action against an online vision test being marketed by Opternative, Inc. without the type of testing and pre-market approvals frequently required of new medical device technology. The Opternative test produces a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses without any examination of the patient by an eye care professional and without taking into account the patient's overall medical condition. 

In a detailed complaint now before the FDA, the AOA challenges claims made by Opternative about its product's capabilities, and calls for enforcement action to remove it from the market until it can be shown to meet all appropriate Federal requirements for medical devices under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, including for safety and effectiveness, as determined by Federal officials. 

The materials submitted to the FDA also set forth the immediate clinical and patient health considerations that lead the AOA to the conclusion that the Opternative test: 
  • Has a significant potential for yielding inaccurate prescriptions; and 
  • Is not adequate to safely yield a contact lens prescription; and   
  • Carries a significant risk of the missing of diagnoses of serious eye and general health considerations such as glaucoma, hypertension, cataracts, and macular degeneration; and 
  • Can pose significant health risks to the public.   
Dr. Steven A. Loomis, O.D., AOA president, says the AOA has taken this action to expose questionable product claims, safeguard public health and maintain the medically recognized standard of care linking a patient's vision and eye health.

"The AOA—as an authority on quality care and an advocate for our nation's health—is committed to ensuring that the public is not misled, essential care is not diverted or dangerously delayed and patient safety laws are not ignored," said Dr. Loomis. "No product or company can or should be allowed to operate outside appropriate Federal oversight when vision and overall health are at stake. That's why the AOA is urging the government to fully enforce basic patient safety and consumer protection safeguards." 

In bringing these issues to the attention of FDA officials and requesting enforcement action on the public's behalf, the AOA notes that the State of Michigan recently issued a cease and desist order against Opternative for violating the state consumer protection law. Other states are considering possible responses to safeguard public health.

A personalized, in person comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor is the only consistent and clinically proven method to detect not just vision issues, but also a full range of eye and general health conditions; many of which have no obvious signs or symptoms but can threaten vision loss and systemic health. This is because eye exams by doctors of optometry are also effective in diagnosing systemic diseases at an early stage, including diabetes, hypertension and stroke. 

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit aoa.org.
at Tuesday, April 5, 2016 | 0 comments

Let the Buyer Beware: A Closer Look at Ordering Eyeglasses Online

The Eye Center strongly advises purchasing from your optometrist

Download an infographic from the AOA[Memphis, TN, March 19, 2015] — Purchasing eyeglasses online may offer convenience to consumers, but The Eye Center at Southern College of Optometry warns that the consequences of making an incorrect or uninformed purchase could cost patients more time and money in the long run. 

The Eye Center stresses that eyeglasses are an investment in your health and must be custom-fitted not only to be comfortable, but also to meet particular prescriptive needs, which only an eye doctor can determine. 

“Without visiting an eye doctor, patients run the risk of purchasing eyeglasses online with an improper fit or receiving the wrong prescription altogether,” said Dr. James E. Venable, Vice President for Clinical Programs at The Eye Center. “Ultimately, patients can expend more time dealing with order mistakes and making returns than had they simply visited their local optometrist in the first place.” 

An American Optometric Association (AOA) study published in 2011 with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council reinforces the drawbacks of online orders. The study concluded:

  • Of 200 glasses ordered online, only 154 pairs were received;
  • 44.8 percent had incorrect prescriptions or safety issues;
  • 29 percent had at least one lens fail to meet required prescription;
  • 19 percent of adult lenses failed impact resistance testing; and,
  • 25 percent of children’s lenses failed impact resistance testing.

Purchasing eyeglasses from a local optometrist is the AOA’s first and foremost recommendation. If patients are still interested in making a purchase online, The Eye Center warns consumers to do their homework before making a final decision.
“If a consumer believes that ordering a pair of glasses online is in their best interest, it is important for the consumer to be fully informed regarding the potential pitfalls in doing so,” Dr. Venable. “The peer-reviewed study revealed that nearly half of all glasses ordered online had either prescription errors or failed to meet minimum safety standards. Personally, I find that very scary. Patients deserve better than that.”

The Eye Center advises consumers to consider the following factors before making a purchase online:

The fit and material of the eyeglasses
How the eyeglasses fit is critically important — if the fit is incorrect, not only can a patient experience discomfort, such as pinching and headaches, but can also cause additional vision problems.
Consumers also need to consider the various options available for the lenses, and what is best for their particular prescription and lifestyle. Lenses come in various materials, such as traditional plastic, as well as thinner, lighter materials. Other considerations are the different coatings and treatments available such as non-glare coatings and photochromic lenses.

The accuracy of the prescription
Just because the eyeglasses “look right” on a person’s face doesn’t mean the measurements are correct, the AOA warns. Pupil distance (PD) determines where to place the center of each lens in your frames to customize the optics to your eyes. This measurement is necessary to ensure the eyeglasses serve your vision needs properly. 

Consumers need an optometrist to provide the PD and ensure precise measurements. However, the PD is not part of your prescription and not normally provided unless you ask for it. Your optometrist or optician can even legitimately charge for the service of providing your PD. The measurements needed for multifocals can only be accurately made once the frame is selected and properly fitted to your face, so typically this measurement is simply estimated for eyeglasses available online.

The retailer’s policies on purchases

  • Returns: What is the website’s return policy if you are not satisfied with your purchase? How will the website deal with issues of prescription inaccuracies or other mistakes (wrong lenses coatings, wrong color, etc)? 
  • Warrantees: Does the online retailer offer protection against lens scratching, how long this may be covered and what needs to be done to replace scratched lenses. How long is the frame warranty? What about children’s frames?
  • Shipping: The cost and timeliness of shipments varies. Who pays for shipping returns?
  • Pricing: Are protective eyeglass cases and cleaning cloths included, or are they “extras” added to the cost? 
  • Insurance: Some websites do not accept vision insurance. If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), check to see what’s required to accept this as payment.
  • Maintenance: Some websites provide a contact for this and may offer online tips for minor adjustments, but it might mean shipping your glasses away and being without them until the service is completed and they are returned.

For more in-depth detail about factors to consider before purchasing eyeglasses online, click here to read a brochure offered by the AOA. 

As the leaders of primary eye care in the United States, doctors of optometry are crucial in helping patients achieve optimum eye health and vision, and are the best resource to offer the highest quality eyeglasses. 

To learn more about the many health benefits of seeing your optometrist, or to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, visit http://tec.sco.edu/makeanappointment or call 901-722-3250. 

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association, a federation of state, student and armed forces optometric associations, was founded in 1898. Today, the AOA is proud to represent the profession of optometry, America's family eye doctors, who take a leading role in an individual's overall eye and vision care, health and well-being. Doctors of optometry (ODs) are the independent primary health care professionals for the eye and have extensive, ongoing training to examine, diagnose, treat and manage disorders, diseases and injuries that affect the eye and visual system, providing two-thirds of primary eye care in the U.S. For information on a variety of eye health and vision topics, and to find an optometrist near you, visit www.aoa.org.

Posted by Jim Hollifield at Thursday, March 19, 2015 | 0 comments