Fight for Sight – Fundraising Leads to World’s First Choroideremia Trial

Without funds raised by the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund through Fight for Sight, AOP’s chosen Charity of the Year and staunch collaborator with, the world’s first gene-replacement clinical trial for Choroideremia would not have been possible.

Choroideremia is a rare inherited retinal condition which is caused by defects in the Choroideremia gene (CHM). It affects one in 50,000 people worldwide and can lead to progressive loss of vision. It mainly affects males including 13-year-old Tommy Salisbury from Welling, Kent, who was diagnosed with the condition aged five.

Following Tommy’s diagnosis his family established the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund in 2005 through Fight for Sight. Led by his mother Emma and grandmother Dot Grindley, the family has tirelessly raised over £360k to date which directly supported research into Choroideremia led by Professor Miguel Seabra at Imperial College London.

Professor Seabra’s research played a key role in identifying the function of the protein causing Choroideremia which enabled this clinical trial led by Professor Robert MacLaren.

Dolores Conroy, Director of Research at Fight for Sight said: “We’re delighted, to have supported Professor Seabra’s work through the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund, which has allowed Professor MacLaren and his team to produce some incredible findings. We’re looking forward to seeing more positive results from the trial in the next stages.”

Professor MacLaren said “This clinical trial marks a major step in developing gene therapy treatments for retinal diseases. It would not have been possible without the scientific funding provided by Fight for Sight through the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund. In my opinion, this is the single most significant factor that has enabled us to lead the world in starting the first clinical trial for this disease. We shouldn’t underestimate the power that individuals can have in influencing the course of research through their fundraising activities.

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Optical industry vlog forecast 2014 have the pleasure to share professional insight into the optical industry for 2014. In this vlog, the opticians of Visiondirect present upcoming news and events within optometry; expected product launches and developments by top contact lens manufacturers Coopervision, Bausch & Lomb, Ciba Vision, Johnson & Johnson and R&L Vision.

Summary of part 1

  • New lens: BioTrue for astigmatism
  • New lens: BioTrue monthly contact lenses

Summary of part 2

  • New silicone hydrogel contact lens by R&L Vision
  • Alcon (Ciba Vision / Novartis) to discontinue Focus DAILIES all day comfort in April/May to pitch the successor DAILIES Aquacomfort plus
  • DAILIES Aquacomfort plus will be extended into include new toric and multifocal lenses
  • New silicone hydrogel colored lenses by Alcon, expected colors: blue, green, grey and hazel
  • Coopervision recently launched MyDay, it is expected that they will launch toric and multifocal lenses in similarity to Alcon

Eye Care Foundation at Holland Village in Ho Chi Minh City 2013

Holland Village open their doors in Ho Chi Minh City Friday, November 22nd 2013 in order to promote the Netherlands in Vietnam. Among participants like Philips, KLM, Heineken, Schiphol Airport and Unilever, the charity Eye Care Foundation is also participating in the event. The Dutch charity Eye Care Foundation’s basic idea is that all people have a right to good eye sight and that the best way to achieve this is by sharing knowledge and expertise.

Thanks to Eye Care Foundation’s work in 2012:

  • 42 ophthalmologists were trained.
  • 3,000 people were taught eye care essentials; enabling to help people around them or understand where to refer others.
  • 26,000 eye surgeries and 410,000 eye examinations were performed.

Along with the locals, Eye Care Foundation strive to reduce the number of people with refractive errors and/or cataracts and to reduce blindness in children. These results are achieved primarily by launching mobile eye laboratories providing emergency eye care. Long-term, the aim is to create self supporting eye clinics that are integrated into society and financially self-sufficient.

Since 1999 Eye Care Foundation is working actively to enable those in relatively inaccessible rural areas in northern Vietnam to get the same access to good eye care as those living in big cities. In collaboration with the International Centre of Eyecare Education and the Vietnam National Institute for Eye Care, launching a number of courses in the area of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is well on its way. In addition, it has successfully funded two students’ medical school education in India. To help Eye Care Foundation in their fight, offered their services as a logical way to contribute to all the good Eye Care Foundation stands for. on YouTube

For those of you that enjoy watching tutorials on YouTube rather than reading through loads of text, we are slowly but steadily building up our YouTube channel with educational content. Our opticians have lately been running some Hangouts, which now are available to view on YouTube. Feel free to ask us to create more tutorials and let us know what you find useful!


Bausch & Lomb changes SofLens Natural Colors

Recent stock delays of SoFLens Natural Colors got an explanation directly from the manufacturer. From the 1st of August 2013, Bausch and Lomb will:

  • Only supply SofLens Natural Colors with prescriptions in steps of 0.50 corrections. This means any prescription in between (such as 0.75) will not be offered.
  • Only supply cosmetic SofLens Natural Colors without prescriptions or SofLens natural colors with power in base curve 8.7. This means the lens will no longer be available in base curve 8.4.
  • Get a new packaging. Be aware boxes will look different from before.
  • Get a new color added to the existing range (amazon, aquamarine, emerald, india, indigo, jade, pacific, platinum, topaz) which is dark hazel.

How to order lenses for one eye or same prescription for 2 eyes

This tutorial is convenient if:

  • You need 2 different contact lenses; one for the left eye and another for the right eye.
  • You only want to order 1 box for both eyes, which is possible if you have the same prescription for both eyes.

To order only one box of contact lenses on Vision Direct, untick one “eye” (for example, the left eye) as illustrated. 

The layout changes, so you get the option “One Box (one power only). Fill out your prescription and continue shopping.

How to read a prescription and find the contact lenses you need online

The purpose with this post is to enable contact lens users to understand prescriptions and use this knowledge to easily locate and buy the same or equivalent contact lenses online that was originally fitted by the optician.

1. If possible, locate sample lenses/trials

A way to easily locate the correct type and make of contact lenses suitable to your eyes, is to use the sample lenses (trials supplied by your optician). With the original lens containers and/or packaging available, you can compare measurements such as:

  • Material (e.g Etafilcon A)
  • Water content (e.g. “55%”)
  • Power (SPH)
  • Base curve (BC)
  • Diameter (DIA)
  • Cylinder (CYL)
  • Addition (ADD)
  • Axis

2. Search

Use the search field on and type the material name (e.g. “nelfilcon A“) to perform an effective search. If you find several products, narrow down your search by comparing the remaining parameters.

3. If no samples are available, read your contact lens prescription

Find your contactsby reading your contact lens prescription (the paperwork supplied by your optician). Contact lens prescriptions differ from spectacles prescriptions in the following ways:

  • If BC (base curve) and DIA (diameter) are missing, then you can be fairly certain that you are looking at a glasses prescription.
  • If your optician failed to mention that you need corrective toric lenses forastigmatism*, but you still see the values CYL (cylinder) and AXIS (measurement in degrees) printed on your paperwork, there is a risk you are looking at a spectacles prescription. When you do need toric contact lenses, the make of lens, SPH, BC and DIA are normally supplied in addition.
  • The manufacturer, make and type of your contact lenses should normally be stated on the contact lens prescription (however, since some opticians do not take the time to make a note, this is not always the case.)
  • SPH or SPHERE is a measurement for the primary power or strength needed. For myopia (nearsightedness) the value is negative (-) and for hyperopia (farsightedness) the value supplied is positive (+).
  • ADD is an additional power and refers to presbyopic patients; one power (SPH) to correct nearsightedness and another power (ADD) to correct farsightedness. This is normally corrected by using varifocal (bifocal or multifocal) contact lenses orspectacles.
If you are still struggling with understanding your opticians’ handwriting or, despite advice above, cannot make out what contact lenses you need then feel free to:

Do Vision Direct sell gas permeable contact lenses?

Some people are browsing Vision Direct for gas permeable contact lenses (RGP lenses). We do not sell those.

We do however sell cleaning solution specifically for RGP lenses, such as Simplus and Boston Cleaner. Both solutions have more info under the descriptions and includes a user manual. We also sell some accessories and sunglasses that may be of interest to wearers of RGP contacts.

Bausch & Lomb - Boston Simplus 120mlBausch & Lomb - Boston Cleaner