Study: Comprehensive Eye Exams Can Help Re-Engage Patients into Care for Certain Chronic Conditions, with the Potential to Help Improve Health and Reduce Costs

UnitedHealthcare study shows that 57 percent of patients with chronic conditions who receive a comprehensive eye exam became re-engaged with a primary care physician or specialist in managing their ongoing illness
Employers that adopt integrated eye health and medical benefits, along with health and wellness programs, may improve employee well-being and reduce medical costs

MINNETONKA, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Comprehensive eye exams can help re-engage patients into care for certain chronic conditions, with eye care professionals encouraging people to seek follow-up treatments from primary care physicians and specialists, according to a new study by UnitedHealthcare.

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Eye Exam Impacts on Re-engagement for Chronic Conditions demonstrates for the first time how eye care professionals can play a key role in helping re-engage patients with chronic conditions into care. This may help enable cost savings and prevention of disease progression and complications. Study results showed that 33 percent of previously unengaged patients, defined as lacking medical care for any chronic conditions over the previous 18 months, were re-engaged into care with a primary care physician or specialist within 60 days following an eye exam. Another 24 percent of patients were re-engaged after 60 days following an eye exam.

The study followed more than 2,300 UnitedHealthcare plan participants enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans to determine whether patients lacking care for chronic conditions followed up for treatment with a primary care physician or specialist after an eye exam. The study examined re-engagement rates for people with seven chronic conditions: Crohn’s disease, diabetes, Graves’ disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The results are important considering many people visit their eye care doctor more frequently than their primary care provider.

More than 117 million people nationwide, or nearly one of every two adults, suffer from at least one chronic condition, while one quarter of adults have two or more conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 29 million people have diabetes; 73.5 million have high LDL cholesterol; and 70 million have hypertension, according to the CDC.

“This study demonstrates the important role comprehensive eye exams play in re-engaging patients into care, especially for chronic conditions,” said Linda Chous, O.D., chief eye care officer for UnitedHealthcare Vision. “When patients are reconnected into care, the prevention of disease progression and complications can be realized, which may contribute to improved patient health and reduced costs.”

The new report builds on the findings of a previous UnitedHealthcare study, “Impact of Eye Exams in Identifying Chronic Conditions,” published in 2014. That study demonstrated how comprehensive eye exams can help eye-care doctors identify some chronic conditions – such as high cholesterol, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and Graves’ disease – helping with early diagnosis so people can obtain appropriate treatment sooner and take steps to better manage their disease.

“The eyes are the only place on the body to offer a noninvasive view of the blood vessels, which means a comprehensive eye exam can reveal important information about a patient’s overall health, as well as their vision,” Dr. Chous added.

Employers are increasingly recognizing the role eye health plays in overall health, adopting integrated vision and medical benefits programs such as UnitedHealthcare’s Bridge2Health®, which supports patients and health care professionals with information, decisions and outcomes. Bridge2Health does the following:

integrates medical and vision data to close gaps in care and identify opportunities for interventions, including monitoring of 23 chronic conditions;
identifies people with chronic conditions for eye care providers, and helps ensure that patients’ eyes be dilated during the exam to provide a better view of eye health and overall health;
contacts plan participants by phone with eye exam reminders for people with chronic conditions who have not had an exam; and
refers people with diabetes to disease management programs that may save more than $1,800 per patient per year, according to the 2014 UnitedHealthcare study.

More than 170 companies representing 5.3 million plan participants have already selected Bridge2Health’s integrated approach for vision benefits to help create healthier employees, lower health care costs and increase productivity. With wellness as a core value for many companies, programs such as UnitedHealthcare’s Bridge2Health provide employees with the most advanced programs and resources that encourage a healthier workforce.

For more info : http://www.uhc.com/employer/health-plans/ancillary-specialty-benefits/vision/bridge2health-vision

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare optometrists provides advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities. Stop by and check out our world class optical studio.  Our mission is to help you look and see your best!  More info can be found at www.FineEyewear.Net

 

Sunglasses, UV Protection and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Vision

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Vision Council held a briefing on Capitol Hill last week about the impact of UV exposure on vision health. The presentation on “Sunglasses, UV Protection and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Vision” covered both long-term and short-term concerns related to exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Among the vision disorders that can occur from UV exposure that were discussed included cataracts, abnormal eye growths, cancer of the eye, and macular degeneration.Although the summer is almost over, the briefing remains topical because Americans must take appropriate measures to protect their eyes from harmful UV radiation year-round, according to a statement from The Vision Council. Although it can be easier to feel the impact of sun in the summer, UV radiation is always present and can be even more damaging during colder months when adults and children stop wearing UV protection. While the UV index is highest in the spring and summer, it can still reach moderate to very high levels in September and October. In winter months, UV rays can reflect off of snow and into the eyes, especially after a fresh snowfall or during winter sporting activities, when individuals can experience photokeratitis, or “snow blindness,” The Vision Council stated.

The Vision Council further reported: “Despite data about the dangerous effects of UV radiation, Americans are still exposing their eyes and skin to harmful UV exposure, putting them at risk for serious health problems later in life. In fact, 47.6 percent of adults do not protect their eyes simply because they forget to wear sunglasses.”

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers an extensive sunglasses collection that not only look great, but protect your eyes. Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview a few of our sunglasses : Fine Eyewear Sunglasses Collection

Prada presents “Ornate”

An innovative spirit, curiosity and a strong artisan tradition are its distinctive traits possessed by the entire production process – from the conception stage to the outlet. The three frames in the ORNATE collection are illuminated by a sequence of precious gems that makes them unique, true creations centered around the classic combination of black and white.

 

Model SPR 31P
The magnificent style of the Ornate rounded model is a succession of light and dark crystals applied individually by hand to enhance the large front and make it sinuous and feminine. The temples are enriched with a semicircular detail. The color palette is a play of classic combinations of black and white. Prada logo.

 

 

Model SPR 33P

The decoration on the rectangular version in the Ornate collection comprises a metal coil of

concentric rings interrupted at regular intervals by black crystals in three sizes. The crystal flower composition is the result of long, painstaking work by hand and the selection of very high quality materials. The color palette is a play of classic combinations of black and white. Prada logo.

Model VPR 10Q

The Ornate collection includes an elegant vision model. The lines are tapered and the flower is made slightly smaller to follow the refined profile of the temples. This charming, light and feminine eyewear is available in black, ivory and classic tortoiseshell. Prada logo.

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers an array of Fashion Eyewear including Prada  in addition to many other fine collections of eyewear and sunglasses . Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview and read more about our sunglasses collections : Fine Eyewear Collection

Steve Carell Floating with Some Maui Jim Sunglasses

Carell-WayWayBack

Steve Carell rose to fame after a five-year stint on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and then found greater fame playing Michael Scott on the American version of The Office. Clearly the man knows funny. He is now a bona fide movie star and his most recent film, The Way Way Back, about a shy 14-year-old who goes on summer vacation with his mother and her overbearing boyfriend, hit this past summer and will be released on DVD on Oct. 22. In the film, he and co-star, Toni Collette, both wear Maui Jim sunwear. Carell wears the Makaha sunglasses and Collette wears the Aloha Friday (not shown). Of course, anticipation is already running rampant for Carell’s next film, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, with Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd, scheduled for release on Dec. 20.
Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers the Maui Jim sunglasses collection in addition to many other fine collections of sunglasses . Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview of Maui Jim and read more about our sunglasses collections : Fine Eyewear Sunglasses Collection

Michael Kors – Fun in the Sun!

Michael Kors Suns are Fun
Michael Kors Suns are Fun

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers the Michael Kors sunglasses collection in addition to many other fine collections of sunglasses . Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview of Maui Jim and read more about our sunglasses collections : Fine Eyewear Sunglasses Collection

In recent years, many smartphone apps that are aimed at blind people have appeared.
In recent years, many smartphone apps that are aimed at blind people have appeared.

Luis Perez loves taking photographs. He shoots mostly on an iPhone, snapping gorgeous pictures of sunsets, vintage cars, old buildings and cute puppies. But when he arrives at a photo shoot, people are often startled when he pulls out a long white cane.

In addition to being a professional photographer, Mr. Perez is almost blind.

“With the iPhone I am able to use the same technology as everyone else, and having a product that doesn’t have a stigma that other technologies do has been really important to me,” said Mr. Perez, who is also an advocate for blind people and speaks regularly at conferences about the benefits of technology for people who cannot see. “Now, even if you’re blind, you can still take a photo.”

Smartphones and tablets, with their flat glass touch screens and nary a texture anywhere, may not seem like the best technological innovation for people who cannot see. But advocates for the blind say the devices could be the biggest assistive aid to come along since Braille was invented in the 1820s.

Counterintuitive? You bet. People with vision problems can use a smartphone’s voice commands to read or write. They can determine denominations of money using a camera app, figure out where they are using GPS and compass applications, and, like Mr. Perez, take photos.

Google’s latest releases of its Android operating systems have increased its assistive technologies, specifically with updates to TalkBack, a Google-made application that adds spoken, audible and vibration feedback to a smartphone. Windows phones also offer some voice commands, but they are fewer than either Google’s or Apple’s.

Among Apple’s features are ones that help people with vision problems take pictures. In assistive mode, for example, the phone can say how many heads are in a picture and where they are in the frame, so someone who is blind knows if the family photo she is about to take includes everyone.

All this has come as a delightful shock to most people with vision problems.

“We were sort of conditioned to believe that you can’t use a touch screen because you can’t see it,” said Dorrie Rush, the marketing director of accessible technology at Lighthouse International, a nonprofit vision education and rehabilitation center. “The belief was the tools for the visually impaired must have a tactile screen, which, it turns out, is completely untrue.”

Ms. Rush, who has a retinal disorder, said that before the smartphone, people who were visually impaired could use a flip-phone to make calls, but they could not read on the tiny two-inch screens. While the first version of the iPhone allowed people who were losing their vision to enlarge text, it wasn’t until 2009, when the company introduced accessibility features, that the device became a benefit to blind people.

While some companies might have altruistic goals in building products and services for people who have lost their sight, the number of people who need these products is growing.

About 10 million people in the United States are blind or partly blind, according to statistics

from the American Foundation for the Blind. And some estimates predict that over the next 30 years, as the vast baby boomer generation ages, the number of adults with vision impairments could double.

Apple’s assistive technologies also include VoiceOver, which the company says is the world’s first “gesture-based screen reader” and lets blind people interact with their devices using multitouch gestures on the screen. For example, if you slide a finger around the phone’s surface, the iPhone will read aloud the name of each application.

In a reading app, like one for a newspaper, swiping two fingers down the screen will prompt the phone to read the text aloud. Taking two fingers and holding them an inch apart, then turning them in a circle like opening a padlock calls a slew of menus, including ones with the ability to change VoiceOver’s rate of speech or language.

The iPhone also supports over 40 different Braille Bluetooth keyboards.

On all the mobile platforms, people with vision loss say, the real magic lies in the hundreds of apps that are designed specifically to help people who are blind.

There are apps that can help people see colors, so pointing their phones at an object will yield a detailed audio description of the color, like “pale yellow green” or “fresh apricot.” People who are blind say these apps open up an entirely new way of seeing the world. Light detection apps can emit a sound that intensifies when someone approaches a light source. This can be used to help people find a room’s exit, locate a window or turn off a light. There are apps that read aloud e-mails, the weather, stock prices as well as Twitter and Facebook feeds.

In the United States, one of the biggest challenges for blind people is figuring out a bill’s denomination. While coins are different sizes, there is no such differentiation between a $1 bill and a $100 bill. In the past, people with impairments had someone who could see help them fold notes differently to know which was which, or they carried an expensive third-party device, but now apps that use the camera can identify the denomination aloud.

“Before a smartphone was accessible we had to carry six different things, and now all of those things are in one of those devices,” Ms. Rush said. “A $150 money reader is now a $1.99 app.”

She added: “These devices are a game-changer. They have created the era of inclusion.”

While some app makers have made great efforts to build products that help people with impairments, other developers overlook the importance of creating assistive components.

Mr. Perez said what he could do now with his smartphone was inconceivable just a few years ago. But even well-known apps like Instagram, which he uses to share some of his photos, do not mark all of their features.

“When some developers design their apps, they don’t label all of their buttons and controls, so the screen reader just says, ‘This is a button,’ but it doesn’t say what the button actually does,” Mr. Perez said. “That’s an area where we need a lot of improvement.”

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare optometrists provides advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities. Stop by and check out our world class optical studio.  Our mission is to help you look and see your best!  More info can be found at www.FineEyewear.Net

Eye Test designed to identify Alzheimer’s disease

Cognoptix announced that it has developed a simple eye test that has the potential to change the way that Alzheimer’s disease is detected and managed. The company conducted a multi-site clinical trial of its Sapphire II eye test designed to identify Alzheimer’s disease patients via a beta-amyloid (Ab) signature in their eyes. By detecting a specific fluorescent signature of ligand-marked Ab in the supranucleus region of the human lens, Sapphire II achieved a sensitivity of 85 percent and a specificity of 95 percent in differentiating 20 patients who were clinically diagnosed with probable Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) from a group of 20 age-matched healthy volunteers. These results validate the previous proof-of-concept clinical trial of the Cognoptix drug/device combination eye test, according to Cognoptix.
The key to effective preventive therapy and treatment of Alzheimer’s is the creation of an “early warning system” for the disease, before it progresses to the point where treatment options are limited. Cognoptix’s technology has demonstrated successful preclinical and clinical results as the company develops its diagnostic platform – which consists of a laser eye scanning device combined with an ophthalmic ointment which specifically identifies Alzheimer’s related proteins found in the lens of the eye.

THIN metal granny frames are out and cat eyes are in – the bigger, the better.

Gwen Stefani bumps her way to Sparrow Madden's Birthday Party - Part 2
Celebrities such as Gwen Stefani have helped make the cat eye look popular. Source: Splash News Source: Splash News Australia

Industry experts say fashion eyewear has moved towards chunky, plastic frames in bright colours – much like the look favoured by stars such as Gwen Stefani.

“When I first started out 14 years ago the majority of the time it was metal frames, but then over the years a lot of plastic frames have come into play,” Upper Mt Gravatt Specsavers manager Daniel Goodwin said.

“A big thing is the colours. There’s reds, there’s whites, there’s clear frames and they all come in different textures and styles.”

The wayfarer geek glasses made famous by Leonard in the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory were very in at the moment, he said.

Cat eye frames in different colours, styles and textures were also popular.

“Classic metal frames are still popular with the older generation, but the younger people want what they’re seeing on TV, more of a designer frame with more colours to it,” he said.

“They want it to compliment them. They see it as a fashion statement – these are my glasses and I’m making a statement with them.”

Fashion can be fickle, what’s old can be new again – and eyewear is no different.

“There’s been a lot of changes,” Sunnybank Specsavers director Peter Victorsen said.

“When I first started out the eye sizes were quite large. Then they had a distinct move away from that to a minimalist look where they’re quite small and now you can see a trend back to some of the larger styles again.

“Eyewear today is designed to be daring and bold, with strong colours and shapes.”

And it’s not just young hipsters who want to stand out, older people too are going for the bolder look.

“You do get the odd (older) person who wants something a little bit daring,” Mr Victorsen said. “It’s really across all age groups.”

While the trend appears to be moving away from the lighter and smaller look to a heavier look, the possibilities are extensive.

“It’s all dependent on you and what kind of look you want,” Mr Goodwin said.

Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers an array of Fashion Eyewear including Chanel and Dita in addition to many other fine collections of eyewear and sunglasses . Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview and read more about our sunglasses collections : Fine Eyewear Collection

 

The focus for eyewear is on fashion

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Back in the day, that day being in the 1980s, Maureen “Mo” Canady’s saucer-sized prescription eyeglasses were the height of fashion – and an empty palette begging to be filled.
“I always had my name or initials out on them, and there were lots and lots of decorations to put on your lenses,” said Canady, who works part time at In-Sight Optical in Colorado Springs. “You could do engraving, like a butterfly with a little stone. That was the bling back then.”
The look of an era is often encapsulated in its spectacles, a medical device that in the 800 years since its anonymous invention has managed to become a ubiquitous fashion accessory even among the 20/20 set.
In the 1950s, thick horn-rimmed and cat-eye styles ruled, while the latter part of the ’60s saw a move toward circular, more delicately-framed models like those worn by John Lennon. Then came the headlight-sized lenses of the ’70s – favored by former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – and the ’80s, when trendy four-eyers liked to bedazzle their massive glasses.
Before the turn of the 20th century, though, the only statement you really made wearing a pair of spectacles was “I can’t see.”
“The first thing to really get your head around is that eyeglasses are not fashion,” said Jenny Benjamin, director of the Museum of Vision in San Francisco. “They were created for the old and infirm, which is unfortunately where their reputation got off on the wrong foot.”
In the 18th and 19th centuries, popular devices for vision correction such as scissor spectacles and lorgnettes weren’t designed to be worn on the face but held up to the eyes when sharper vision was necessary, then folded up and discreetly stowed.
“They were really meant to hide your need to use them,” Benjamin said. “You used them, then you put them away, hopefully far away, so nobody would really know you needed your eyeglasses at all.”
By the latter half of the 19th century, though, the lorgnette had evolved into such a popular fashion accessory that style arbiters complained in an 1870 book on etiquette:
“The functions of the natural eye and eyeglasses are much abused. It is quite clear that the whole world of fashion has not all of a sudden become so afflicted with short sightedness as to render the use of artificial means for its relief universally necessary.”
Those who needed full-time vision correction and could afford the cost might have engaged an artisan to craft a one-of-a-kind pair of temple frames into which corrective lenses could be set. With the Industrial Revolution and the growth of plastics manufacturing, the eyewear industry began to change. Molded plastic frames were cheap and easy to produce; suddenly, even the hoi polloi could afford to see well and look good doing it.
“That’s when fashion really started to come into play and spectacles stopped being just medical devices and, if not entirely fashionable, you could at least buy a pair that was nice looking,” Benjamin said.
In the early 20th century, popular styles included a tortoiseshell frame with large, round lenses favored by silent film actor and comedian Harold Lloyd, whose photos and movies ignited one of the nation’s first Hollywood celebrity-driven fashion crazes.
By the late 1950s, demand had risen in Europe and the U.S. for eyeglasses that could hold their own as part of a fashionable ensemble; the “designer eyeglass” industry was born, to provide new seasonal style tweaks in perpetuity.
“The glasses styles, they do a 10- to 15-year cycle and they start coming back again,” said Canady, who’s seen countless trends wax, wane and return in the two decades she’s worked at In-Sight Optical. “Now, a lot of people are wanting the John Lennon look again, but a little larger. The Zsa Zsa Gabor, that style’s coming back, too.”
When it comes to spotting future fashion trends, hindsight is often a good place for a designer to start.
 So, what’s hot in spectacles for fall 2013? An edgy new twist on the lorgnette, perhaps?
“For fall 2013, for women, there’s this trend we call ‘Tough Girl’ – classic feminine shapes but bolder, thicker, more in-your-face,” Lane said. “It’s almost kind of like creating a shield, but a shield that says look at me.”
Fine Eyewear and Eyecare offers an array of Fashion Eyewear including Chanel and Tiffany&Co.  in addition to many other fine collections of eyewear and sunglasses . Our eye doctors also provide advanced vision care to the families of Austin, Cedar Park, Leander, Georgetown, Round Rock and surrounding communities.  Visit our main website for a preview and read more about our sunglasses collections : Fine Eyewear Collection