sunglass standard

New Mandatory Sunglass Standard

From 1 July 2019, sunglass and fashion spectacle suppliers must comply with mandatory requirements set out in the Consumer Goods (Sunglasses and Fashion Spectacles) Safety Standard 2017. The mandatory standard is based on sections of the voluntary Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1067.1:2016 eye and face protection – sunglasses and fashion spectacles (available from SAI Global).

The mandatory standard for sunglasses and fashion spectacles applies to non-prescription sunglasses mounted in a spectacle frame; rimless sunshields and one piece visors; clip-on and slipon type sunglasses; children’s sunglasses, and fashion spectacles and light tint sunglasses.

It does not apply to prescription and readymade spectacles; safety glasses and safety goggles intended to provide protection against optical radiation other than from the sun; eyewear for protection against radiation in solaria; eye protectors for sport, and glasses for use as toys and clearly and legibly labelled as toys.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

Following is an overview of the safety standards requirements, this is intended as a guide only. The legislation should be consulted for detailed information.

Ultraviolet Radiation 

The mandatory standard requires that sunglasses must protect users from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from 280 and 400 nanometres.

Testing 

The mandatory standard specifies marking and labelling requirements as well as testing procedures to ensure sunglasses and fashion spectacles meet specific performance, construction, and labelling requirements. Suppliers need to arrange this testing through specialist laboratories.

MARKING AND LABELING

Marking or labelling must not be obscured by other important information, eg. price labels. All assembled sunglasses must be labelled with the identity of the manufacturer or supplier; the lens category number; the lens category description and usage information; and if applicable, the symbol ‘Not suitable for driving and road use’. Category symbols are optional, if used they must comply with Table 5 AS/ NZS 1067.1:2016.

CLASSIFICATIONS

Sunglasses and fashion spectacles are classified into five categories by their performance suitability for use in certain conditions as follows:

  • Lens category 0: Fashion spectacles – these are not sunglasses as they have a very low ability to reduce sun glare. They provide limited or no UV protection.
  • Lens category 1: Fashion spectacles – like category 0 lenses, these are not sunglasses, however they do provide limited sun glare reduction and some UV protection. Fashion spectacles with category 1 lenses are not suitable for driving at night.
  • Lens category 2: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a medium level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
  • Lens category 3: Sunglasses – these sunglasses provide a high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
  • Lens category 4: Sunglasses – these are special purpose sunglasses that provide a very high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection. Lens category 4 sunglasses must not be used when driving at any time.

Finola Carey is the CEO of Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association. For the full article, visit mivision.com.au.

uv risk

UV risk to eye health an Australian Survey

Survey: Australians lack awareness of UV risk to eye health

The mainstream media’s focus on blue light filters and consumer confusion may be contributing to Australian’s poor understanding of the risks associated with ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

According to a national survey conducted by Carl Zeiss Australia, many Australians do not recognise the full effect UV light has on eyes.

In findings that the company described as “alarming”, its recently published MyEyeQ Report found that 73% of respondents were unaware most eye-related UV damage happened before the age of 18, and 45% were not aware of the level of UV protection their sunglasses provided.

Additionally, 71% of spectacle wearers did not know the level of UV protection their lenses offered.

According to Carl Zeiss Australia, unsubstantiated concerns about blue light risk and a lack of understanding regarding protection levels could be preventing consumers from fully comprehending the risks of UV light.

According to the survey results, 62% of parents found it difficult to understand the UV protection levels displayed on children’s sunglasses.

“To some degree, the blue light conversation has eclipsed UV concerns. While the media has latched on to blue light, there is no firm clinical evidence to suggest that blue light from digital devices poses a health risk anywhere close to that of UV,” Ms Hilke Fitzsimons, Carl Zeiss Australia general manager said.

“Australians recognise they need to protect their eyes, but they are underestimating the risks and are confused by what they see on the shelves and hear in the media.”Hilke Fitzsimons, Carl Zeiss Australia

“Australians recognise they need to protect their eyes, but they are underestimating the risks and are confused by what they see on the shelves and hear in the media. The industry has an important role to play in consumer education and purchase behaviour.”

Fitzsimons said that in some cases product labelling could be misleading. For example, some companies claim ‘full UV protection’ on lenses that only protect from light up to 380nm. To achieve full UV protection, lenses need to withstand up to 400nm.

“People are also confused by the distinction between things like UV protection and polarisation. Polarisation eliminates glare and can be more comfortable for the eyes but does not offer any additional UV protection,” she said.

The survey also stated that while 66% of Australians will develop skin cancer by the age of 70, some were not aware the eyelid region was one of the most common sites for non melanoma skin cancers.

Despite this risk, 33% of respondents indicated they were more concerned about protecting their skin from sun damage than their eyes, while almost half of Australians were only “somewhat concerned” about the risk of eye damage from UV light.

“We are fed so much information these days about skin anti-aging and sun damage, but it’s important people understand our eyes face the same risks, and the damage begins early,” Fitzsimons said.

“Photoaging of the skin around the eyes, several cancers on the skin around the eye and within the eye, cataracts, macular degeneration and preventable blindness are among the consequences of UV exposure. Consumers need to take this information very seriously.”

The survey involved 1,000 participants from across Australia.

Article appeared on Insight, 5th March 2019

VR Goggles

VR Goggles for Glaucoma Diagnosis

VR Goggles for Glaucoma Diagnosis

A wearable brain-based device called NGoggle that incorporates virtual reality (VR) could help improve glaucoma diagnosis and prevent vision loss. The device consists of head-mounted VR goggles that use light to stimulate targeted areas in a patient’s visual field. Its portability means it could be used in a variety of environments such as in an eye care professional’s office, community centre, or at home.

The VR goggles are integrated with wireless electroencephalography (EEG), a series of electrodes that adhere to the scalp to measure brain activity in response to signals received from the eyes. Within a few minutes, the NGoggle algorithm captures and analyses enough data to report how well each eye communicates with the brain across the patient’s field of vision. Diminished activity may indicate functional loss from glaucoma.

Dr Felipe Medeiros, a co-founder of NGoggle, Inc., and a professor of ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine, said the device’s VR capabilities can be greatly leveraged – people could be tested for glaucoma as they play a VR-based video game or explore a virtual art gallery for instance. 

“The possibilities are endless for making it an engaging experience, which would go a long way toward ensuring that people use it and receive the treatment they need,” he said.

In a partnership with Duke University, a study is being conducted to validate the diagnostic accuracy and reproducibility of the device. In addition to comparing NGoggle to standard automated perimetry, they will look at how well NGoggle discriminates among different stages of disease by comparing its assessments of the neural damage in glaucoma with standard imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography. The investigators also plan to conduct longitudinal investigations to validate the ability of the device to detect disease progression. Results will inform an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the device.

Article appeared on mivision, February 28 2019

dry eye

From Gut to Eye: New Approaches to Dry Eye Disease

From Gut to Eye: New Approaches to Dry Eye Disease

Scientists are embracing novel approaches to treating disease – the use of faecal implants and tablets to treat gut problems and serious conditions such as depression, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, was one of the big medical stories in 2018. Now both the gut and ocular surface microbiomes are being explored by researchers chasing a cure for one of the most common and persistent eye conditions – dry eye.

Dr Judith Flanagan, Leader of Ocular Therapeutics at Brien Holden Vision Institute, says studies have demonstrated a link between the immune system and dry eye disease, prompting them to investigate whether probiotics taken orally will reestablish proper immune system function and combat the problem.

“There is substantial evidence associating the gut microbiome with systemic inflammation in disease states such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and dermatitis,” she said. “It’s also been found that taking probiotics, which act to help restore a disrupted bacterial community in the gut, can have a positive effect on both systemic and localised immune system function.

(an) avenue being explored is the use of topical treatments at the ocular surface in an attempt to ‘rebalance’ the ocular microbiome

“So, working within an ecological framework, we’re investigating whether these probiotic supplements can reconstitute a healthy microbiome, either at the site of the disease or enterically, and act to reduce the severity of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Along these lines, another avenue being explored is the use of topical treatments at the ocular surface in an attempt to ‘rebalance’ the ocular microbiome.

“It’s possible that the microbial community on the eye’s surface plays a role in the development of meibomian gland dysfunction. A change to the balance of this commensal community may lead to eyelid inflammation, changes to the composition of the eye’s tears or to the quality of the meibomian lipids that form the upper most layer of the tear film.

Dr Flanagan said research has shown that low dose oral antibiotics are useful in treating meibomian gland dysfunction but the concentrations used are below levels needed to eliminate bacteria and the effects are instead, anti-inflammatory.

“Another benefit of low dose antimicrobials is that they inhibit bacterial lipase production, reducing the concentration in the tear film of these enzymes that can act to degrade the lipid layer of the tears.”

We’re currently recruiting participants for this trial of the topical ointment

However, with concerns that long term oral antibiotic use can diminish our bacterial communities, and that exposing bacteria to non-biocidal levels of these drugs can induce antibiotic resistance, the researchers are proposing an alternative approach.

“Rather than using antibiotics to target the lipase enzymes, we are developing a bacterial lipase inhibitor ointment derived from natural products (coconut oil) that can work to rebalance a healthy ocular microbiome and deliver increased ocular comfort and reduced dry eye disease,” said Dr Flanagan.

“We have already shown in the lab that our novel agent can inhibit production of bacterial lipase without being antimicrobial. It has also been shown by others that bacteria never develop resistance to this agent and that this lipase inhibitor does not affect the healthy bacteria that we need on the ocular surface. We hope, through a clinical trial, to provide initial evidence that this approach can reduce the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease by naturally allowing the bacterial community to find an ecological balance.

“We’re currently recruiting participants for this trial of the topical ointment (which is applied on the skin around the eye rather than in the eye) and planning for an oral probiotics study in the near future, so if there are optometrists working in the inner Sydney area who have patients that might be interested we would love to hear from them,” said Dr Flanagan.

Article appeared on mivision, 28th February 2019