Buoyed by news that the eyewear industry is stronger than ever, the 30th annual International Vision Expo & Conference begins tomorrow in New York at the Javits Center. The opthalmic trade event runs through Sunday and involves over 320 hours of education programs focusing on eyecare practice and technology, key topics including team healthcare, the future of online refraction, smart contact lenses and other forthcoming eyecare technology.
“The development of Vision Expo education is led by eyecare’s top thought leaders, and as such, the content is a unique reflection of the most pressing issues facing professionals,” says Vision Expo’s conference advisory board co-chair Mark Dunbar. “Topics are carefully picked and cultivated to address the interests of the entire eyecare community. As a result, Vision Expo education is always forward-focused and provides the most complete and most robust curriculum available.”
In addition to education, the eyewear industry’s top designers and manufacturers will fill the exhibition halls with the latest in technology, medical advances, business solutions and fashion eyewear.
Conference highlights include Acuity Pro’s showcase of its latest VisionScience professional computerized acuity testing software that was used by NASA to gather data on crew members’ visual health during and after long-duration space station missions, and Liberty Sport’s launch of its Helmet Spex frame for sports that require a helmet and its Switch Vision magnetic interchange sun lens system–which allows users to switch lenses needed for different activities and light conditions.
iGreen Eyewear will show its new custom collection requiring less water and less electrical energy during the production process, while Signet Armorlite will display KODAK Total Blue Lenses, a hybrid solution to harmful high-energy light. Carl Zeiss will spotlight its new DriveSafe lenses via a Formula One car and game simulator, and reps from the Eyewear Designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America will present new eyewear designs at its first ever Eyewear Showcase.
The International Vision Expo & Conference, which also takes place each year in Las Vegas (Sept. 14-17), is co-owned by Reed Exhibitions and The Vision Council. The council has released statistics from its U.S. Optical Industry Report Card showing that in 2015 76.2 percent of the adult population wore some form of vision correction—an increase of 2.1 percent compared to 2014.
Additionally, there was a 6.3 percent rise in the number of adults wearing prescription sunglasses totaling 11.7 percent of the adult population, and a 3.4 percent rise in the number of adults wearing contact lenses (16.4 percent of the adult population). There was a 3 percent rise in the number of eye exams, a 7.9 percent increase in sales of lenses and 5.4 percent increase in sales of contact lenses.
Proceeds from International Vision Expo are used by The Vision Council to educate consumers about the importance of vision care and the options in eyewear and other related products. The conference supports Think About Your Eyes, a national public awareness campaign presented by The Vision Council and the American Optometric Association designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.