Interview with Mariano Portillo, General Manager at LATAM OPTICAL LLC
According to an official report released by the United Nations (UN) every one in four inhabitants of Latin America will be over 60 years old by 2050 and, having said this, there will be more people with visual diseases related to aging. In fact, countries such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica currently have more than 30% of their population over that age, a situation that already occurs in the Nordic countries and Japan.
In this context, we spoke with Mariano Portillo, General Manager at LATAM OPTICAL LLC, a company that provides Ophthalmic Lenses in 22 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States, to help us understand his vision about this scenario that threatens our visual health.
What is the main problem that you currently observe in this segment of the population?
As a connoisseur of the industry, I realize that there is a focus on the millennial population, which is the main our main consumer, as it is also a group that recently joined us and that does not need a properly correction, but what they really need is prevention against the consequences of not addressing the problem in the right time.
What kind of problems are you talking about?
Population in Latin America is aging in a blink of an eye. Some years ago, there were only 10% of people over 60 years old. According to an official UN data, this percentage is expected to rise 17% by 2030. In 2050, 1 in 4 inhabitants of Latin America will be over 60 years old.
How can we translate this data?
We have to start worrying about identifying what the needs of this sector are, which tends to increase as our life cycles change and new problems arise with age. It is therefore important to analyze these demographic figures and understand the seriousness that the evolution of this problem in Latin America means.
As an expert in this field, what recommendation would you give to the most affected segment of the population?
We know that UV light is not the only one that affects visual quality. After the 40s, the natural eye lens starts to change, ceasing to be totally transparent to become greenish and, later, yellow. It has been discovered that something can be done to prevent this loss of transparency with the aging cycles.
The need to cut the yellow light
Yellow light is highly visible (also known as high luminosity); this kind of luminosity produces an annoying susceptibility when entering the eye of an older person.
Being said that, an ophthalmic lens technology is now available in Latin America in order to reduce this annoying luminosity and enhance the contrast of reds and greens, notably improving the patient’s visual comfort.
How does this technology operate in patients?
This technology selectively filters yellow light located in the 580 nm of the visible spectrum, thus increasing contrast sensitivity in high luminosity environments.
By cutting off this yellow radiation this lens creates a reduction in luminosity equal or greater than a normal sunglasses sun lens for the eye of an elderly person.
How can we match the interest of the ophthalmic community with the soon-to-be-old adults?
Firstable, we need to understand that there is a greater mobility of population than we commonly notice and that Latin America is aging faster than a few decades before. What took for Europeans 65 years, for Latin Americans will take 35.
This puts us in front of an unprecedented business opportunity since, in addition to the aging rates mentioned above, many Latin American countries offer extensive coverage through contributory pensions that make the product available to the user. Also (and more importantly) the opportunity to serve and improve their quality of life.
In what way can we educate this sector of the population?
Our task is to work closely with our client, the optical laboratory. In addition to making available the technologies that ensure the correct supply to the opticians, we cooperate by giving commercial and marketing support through printed materials, webinars and even face-to-face training to its optical clients with simple concepts that are easy to transmit to the user.
Is there a way to transfer that knowledge to the user who visits the opticians?
Our experience indicates that, in addition to training the professional in charge, there must be support materials such as demonstrators, testers and filters that can demonstrate the performance of the product objectively and forcefully.
Nowadays it is common to be affected by climate change and global warming that impact the way we live in every single way. This also impacts our health in general and particularly, our vision health.
Fact is that Sun radiation is not properly filtered by Earth atmosphere, -among other natural and artificial causes-, just as it used to be in recent years, say 20 years ago. It causes several eye and skin diseases and, some of them, commonly related to aging.
In this context, Majestic Antiage HD lenses come into action. They are here for prevention by delaying the aging process in the skin around the eye; it’s about a new technology which is capable of filtering up to 50% of the infrared radiation going from 780 to 1200 nm in the electromagnetic spectrum, and the best part of it is that they are already available in US.
With this in mind, LATAM OPTICAL LLC team gathered up to show how Majestic Antiage HD lenses protect your eyes from all harmful emissions that we are constantly exposed to, by using the magic of a camera.
Just like a Sun screen lotion acts, the photos that you are about to see were taken by an adapted camera, ready to capture the ultraviolet and infrared electromagnetic spectrum both non-visible to the human eye.
As a result, images show how the higher the UV filter, the darker the lens looks; this is the reason why Majestic Antiage HD lenses look totally black in the images even when they are absolutely clear to the naked eye.
When exposed to InfraRed rays results might be different. It may occur that a lens could have an excellent UV filter, but it does not protect against IR at all. Our eye iris and lens -like the vast majority of prescription lenses and sunglasses, are both invisible to IR radiation. Every iris, no matter how dark its color, will be crystal clear to the IR spectrum. In this condition, Majestic Antiage HD works because it filters more than 50% of IR radiation by reflection; that’s the reason why in IR photos below, they look like mirrored solar ones instead of showing dark lenses.
An image that speaks louder than words. This photo was taken with an UV camera. The frame has a Majestic Antiage HD plano lens (420nm cut-off) on the Right Eye and a traditional CR resin lens (355nm cut-off) on the Left Eye of the model. Although both lenses look equally transparent to the naked eye, Majestic Antiage HD is seen totally dark to the UV spectrum.
The image at your left shows our model wearing Grade 3 polarized sunglass lens, totally transparent for IR radiation. At your right, while wearing a skin protector, our model is showing that the Majestic Antiage HD lens on her Right Eye acts the same way her lotion does.
The frame has transparent lenses in both eyes, but the Right Eye lens is Majestic Antiage HD, filtering more than 50% of the near InfraRed radiation by reflection.
Here we can see how our model is placing a Majestic Antiage HD lens in front of his pair of glasses to see the difference when reflecting infrared radiation.
IR photo. Who is wearing sunglasses? Guess what… the person at your left is wearing a frame with totally clear Majestic Antiage HD lenses on it; while the person at your right is wearing polarized sunglasses (Grade 3 Gray) -a best seller brand on the market- which looks really transparent to an Infrared Camera. Surprisingly, uh?
Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online. As smartphones and other internet-connected devices have become more widespread, 31% of U.S. adults now report that they go online “almost constantly,” up from 21% in 2015, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 25 to Feb. 8, 2021.
Overall, 85% of Americans say they go online on a daily basis. That figure includes the 31% who report going online almost constantly, as well as 48% who say they go online several times a day and 6% who go online about once a day. Some 8% go online several times a week or less often, while 7% of adults say they do not use the internet at all.
How we did this
Adults under the age of 50 are at the vanguard of the constantly connected: 44% of 18- to 49-year-olds say they go online almost constantly. By comparison, just 22% of those ages 50 to 64 and even smaller shares of those 65 and older (8%) say they use the internet at this frequency.
While the share of 18- to 29-year-old who say they use the internet almost constantly has risen 9 percentage points since 2018, it remains unchanged since 2019. Meanwhile, the share of constantly online Americans ages 30 to 49 has risen 14 points since 2015, and the share of 50- to 64-year-olds has risen from 12% in 2015 to 22% in 2021. The share of Americans ages 65 and older saying this has not grown since the Center began asking this question in 2015.
Other demographic groups that report almost always going online include college-educated adults, adults who live in higher-income households and urban residents.
Some 42% of adults with a college degree or more education go online almost constantly, compared with 23% of adults with a high school diploma or less education. At the same time, the shares of White, Black and Hispanic adults who report using the internet almost constantly are statistically the same. Some 37% of Black adults say this, while 36% of Hispanic adults and 28% of White adults report going online on an almost-constant basis. The share of Hispanic adults who are almost always online has risen 17 points since 2015, while there has been no growth for White and Black adults during this time period.
While 40% of adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more say they use the internet almost constantly, this is true for just 27% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 a year. Adults who live in urban areas are the most likely to say they go online almost constantly, compared with suburban residents and an even smaller share of those who live in rural areas.
CORRECTION (March 2021): A previous version of this post incorrectly listed partisan affiliation as a way in which the survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. population. None of the study findings or conclusions are affected.
Note: This is an update of a post originally published on Dec. 8, 2015, and later updated on July 25, 2019, by Andrew Perrin and Madhu Kumar. Here are the questions used for this report, along with responses, and its methodology.
Andrew Perrin and Sara Atske “About three-in-ten U.S adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online, March 26th, 2021, accessed April, 5th, 2021, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/03/26/about-three-in-ten-u-s-adults-say-they-are-almost-constantly-online/
Non-visible 420nm, Yellow 450nm, Orange 527nm and Red 600nm
We may introduce in this specific order those ophthalmic filters that once were used exclusively for treating vision problems such as low vision and now it is being increasingly considered due to the visual stress caused by hyperconnectivity (enhanced by the pandemic) or futuristic therapies such as Biohacking.
Let´s take as a starting point the very first day of existence. According to book of Genesis in the Bible, God said: “Let there be light”, and there was light. Having said this, we should know that those first beams of light came together with its entire high-energy-blue component.
Millions (or thousands) of years later, scientists Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura were awarded with the Nobel Prize 2014 in Physics, after performing their studies and testing the application of light diodes, LED.
Starting in the early 1990s, white light technologies -with its high blue light component- gradually replaced most light sources, including displays and screens of every digital device that we use in our daily on-line activities.
LED technology contributes to conserving the Earth’s resources, as well as providing an affordable source of light for millions around the world BUT this technology come with a dark side: human brain cannot discern between day and night, between light and darkness.
How does the blue light affect us?
There are three main issues caused by direct exposure to digital devices or other sources of blue light; these effects have an impact on the body in general and particularly on the visual system.
1. Refraction and perception. It is the range of the visible spectrum with highest refractive index, which is why to the emmetropic eye, they refract before reaching the retina causing focus, dispersion and contrasting issues.
2. Photo-toxic effects on the retina. Perhaps this is the most controversial point due to the lack of tests on humans, although the results obtained in animal tests (rodents) have confirmed its negative consequences.
3. Circadian rhythm. When the sun sets, it is precisely the absence of blue light what activates the secretion of melatonin which allows our body to start the sleep cycle. The abrupt change from incandescent to LED lighting in all its forms, increased by overexposure to digital devices is causing Health authorities to worry because of their negative impact on sleeping patterns and those repairing tasks that our body perform while we sleep.
This issue was approached by the optical industry in the past.
As early as 1938, B&L offered their Ray Ban “shooting glasses” with yellow lenses that highlighted the importance of cutting off blue light to improve vision on cloudy days, driving in foggy weather, shooting practice and night vision.
Turquoise-blue light is beneficial… only in daytime.
As we mentioned before, the rise of LED light with a high component of blue light in public lighting, mobile devices, and all type of screens, would be confusing our brain by delaying the melatonin secretion.
Although we know that just as the blue-violet light would be the most damaging one to the vision system and turquoise light is the one we need to remain active during the day, the fact that we keep on receiving this kind of light during night hours might be counterproductive.
Today, lenses are being offered according to their spectral cut-off to use at different times of the day to reduce the impact of blue light on the circadian cycle:
• 420 cut-off filters: this is the most demanded technology in recent years and showed a notorious increase during the pandemic. They filter all harmful blue violets up to 420nm; therefore, they also guarantee a 100% UV cut. They are also clear hence they do not alter color perception and can be always used and in all areas.
• 450 cut-off filters (yellow): These types of lenses guarantee a cut-off of blues up to 450nm. They allow the pass of turquoise blues but affect our color perception.
• 527 cut filters (orange): they guarantee a total cut of blues in all ranges. Regarding the circadian rhythm, it is recommended for after sunset only, since the blue color during the day is necessary to keep us active. These were the first filters to be considered by the science community when sleeping problems and screens in our lives became a subject of study.
• 600 cut-off filters (red): some alternative therapies support them as a way of removing all traces of blue and even green colors during the last night hours to keep the pineal gland up and running. But those who ever worked with filters and know how a 600 filter works, know that, besides some pathologies or some cases of extreme photophobia, this filter and its low transmissibility makes it not very suitable to our vision system.
In conclusion, for those ECP’s involved in low vision and / or safety filters, the acquisition of these types of filters are essential and to the optical industry in general to assure its continuous supply.
One Step Beyond In Prevention And Protection Of Patient’s Eyes
Our eye system faces several challenges these days: changes in eating habits, reduction in sleeping hours, usage of digital devices, new ambient lighting technologies and even the increase in population life expectancy, among others factors, make our eyes to work harder than ever.
Coinciding with the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japan suddenly began the invasion of the Philippines.
“I shall return (I will return!)”. These were the last words of the supreme commander of the Allied Forces in the Philippines, Douglas MacArthur, when leaving the islands.
Due to the advancement of new technologies and increased penetration of Free Form equipments in the global optical market, Majestic has decided to add to its packaging, the “Ready to Free Form” mark in those lenses wich its diameter apply for this technology.
Certificates of authenticity and guaranteed quality already available with your orders of Majestic Progressives,
High Index, Smart Tx, Photo and Polarized.