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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, April to May 2016

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2016 Now Available.

Topographers for Dry Eye in demand at BCLA.

‘Brave new world’ beckons for contact lens industry.

Festivals and contact lens wear Top tips and seven kit essentials.

ORTHO-K Use in UK rises by 40%.

New BCLA Student Ambassadors are unveiled.

The Business of the Myopia Epidemic.

Topographers in demand for specialist contact lens fitting.

BCLA Asia registrations are officially open.


ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2016 Now Available.

June 2016

ACLM year BookThe 2016 edition of the product manual of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers has now been published. It lists technical details for all the contact lenses, solutions and materials produced by ACLM member companies, and covers the overwhelming bulk of products available in the UK. It has become an essential product guide and handy reference for contact lens practitioners.

As is the case every year, there are plenty of new products and changes to parameters (of nearly 200 entries), and many older technology items have been removed. There are several articles designed to help practitioners improve the business aspects of running a successful contact lens practice, as well as handy reference tables.

Readers can offer their patients the latest and most appropriate products available by obtaining a copy of the Year Book every year. Probably the best way to subscribe is by Direct Debit which secures a 35% discount every year, and also guarantees being among the first to receive the latest issue automatically.

Practitioners can download the order form from the Home Page of the ACLM website at www.aclm.org.uk. Alternatively, join the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and receive a free copy of the Year Book as part of the membership package.

Purchasers are always offered the latest version of the Year Book. The Home Page of the ACLM’s website not only indicates which is the current version, and has a link to a downloadable order form, but also shows the expected release date for the new one when that time approaches.

Topographers for Dry Eye in demand at BCLA.

June 2016

Interest in treating dry eye has brought brisk demand for the new Tear Film Surface Quality video module of the Medmont topographer for No7.

Poor tgear shown on Medmont

Practitioners appreciate the merit of recording the tear film, as James Proctor, No7 Sales Manager, explained, “Running a dry eye management programme is a certain way to make money, as currently it affects around 15% of the population, but the incidence seems to be increasing.

The professional approach of filming the tear film impresses patients and is a significant aid to engagement in the treatment programme when patients see the video evidence provided by the topographer. We can show how the tear film is breaking up and this has a real impact with compliance to treatment. The default time for the video is ten seconds but this can be reduced or extended.”

The video can be saved within the Medmont’s memory or within the patient online records facility of many PMS systems for ease of viewing.



Good tear from Medmont

 

In addition to use with general dry eye patients, the Medmont has significant benefits when fitting soft contact lenses to patients with dry eye symptoms as they can see the wetting performance of the lens – which often results in an upgrade to a superior option, believes No7.

Prof James Wolffsohn, Executive Dean of Aston University’s Life Sciences Department worked with technical experts at Medmont to create the diagnostic aspect of the Tear Film Surface Quality video. Ongoing work on this project is set to bring further data next year, as Professor Wolffsohn said, “We are collecting data within the University on dry eye symptoms and a large number of clinical signs of tear stability, volume, osmolarity and ocular surface damage, but matching the population recruited to that of the UK.”

‘Brave new world’ beckons for contact lens industry.

June 2016

A new generation of eyecare professionals have a ‘golden opportunity’ to grow the contact lens industry.

Statistics from the first ever BCLAUK conference revealed that just seven per cent of the UK population currently wear contact lenses. Globally, 120 million people wear lenses, representing just two per cent of the world’s population.

During a keynote speech at the two-day event at The Belfry, Phil Morgan said advances in technology represented the dawn of a “brave new world” which could trigger a “colossal” change in the way lenses were used.

He said: “The next 20 years will see a huge shift in the way lenses are worn. Rather than being seen purely as a vision correctness tool they will become a lifestyle choice.

“There is a huge opportunity for growth in the industry. Technology is moving fast and new techniques are being developed. Myopia control is going to change the world.”

Eye care professionals were urged to ‘maximise their potential’ and embrace contact lenses at the first ever BCLAUK.

The two-day conference and exhibition saw more than 200 delegates get together to share the latest knowledge around contact lenses, with a focus on patient retention and embracing new technology.

Delegates were able to hear from a number of high-profile guest speakers, including Prof Lyndon Jones, who flew in from Canada to chair a special optometry-themed edition of ‘Room 101’.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the buzz around BCLAUK. It’s the first time we have held the event and it was fabulous to see such energy and enthusiasm from all of the delegates.

“There has been an overwhelming sense of positivity across the two days, from the guest speakers the exhibitors and all our visitors. Hopefully this can kickstart a new generation to learn to love lenses.”

Retention rates were a hot topic at the event, with the focus placed firmly on minimising patient drop-out rates by maximising comfort in contact lenses.

Katharine Evans, who staged a lecture on the subject, said: “We need to reassure patients that it’s ok to try different types of lenses. Lenses are much like ex-boyfriends, you have to try a few and find out what you don’t like before finding one that you do.”

A new raft of BCLA fellows were introduced at the event while an exhibition devoted to contact lenses and the anterior eye featured the latest products and technologies from leading manufacturers.

BCLA president Brian Tompkins said: “The enthusiasm shown by all the delegates over the two days was infectious and there was a tangible feeling of positivity from all those who came along.

“People went home re-energised, refocused and hopefully with their love of contact lenses reignited. The industry as a whole now has a real chance to embrace the technology available to us and make a long-lasting difference to patients’ lives.”

The event was sponsored by Alcon, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Mark e’nnevoy, Menicon and Topcon.

Festivals and contact lens wear... Top tips and seven kit essentials.

June 2016

With June heralding the start of the summer music season and almost 750 UK festivals planned this year, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) has issued advice for contact lens users on caring for their eyes during the festival season.

Ceri Smith-Jaynes, optometrist and AOP spokesperson, said: “Festival season is hotting up and it’s time to start thinking about lenses. With a little preparation, basic awareness and the right kit, contact lenses can be used easily and safely at festivals. Simple steps will help ensure eye infections and even more serious corneal infections - which can cause pain and scarring of the eye, permanently impairing vision - are avoided.”

Commenting on the need to keep contact lenses clean from bacteria, Ms Smith-Jaynes said: “Festival goers are likely to have a limited supply of running water, but unless you want to leave a festival early to see your optometrist, make sure you never touch your contacts, or eyes, with dirty hands. A tent is probably the best place to change lenses rather than in the festival’s public washing area, due to increased risk of infection. Use anti-bacterial wipes or gel and remember to always carry some with you, in case you need to remove your contacts mid set.

“Make sure you prepare for unusual circumstances by ensuring you have access to clean lenses; daily disposable users should bring a few spare changes. And, if you’re not using disposables, it’s a good idea to bring two storage cases, one for when you are out and about and one for back at your tent. Remember, never be tempted to store contact lenses in anything other than the sterile contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist.”

Beyond keeping contact lenses clean, a weekend of partying also creates other challenges. Ms Smith-Jaynes added: “Dehydration can play a big role in eye irritation, especially for users of contact lenses. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water, around five to seven small bottles a day, and consider contact lens rewetting drops - most festivals will allow small sealed bottles into the arena. It’s also essential, unless your contacts are specifically designed for overnight use, to take them out before going to sleep, even if it is just for a few hours. Your optometrist can advise if ‘extended wear lenses’, which can be slept in, are suitable for your eyes.”

Ms Smith-Jaynes continued: “Some festivals will throw up situations, for example swimming in a lake or taking a dip in a hot tub, that run high risks of your contact lenses coming into contact with the water born microorganism Acanthamoeba, a nasty little organism which can get trapped between your contact lens and eye and cause a serious infection. Most contact lens users will be aware of this but it can be easy to forget when on holiday. If an activity seems risky think ‘Would I do this at home?’ and, if not, either take your lenses out or avoid it. It’s always better to be safe, especially when you have an event to enjoy and you’re away from home.

“Finally if you are concerned about any discomfort on your return home, visit your local optometrist who should be your first port of call if you have any eye concerns. They can assess the problem and, if necessary, refer you to the right place for treatment. However if you have a red and painful eye, that needs immediate medical attention and you should visit the medical facilities at the festival.”

The AOP has advised on seven festival essentials for contact lens wearers:

1. Antibacterial gel or wipes to clean hands
2. A small mirror to help put contact lenses in correctly
3. Contact lens solution and two contact lens cases (if you are not using daily disposables)
4. Contact lens rewetting drops, to help keep your eyes lubricated
5. A bottle of drinking water to keep you hydrated
6. Spare lenses in case you rip or lose your supply
7. Your glasses, just in case

ORTHO-K Use in UK rises by 40%.

May 2016

Use of Ortho-k to treat myopia has risen by 40% in the past year, says the leading UK provider of the bespoke form of vision correction.

No7 Contact Lenses, the independent laboratory, is raising awareness of the modality amongst adults and particularly children who respond well to the overnight vision correction. Cited as the best available option to stem the progression of myopia,

Ortho-k is now being prescribed by more than 300 opticians throughout the UK.

International Studies

Citing five studies completed in the past three years into the effectiveness of the night time vision correction in arresting the progression of myopia, there is clear evidence to put before parents and their children. Alarmingly, the University of Ulster’s April 2015 study shows that 23% of British 12 and 13 year olds are myopic compared with 10% fifty years before.

Claire and Hannah RangerStudies into the effectiveness of Ortho-k in Dublin, Hong Kong, Spain, Australia and the US all indicate that the opportunity to arrest the progression of myopia is significant.
Aston University’s new myopia clinic is led by Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Dean of Life Sciences. "I have been involved in myopia for 20 years and am jointly supervising PhD students in Hong Kong to look at corneal changes. In clinical practice Ortho-k is the most effective treatment for myopia that we have.”

Bringing less than 6 microns of change to the cornea, the system is freeing youngsters and adults from wearing specs and contact lenses during the day, and bringing a host of lifestyle benefits.
Apart from leaving the patient free of glasses and contact lenses all day, Ortho-k’s reported ability to arrest the progression of myopia has other benefits, as Professor Wolffsohn highlighted, "The association of myopia with other eye disorders has not yet reached the UK’s public perception, with rates of other eye conditions rising even with low levels of myopia, so it is really worth treating if we can,” he said.

Associated Benefits

Halting myopia progression is likely to bring other long term benefits, the Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, indicates. It reports on the effect of myopia in relation to glaucoma and retinal detachment.
“Myopia represents a major risk factor for ocular disease that is comparable with the risks associated with hypertension for cardiovascular disease. The myopia risks for glaucoma and cataract were also comparable with the risks of stroke from smoking >20 cigarettes per day. For retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy, myopia carries a risk far in excess of any identified population risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

It was previously thought that the risk of eye health issues was highest in people with prescriptions higher than -6.00D, but even 1-3D of myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment fourfold.

Up to -3.00D there is a two-fold increase in the risk of developing cataract and any reduction in myopia is beneficial in all respects.
UK produced lenses

No7’s production facility for Ortho-k in Hastings, has developed a specialisation during the past decade which now ensures the company is the leading UK provider of this modality of vision correction.

Some 25,000 different specifications of Ortho-k lenses have been produced at the Hastings laboratory for thousands of UK patients, aged from eight to 85 years.

New BCLA Student Ambassadors are unveiled.

May 2016

The latest group of BCLA student ambassadors has been unveiled, helping to raise the profile of contact lenses at universities across the UK and Ireland.

Nine universities across the UK and Ireland will now be represented by the ambassadors - who will represent the BCLA and voice fellow students’ views.

The ambassadors will also ensure their peers are taking full advantage of the association’s student membership.

Anisha Visana will represent Anglia University, Inderpreet Uppal will represent Aston University and Radhika Chauhari will be the contact at Bradford University.

In Cardiff, Sophie Worsman will represent the BCLA while Prianna Gandhi will be the ambassador at City University. Lucie Jones represents Dublin while Ali Jiwa represents Manchester.

Rebecca Thomas will represent Plymouth while Ruth Irwin becomes the first BCLA student ambassador in Ulster.

A 10th ambassador is still sought to represent the BCLA in Glasgow, with fourth year students invited to apply.

Andrew Elder Smith, who co-ordinates the ambassador scheme, said: “The BCLA student ambassador scheme was introduced in 2015. One of the key objectives of introducing the student ambassador programme was to allow us to gain a better understanding of students’ needs and how we can help them develop at this very early stage of their career.

“We are delighted to welcome our new intake of BCLA student ambassadors and we look forward to working very closely with them in the future.

“The ambassadors are responsible for raising the profile of the BCLA at their universities by organising presentations promoting contact lenses and in return they get the opportunity to help out at the conference and to network with key opinion leaders.”

The student team is guided by a mentor, who is part of the BCLA Council.

The ambassadors role includes actively promoting the BCLA, representing the BCLA at industry events, participating in online blogs and to be a voice for the student community.

The Business of the Myopia Epidemic.

May 2016


Myopia amongst UK children has doubled in the past 50 years, and youngsters are becoming short-sighted at a younger age, reveals the most recent report into the much overlooked health issue


A worrying picture for the future emerges, with the University of Ulster’s April 2015 study showing that 23% of British 12 and 13 year olds are myopic compared with 10% fifty years before.

Tackling the problem is the UK’s specialist independent contact lens company, No7, which is providing the tools for optometrists to dramatically slow down or even stop the progression.

The night-time Orthokeratology treatment provided by No7 is the key for much of the optical profession.

The 33 year old Hastings-based company, which turns over around £5m each year, is on course for considerable growth and much of that is down to dealing with the childhood myopia problem.

Ashley PepperOrtho-k is its bespoke lens which is manufactured as a tailor-made product to modify the shape of each eye. Optometrists, in their practices throughout the UK, are taking topographical maps of the cornea and these images are emailed to the Hastings lab where the bespoke lenses are produced. With more than 25,000 variants produced already, the design of the lens is key, as Managing Director Ashley Pepper explained –

“We are re-shaping the cornea by less than a hair’s width each night as the lenses are worn as the patient sleeps. When they wake in the morning the lenses are removed and the cornea is reshaped to provide excellent vision for the rest of the day. This leaves the children free of contact lenses and glasses all day which is a major boost for participation in sport and self-confidence. The long term evidence is that this treatment slows the progression of myopia.”

The 60 staff at the Hastings lab have unrivalled experience with many having been with the founders – Ashley Pepper and Ian Goble – since the company started producing lenses at No7 Devonshire St in the Harley Street area of London.

“The team that we have here in Hastings can boast more than 400 years of contact lens manufacturing experience – unrivalled in our industry,” added Ashley.
Respected as a manufacturer of lenses not just for myopia control but also for irregular corneas and post-surgical problems, No7 supplies customers throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

“We are continuing to invest in the design, and development of contact lenses which advance the optical profession to treat more and more patients.

At a time of fierce competition on the High Street we aim to give eye care providers the opportunity to differentiate themselves and grow. Our hybrid lenses are being used to treat kerataconic patients who may have in the past faced surgery for corneal grafts and been on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives – this is a significant advance.

We make hand-painted lenses which accurately match the other eye colour for patients with damaged or diseased eyes, special effects lenses as worn in Star Wars films, and we are developing printed lenses for therapeutic use which we expect to launch later this year.

“Through marketing we are increasing awareness of myopia management significantly. We want to help youngsters to appreciate the facts of the pathology and to use Ortho-k as the best means of arresting the problem – particularly those who are on a trajectory to poor vision.”

Stopping the advance of myopia is not just a vanity: they are strong health reasons -
Citing five studies* completed in the past three years into the effectiveness of the night time vision correction, the company believes there is clear evidence to put before parents and their children.

Studies into the effectiveness of Ortho-k in Dublin, Hong Kong, Spain, Australia and the US all indicate that the opportunity to arrest the progression of myopia is significant.

Aston University’s new myopia clinic provides consultations and treatment, as Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Dean of Life Sciences at Aston University, explained –
“I have been involved in myopia for 20 years and in clinical practice Ortho-k is the most effective treatment for myopia that we have.”

Apart from the liberating benefits of night time vision correction, Professor Wolffsohn highlighted the health benefits –

“The association of myopia with other eye disorders has not yet reached the UK’s public perception, with rates of other conditions rising even with low levels of myopia, so it is really worth treating if we can,” he said.

Long term benefits are reported by the Children’s University Hospital, Dublin –

“Myopia represents a major risk factor for ocular disease that is comparable with the risks associated with hypertension for cardiovascular disease. The myopia risks for glaucoma and cataract are comparable with the risks of stroke from smoking >20 cigarettes per day. For retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy, myopia carries a risk far in excess of any identified population risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

It was previously thought that the risk of eye health issues was highest in people with prescriptions higher than -6.00dioptres, but even 1-3dioptres of myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment fourfold. Any reduction in myopia is beneficial the profession now believes.

*Studies
• The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology, Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012, Flitcroft DI.
• Retardation of myopia in Orthokeratology (ROMIO) study: a 2-year randomized clinical trial, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012, Cho P, Cheung SW.
• Myopia control with orthokeratology contact lenses in Spain: refractive and biometric changes. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012, Santodomingo-Rubido et al
• Stabilizing Myopia by Accelerating Reshaping Technique (SMART)-Study Three Year Outcomes and Overview. Advances in Ophthalmology & Visual System VOL 2 Issue 3. (2015), Robert L Davis et al
• Myopia control during orthokeratology lens wear in children using a novel study design, Ophthalmology. 2015 Mar, Swarbrick HA et al.

Topographers in demand for specialist contact lens fitting.

April 2016

Add these dates to your diary if you are a budding Ortho K specilaist.

Medmont TopographerTopographers – essential equipment for contact lens practices, were in demand at Optrafair.

No7 reported strong sales of the Medmont topographer, which is the key to successful Ortho-k fitting.

Commended in the Contact Lens Product of the Year Award, the Ortho-k lens is being promoted at a series of regional CET roadshows, along with advice on fitting irregular corneas -

Managing Patients with Irregular Corneas, with 3 CET points

Gain knowledge and skill in assessing patients with corneal topography to confidently assess and fit a wide range of contact lenses.

Learn the attributes of fitting mini-scleral, hybrid, soft and RGP lenses, thereby building practice loyalty.

Ortho-k and Myopia Control, with 4 CET points

Acquire knowledge and the skills to introduce Ortho-k to your practice, by gaining an understanding of corneal topography. The benefits of Ortho-k are now being enjoyed by patients from eight years to 80, representing a modality that has great potential.

Tuesday 17 May: The Oval Cricket Ground, London - Ortho-k and Myopia Control day

Wednesday 18 May: The Oval Cricket Ground, London - Managing Patients with Irregular corneas

Tuesday 28 June: Fallowfield, Manchester - Ortho-k and Myopia Control day

Wednesday 29 June: Fallowfield, Manchester - Managing Patients with Irregular corneas

Tuesday 12 July: Croke Park, Dublin - Ortho-k and Myopia Control day

Wednesday 13 July: Croke Park, Dublin - Managing Patients with Irregular corneas

BCLA Asia registrations are officially open.

April 2016

Registration is now open for BCLA Asia, giving delegates the chance to take part in a range of hands-on workshops and discover the latest research and technological advances.

Taking place on 13-14 September 2016 at the Cordis Langham Place Hotel in Hong Kong, BCLA Asia will include sessions for up to 400 people detailing clinical guidance on topics such as myopia control, dry eye management and presbyopia.

The event, titled “Correction for the Future”, is a partnership between the BCLA and the Hong Kong Cornea and Contact Lens Society.

It will offer expert advice on business, research and presentation skills as well as an exhibition enabling delegates to try out the latest products and future strategies and innovations from sponsors including CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch + Lomb.

HKCCLS president Helen Eng said: “BCLA Asia is part of our mission to promote quality eye and contact lens care by providing our members with updated resources and support to better serve the community.

“We look forward to seeing a wide range of submissions for the conference and to having the opportunity to showcase the work of up-and-coming stars in the contact lens field.”

Delegates at BCLA Asia will be able to apply for and complete a BCLA Fellowship, an indicator of esteem in the field held by over 150 top professionals across the globe.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “The conference is designed to showcase world class clinically relevant research and to nurture new researchers, clinicians and young academics to present at this level. It provides a perfect opportunity to hear the latest research including that from the talented researchers in Asia.”

 
 
 
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