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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, July to September 2016

BCLA meeting tells practitioners ‘the future is in your hands’

Inaugural BCLA Asia hears of ‘huge opportunities’ to grow contact lens usage

IACLE members benefit from access to new teaching resource

Call for papers ahead of BCLA conference.

BCLA Meeting will tell practitioners ‘the future is in your hands’

Contamac are featured on the Company Profile Pages on PHN following an extensive tour of their facility in Saffron Walden.

Contamac Announce Platinum Level Sponsorship of the Scleral Lens Education Society.

Essilor to protect consumers from counterfeit lenses.

Myopia Control Set to Rise with Professional Recognition.


BCLA meeting tells practitioners ‘the future is in your hands’

September 2016

BCLA TompkinsEye care professionals were given a glimpse into what lies ahead in the world of optometry and contact lenses and told ‘The Future is in Your Hands’ at a meeting in London.

President of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), Brian Tompkins was joined on stage at the Royal College of Nursing on September 19 by training expert Sarah Morgan to present ‘a vision of the future’.

The meeting, attended by dozens of eye care practitioners from across the country, saw these leading industry figures outline their views on what is needed to protect and evolve the contact lens industry in years to come.

Mr Tompkins said: “If we’re not careful, contact lenses will become a commodity sold in vending machines at the side of the street. We need to protect our position of professionalism and authority on lenses.

“It’s vital we retain current patients and attract new ones by ensuring they have the chance to access the latest technology.

“Eye care professionals need to stay ahead of the game in terms of education, and the BCLA has a huge role to play in that. We need to true to ourselves and offer an individual service to all our patients. We also need to charge properly without denigrating the profession.”

Both presenters drew on a wealth of experience in running a successful contact lens practice and shared their ideas to help interact with staff, patients and suppliers.

The session, held at the Royal College of Nursing in Cavendish Square, London, outlined an ‘ideal’ future with fully-engaged and informed repeat patients, but also warned of a future where practices lose the contact lens business they currently have as patients switch to a ‘one size fits all’ QVC-style buying pattern.

A host of advances already being pioneered by tech giants such as Apple and Google were explored to see how they could be implemented in practices up and down the country while all those attending heard of the ‘golden opportunities’ lenses provide for future generations of practitioners and patients.

Inaugural BCLA Asia hears of ‘huge opportunities’ to grow contact lens usage

September 2016

BCLA AsiaThe first ever conference of eye care professionals organized by the BCLA in Asia has heard of the ‘huge opportunities’ available to grow the industry in the region.

More than 240 delegates attended the two-day BCLA Asia conference at the Cordis Langham Place hotel in Hong Kong, to hear from a host of high profile guest speakers reveal the latest research and discuss how the contact lens industry can grow in the future.

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

A series of workshops and lecture streams gave delegates the chance to experience the latest technology and techniques, while networking sessions allowed eye care professionals to share best practice with colleagues from around the world.

BCLA president Brian Tompkins said: “Asia is an emerging market, with significant growth in contact lenses. That represents a huge opportunity for us as an industry and BCLA Asia has been a superb way to bring eye care professionals together and formulate a plan for the future.

“It’s been fantastic to meet the delegates and share different ways of working. You never stop learning and everyone will be going home with new ideas to move both their business and the wider industry forward.”

BCLA Asia was launched with a traditional dance from a Chinese dragon to welcome delegates before the conference began with expert advice on business, research and practical clinical skills and an exhibition enabling delegates to try out the latest products and future strategies and innovations from both local and global companies.

The BCLA would like to thank its event sponsors:

Headline Sponsor: CooperVision
Gold sponsors: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Menicon, AMO Singapore PTE Ltd
Premium sponsors: Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, Euclid Systems, Paragon Vision.

IACLE members benefit from access to new teaching resource

September 2016

IACLE members now have access to a major new teaching resource with the addition of the Salazar Image Collection to our online resources. These images are the work of the late Ralph Salazar, a Venezuelan optometrist, and record almost 140 unusual anterior eye conditions.

IACLE’s Director of Educational Development Dr Lewis Williams explained that Salazar had extensive interests in contact lenses, the anterior eye, and ocular pathology. ‘Fortunately for IACLE, he also had access to hospital cases and an interest in recording, photographically, what he saw in practice. This collection is a selection of his work, a series he always intended to be used for educational purposes.’

The acquisition of these images almost a decade ago was brokered by Dr Percy Lazon, then IACLE’s Latin America Regional Co-ordinator. Currently, Dr Lazon is Principal Clinical Scientist at CooperVision in Pleasanton, California, USA. The original Spanish titles were translated into English by Dr Lazon and the PowerPoint presentation was finalized by IACLE staff.

Dr Williams commented: ‘This image collection lives on as a testament to the contribution Salazar’s skills and foresight have made to IACLE and the contact lens community at large. Many of the images included are of conditions, trauma, pathology, and contact lens complications that are unlikely to be seen or experienced regularly in routine practice.’

 

 

John McGregor

The images above show (l-r) granular corneal dystrophy, fluorescein pattern of an RGP lens on a post-Lasik eye, and palpebral vernal conjunctivitis.

Call for papers ahead of BCLA conference.

August 2016

Eye care professionals have been encouraged to submit proposals for a series of educational courses, lectures and workshops to be held at next year’s BCLA conference.

The conference, due to be held in Liverpool next May, is the biggest of its kind within the contact lens industry and offers delegates the chance to keep up to date with the latest research, trends and best practice.

BCLA leaders are now looking to put together a programme of workshops, science streams and case reports focusing on the key trends within modern contact lens practice.

A call has now been issued for submissions on any topic related to contact lenses and the anterior eye.

BCLA president Brian Tompkins said: “The BCLA conference offers practitioners the chance to keep up to speed with what is happening in a fast-paced industry, be it the latest advances in technology, new treatment methods or key statistics from the latest research.

“By contributing to an action-packed programme, eye care professionals can play their part in helping to shape the future of our industry, passing on their experience and bringing best practice to the wider public – benefitting optometrists and patients alike.”

Suggested topics for lectures and workshops this year include the fitting of contact lenses in children, cataract management and the challenges and opportunities offered by anterior eye practice in the future.

Lecture and workshop submissions should be made by Friday, October 26.

The science stream is assessed in the form of abstracts that can be submitted as a poster only or as a paper/poster (allocated by the Academic Committee). Paper talks are usually 15 minutes or six minutes rapid fire. Case reports will be in poster format. Only one abstract can be submitted for each first author. Submission deadline is Friday, January 20.

A pre-screening service is available to aid authors in developing abstracts.

All presenters (including poster authors) must be registered for the full conference.

Research papers accepted for publication in the Association’s journal, Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, within a year of the 2017 Conference will be awarded a voucher of £100 towards a future BCLA fee paying event.

BCLA Meeting will tell practitioners ‘the future is in your hands’

August 2016

Eye care professionals will be given a glimpse into what lies ahead in the world of optometry and contact lenses and told ‘The Future is in Your Hands’ at a meeting in London.

President of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), Brian Tompkins will be joined on stage at the Royal College of Nursing on September 19 by training expert Sarah Morgan to present ‘a vision of the future’.

The meeting, expected to be attended by eye care practitioners from across the country, will hear views on what is needed to protect and evolve the contact lens industry in the comings years.

Mr Tompkins said: “We have to be honest, if certain steps are not taken to maintain a grip on contact lens care in practice then the future could be bleak.

“It may be tinged with threats of deregulation if skill sets are not maintained so we need to discuss a variety of strategies to attract new business.

“It’s vital that we look after our existing patients, making sure they have access to the best available technology to ensure no discomfort or vision issues to avoid them dropping out.

“Cost is also important. We need to charge properly for all work carried out. Fee structure discussions and making sure patients understand the proper care levels are important.”

Both presenters will draw on a wealth of experience in running a successful contact lens practice and will share their ideas to help interact with staff, patients and suppliers.

The session will describe an ‘ideal’ future, and also a future where things are no longer under our control and practices lose the contact lens business they currently have.

A host of technological developments already being trialled will be explored to see how they could be implemented in practices up and down the country while all those attending will have the chance to discuss the ‘golden opportunities’ lenses provide for future generations of practitioners and patients.

Future and current business models will be compared to historical models to see if the past can help teach the industry the way forward.

The meeting will be held at the Royal College of Nursing in Cavendish Square, London from 7pm on Monday, September 19.

Entry is free for all BCLA members. For more information and to reserve your place visit www.bcla.org.uk

Contamac are featured on the Company Profile Pages on PHN following an extensive tour of their facility in Saffron Walden.

August 2016

PHN's editor Bob Hutchinson was invited to take an extensive tour of the purpose built facility built for Contamac last year.

John McGregorThe profile looks at the unique position Contamac has engineered at the heart of the contact lens manufacturing industry providing expertise in R & D, inspection and product to the contact lens manufacturers enabling these manufacturers to make up to 600 variants in soft lens products.

Further information was obtained from the family members of the board headed by its founder John McGregor. The profile story will help practitioners identify with the importance of the polymer technology as a central process to better complex lenses and become more discernable in the lenses they use. Read the full report on our profile pages.

Contamac Announce Platinum Level Sponsorship of the Scleral Lens Education Society.

August 2016

Scleral Lens Education SocAs manufacturer of the Optimum® line of GP materials, we are pleased to announce our commitment to support the Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS) with Platinum level sponsorship of the organisation. The Scleral Lens Education Society provides education for practitioners on the art of fitting scleral lenses though congresses, workshops, webinars and other educational mediums. In addition to practitioner education, the SLS works to support public awareness of the benefits and availability of scleral lenses.

Acknowledging the vital role that education plays in the specialty lens market and in vision care as a whole, Contamac continues to expand our investment in education, training and research, which advances the skills and knowledge of practitioners, and raises the bar on patient care. Scleral lenses can be a valuable tool for practitioners to help patients with irregular corneas, ocular surface disease or other visual requirements that are not being met with other forms of correction. By understanding the fitting process and learning to troubleshoot difficult fits, practitioners are in a better position to offer their patients more options, in order to achieve optimal vision.

"Part of our commitment to education includes supporting organisations that are providing the highest level of education and training to practitioners and contact lens fitters who are working with specialty contact lenses," said Philipp Polonyi, Sales and Marketing Director of Contamac Ltd. "Scleral lenses are on the path to becoming a staple in the specialty contact lens segment and we are delighted to be able to support the exceptional efforts of the Scleral Lens Education Society."

In addition to the Scleral Lens Education Society, Contamac has supported educational programs and organisations at various levels over the years globally, including providing educational material and tools for practitioners and students, giving presentations at optometry schools as well as sponsorship of the Global Specialty Lens Symposium, the Contact Lens Society of America and numerous congresses throughout the world. Working with educational organisations and the North American Independent GP Lab Channel, Contamac plans to host or sponsor educational meetings and webinars on a wide range of topics throughout the year, with a focus on scleral lens fitting in the Summer/Autumn of 2016.

Essilor to protect consumers from counterfeit lenses.

July 2016

BBC WalesLeading lens manufacturer, Essilor UK, has been part of an investigation into counterfeit sunglass lenses with BBC Wales’ X-Ray.

The consumer affairs programme has interviewed Essilor UK’s professional relations manager, Andy Hepworth, after discovering counterfeit designer sunglasses could be dangerous to consumers. Hepworth shared advice on how consumers can protect themselves from being fobbed off with lenses that offer little or no UV protection.

“It’s scary to think people are being sold lenses that just aren’t up to the job”, said Andy. “When X-Ray approached Essilor with their investigation we were more than happy to help highlight the potential dangers of counterfeit lenses. As a company we’ve spent years working to educate consumers about the important of having built in UV protection – both in sunglasses and clear prescription lenses.”

Using the Essilor laboratory in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, the X-Ray team was shown how the glasses they had purchased could put consumer’s eyes at risk this summer, by letting an astonishing 70% of UVA into the eye.

Hepworth will tell programme viewers just how important it is to buy from reputable opticians in the high street, directing them to an online Optician Finder, and has already offered opticians Essilor’s laboratory facility to have suspect products tested.

“It is not easy for the consumer, nor the optician, to know if the lens they are looking at is real and can protect against UV or blue-light damage, and this can be a real concern,” explains Andy. “In this case, we’re not just talking about being ripped off over a brand, but of damage to our eye health.

“Consumers have to know that the product they are buying is up to the job, and that means using reputable opticians.”

X-Ray will be broadcast at the end of July on BBC One Wales.

Myopia Control Set to Rise with Professional Recognition.

July 2016

Overnight vision correction with tailor-made contact lenses for myopia control is set to increase as the UK’s leading optical organisations recognise the role of Orthokeratology, or Ortho-k.

This is particularly significant as the incidence of myopia in UK children has doubled in the past 50 years with children also becoming myopic at a younger age.

The Association of Optometrists has issued guidance to its members, who represent more than 90% of UK optometrists, stating that “Fitting Ortho-k lenses can slow the progression of myopia in school age children”.

This has brought praise from the Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) – many of whose members having been using the bespoke, specialist, treatment for some time - as the AIO stated:

“Ortho-k is a known successful, and non-invasive, treatment for myopia control, practised by many of the UK’s independent opticians. Now that the Association of Optometrists has recognised that the procedure can have a beneficial effect on myopia control we are expecting to see a significant increase in demand from people of all ages.”

Ortho-k stems from the Mandarin Chinese who knew that sleeping with tiny sand bags balanced on their eyelids would gently flatten the cornea and improve daytime vision for the short-sighted.

In recent years the art has been refined to a near perfect science whereby topographical maps are taken of the cornea and tailor-made lenses produced from up to 80,000 reference points.

Worn at night, these bespoke gas permeable lenses gently flatten the cornea to provide excellent vision for the day ahead. Repeated use of Ortho-k lenses has been shown in a number of UK and international studies to have a lasting effect in slowing the progression of myopia in young people.

Claire and Hannah RangerMilton Keynes optometrist, Claire Ranger, has been treating her daughter’s myopia with Ortho-k for some time. Fourteen year old Hannah Ranger was finding that her short-sightedness was starting to increase and Claire decided to take action.

“As I have a prescription of -12.00D I was keen to try and ensure that Hannah did not progress in the same way. Several international studies about the rising incidence of myopia in children show how Ortho-k can help: by wearing reverse geometry contact lenses at night which gently flatten the cornea by less than a hair’s width to correct vision. The scientific evidence strongly indicates that by doing this the myopia does not progress,” she said.

Hannah, whose prescription is -1.75D in both eyes, is delighted with this form of vision correction and to be able to leave her specs at home, as she said, "I wasn’t sure Ortho-k would work but within a couple of days I could see really well without my glasses. It is great not to be wearing glasses at school and when I go ice-skating and swimming. I was keen to try Ortho-k because I don’t want to turn out to have vision like my mum and have to wear glasses with really thick lenses.”

The tailor-made Ortho-k lenses are made in a specialist laboratory in Hastings from topographical images that Claire took of the shape of Hannah’s cornea. The lenses gently flatten the cornea by less than a hair’s width as Hannah sleeps, enabling her to see well for the day ahead. "It takes me just a couple of minutes at night to put the lenses in and then I take them out in the morning, leaving them at home – I don’t have to think about glasses or contact lenses all day, until I put them in again when I go to bed,” she added.

The rise in myopia in children has been described as an “epidemic” by some leading optometrists. 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.

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.

 

 
 
 
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