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Opchat Magazine General NewsGeneral News, January to March 2019


Aston Eyeball sponsored by Louis Stone
ABDO Lens Guide now available
The College of Optometrists issues new patient factsheet as hay fever season arrives early, but only available to College Members
American Academy of Optometry announces Peter Scott, CAE, APR, MBA, as New Executive Director
New BLACKFIN Website online
KLiiK denmark Has A New Vibe!
"Scots lead the way in UK eye health care", says ABDO
Fashion Blogger "What Lizzy Loves" appears to Like Louis Stone's Icy 293.
NHS England and NHS Improvement set to merge
Optical practices play a crucial role in eye cancer
ZOOBUG LONDON returns to Mini Mode 2019.
Sir Anthony Garrett celebrates 20 years at ABDO
New Business Guide for ABDO Members
Grafton opens appointment diary for Dry Eye Blueprint
AAO and AAOpt join forces to promote contact lens safety
SPECTRALIS OCT2 Module Improves Speed and Efficiency on the International Space Station
First Gene Therapy Op on AMD eye.
Myopia Management Consensus Statement
Optometrist's Book nominated for Award
Heidelberg Engineering shortlisted for Optical Supplier of the Year award
FODO announces new structure and first-ever MD.
BLACKFIN – Natural Awareness Campaign
SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module Receives CE Marking
Christina Aguilera wearing the AVA sunglasses by KOMONO
Migraine sufferers praise vista mesh lenses.
Developing a strategic approach to changing the public’s responses to eye health.
Optoversity challenge set to raise funds for homeless vision care
Cardiff Opsoc Netball Team wears its new colours courtesy of Louis Stone
The College of Optometrists’ award-winning patient website gets a makeover
PHN's Public site receives 1000 public visits each day on average, many using the Find My Optician App.
The College of Optometrists issue eye health tips for winter as the cold bites
Mondottica International and Sergio Tacchini announce new eyewear licence agreement.
Thanks from Cardiff University OpSoc to Louis Stone
AREA98 and Harim Academy Euromediterranea announce the second edition of the COCO SONG AWARD
New Year Honours for those in Optics
Redfearn awarded for 40 years association with Reichert
STEPPER Shows Continued Support For Excellence In Professional Dispensing Optics
International and home grown singer puts Komono sunwear in the spotlight.
Read the archived General News from 4th Quarter 2018.

Aston Eyeball sponsored by Louis Stone

March 2019

Sara Butterworth

Louis Stone recently sponsored the Aston Eyeball, held at The Marigold on the 14th February.

Sara Butterworth (pictured), a second year student, was the winner of Louis Stone's flippers in the raffle on the night.

She said, ‘Thank you so much to Louis Stone for the flippers! They're great and I can't wait to start using them in practical classes and clinics. The Aston Eyeball was fantastic and everyone had a great time! Thank you for sponsoring it!’

'We had an attendance of about 200 students at the ball, including some Optometry staff members. Our upcoming plans for the Optics society are to sell hoodies to our students, and also maybe hold an event to raise some money for a charity.’ - Farzana Khatun, Aston Optics Society.

ABDO Lens Guide now available

March 2019

Available now from the ABDO College Bookshop in eBook and print formats.

The 2019 definitive guide to spectacle lenses, coatings and tints available in the UK will be launched at Optrafair Exchange this weekend. Ophthalmic Lenses Availability collates information from leading lens manufacturers enabling anyone in the optical industry to rapidly locate the most suitable lenses. A valuable dispensing aid, the guide includes:

• Manufacturers’ data
• Lens data files
• An availability index
• PPL corridor length and fitting heights
• Materials, tints and coatings
• Lens engravings list

ABDO Head of Communications Antonia Chitty says, “Simply known as 'The Lens Bible’, this essential guide is much in demand every year. Our thanks must go to Phil Gilbert for continuing the complex job of editing the book. Copies will be available at Optrafair and in the ABDO College Bookstore for online ordering. Watch out in 2019 for a new improved Ophthalmic Lens Availability.”

Order your copy on the ABDO College website or visit ABDO College at Optrafair Exchange this coming weekend

The College of Optometrists issues new patient factsheet as hay fever season arrives early, but only available to College Members

March 2019

With hay fever season arriving earlier, The College of Optometrists has issued a member-only patient factsheet detailing a step by step guide on eye drop instillation. The factsheet arrives as the College warns hay fever sufferers to treat their allergy before their symptoms arise, to minimise the effects.

The new patient factsheet has been produced following the results of the College’s 2018 survey highlighting poor hygiene and compliance when using eye drops. The survey revealed that almost half of its respondents (47.2 per cent) had never been shown how to use eye drops correctly; whilst a further 25.5 per cent admitted that they always or sometimes touch the inside of their eye with the bottle tip. The new patient factsheet covers a 12 step process on how to use eye drops correctly and advises patients to use the instructions alongside the manufacturer’s advice.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom Clinical Adviser for The College of Optometrists, said: “The warmer spring weather, and rising pollen levels, mean that many people are beginning to be affected by itchy and swollen eyes. Hay fever can cause considerable eye discomfort, and eye drops are one of the most effective ways to alleviate the symptoms. Our new patient factsheet offers the public a step by step guide on how to instil their eye drops safely and effectively. It’s key that people are using their drops correctly to ensure they have the maximum effect, helping to prevent the symptoms of hay fever developing and lessening their impact.”

The College’s other advice for hay fever sufferers is to:

• Visit your optometrist or pharmacist for advice and to get medicated eye drops to help alleviate itching and swelling.
• Avoid your exposure to pollen, by closing windows and keeping surfaces clear with a damp duster.
• Wear sunglasses when outside, which may help to protect your eyes from dust and pollen.
• If you wear contact lenses, remember to check if you can use the drops when you are wearing your lenses. When the pollen count is very high, it can be more comfortable to wear spectacles rather than contact lenses. You may also feel more comfortable by not wearing contact lenses when you are gardening, particularly when mowing the lawn, as grass particles and pollen may become stuck behind the lenses, causing discomfort.
• If your eyes feel dry, seek professional advice from your optometrist, pharmacist or GP. They may recommend purchasing lubricating eye drops to ease the dryness.

Members of The College of Optometrists can download the patient factsheet. The College has also developed a patient video called ‘How to use eye drops’ which is available free for College members to access and embed on their practice websites, also patients can download from The College’s patient-facing website,

American Academy of Optometry announces Peter Scott, CAE, APR, MBA, as New Executive Director

March 2019

The American Academy of Optometry, an international professional association for optometrists, vision scientists and optometry students and residents, has announced that Peter Scott, CAE, APR, MBA will assume the position of executive director in mid-April 2019. The Academy’s outgoing Executive Director, Lois Schoenbrun, CAE, FAAO, will retire from her position at the end of April. Ms. Schoenbrun has been executive director of the American Academy of Optometry and the American Academy of Optometry Foundation since 1996.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I am pleased to introduce Peter Scott as our new executive director. Peter brings with him a wealth of ideas for our meeting, fundraising and strategic relationships. He is a delightful person who has boundless energy and a very creative mind,” stated Barbara Caffery, OD, PhD, FAAO. “We are deeply appreciative of all that Lois Schoenbrun has done during her time with the Academy, and we wish her all the best as she heads off to her much-deserved retirement.”

Mr. Scott most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the North American Veterinary Community in Orlando, Florida, where he led the planning and implementation of one of the world’s top 15 global medical conferences with over 17,800 attendees. He has extensive association experience in the areas of business development, program/certification development, strategic partnerships and revenue diversification. Mr. Scott holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and has earned both the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) distinctions.

“I am excited to join this accomplished group of professionals, and I look forward to building upon the Academy’s past successes and working closely with the board of directors, staff and volunteers to positively impact this next chapter of the organization’s growth,” said Peter Scott, incoming executive director.

“I am grateful to have had the pleasure of working with so many talented and dedicated members and staff during my tenure, and I have full confidence that the Academy will continue to thrive under Mr. Scott’s leadership,” said Lois Schoenbrun, outgoing executive director.

Peter Scott will officially begin his new role on April 11, 2019.

New BLACKFIN Website online

March 2019

Blackfin new websiteK 631

Style diversity, exploring new perspectives. A black veil, tossed by the wind, amid the white dunes of a barren, almost ultra-terrestrial, landscape. This is the first image one sees on the new Blackfin website (

Consistent with the transformative journey that permeates every aspect of the company – products, ad campaigns, stands – the website now is also a reflection of the techno glamour features that are the stage upon which the Blackfin milestone plays out, Year Three of the Third Phase.

The Natural Awareness seasonal campaign provides the perfect tools to approach the public through an online platform because the images seem to speak a language of their own, unwritten, distinctly symbolic; they enunciate a declaration of awareness and authenticity: an evolution that is a condition and not a choice.

Located on the home page are the brand’s three main pillars: NEOMADEINITALY, a confluence of the company’s DNA, history and approach to corporate citizenship as a fundamental part of the business; CREDO, narrating the more dreamlike essence of the brand’s doctrine; and, TITANIUM, the technical treatise of Blackfin, tied to the material, expressed in an interplay of light and shadow, a veiled suggestion of how talent and dedication to the product are encapsulated in that cold element.

The collection is presented in an orderly fashion and divided into categories and styles. Information, like the positioning of the shops and the area dedicated to the media, is immediately accessible.

Users can also create a wish list of their favorite products, download it in .pdf format to their smartphones and send it to their friends or optician.

KLiiK denmark Has A New Vibe!

March 2019

K 631

Introducing the New 2019 Campaign

The new 2019 KLiiK denmark campaign visuals portray the lifestyle of the brand. Inspired by the Scandinavian lifestyle, the natural light creates a creative space with a calm vibe.

An emotional connection is evoked between the imagery and the colour palette that reflects warm hues connecting the individual experience to nature, art and fashion.

The new KLiiK denmark logo is updated with reduced spacing between the letters that creates a visual simplicity keeping with the minimalism of Scandinavian design.

Kliik with Us New line logo

Re-introducing to the branding, is the emblem of the 2 holes with a line, an artist symbol of an eyeglass frame.

This campaign celebrates life, adventure, inspiration and creativity.

"Scots lead the way in UK eye health care", says ABDO

March 2019

It’s truly a postcode lottery when it comes to eyecare in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (NI), compared to Scotland which provides national eye care for all, according to the Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) latest research which compares NHS eye care in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

People in England, Wales and NI are only able to access regular eye health care if they are within a certain age group, have diabetes, or glaucoma, or a family history of glaucoma, or a low income. Anyone outside these categories does not qualify for an NHS regulated sight test.

In Scotland everyone can access regular NHS regulated eye health checks and unscheduled care, for any eye problems, at no cost to patients. (Cost has been identified as a barrier to people accessing care ). The Scottish system enables optical practices to be the first port of call for eyes, saving patients attending their GP, Pharmacist or accident and emergency departments (A&E).

Only people living in areas, with Minor Eye Conditions Schemes (MECS - a locally arranged service for eye problems) in England, Wales and NI can receive eye care/treatment for any eye problems they experience. Anyone not living in an area with MECS need to present to their GP, Pharmacist or A&E which can sometimes lead to misdiagnosis depending on the health care professional they see, if they do not get attended to by a dispensing optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist who are the experts in eye care.

Attendance at A&E costs the NHS more to deliver eye care than it does if it is delivered locally by optical practices. If a national eye care service, like Scotland has, was rolled out across the UK it could save millions for the NHS and prevent avoidable sight loss in the UK. Failing that, provision of more locally enhanced services like MECS would still be more efficient, as well as being convenient and beneficial for patients.

ABDO President Clive Marchant says, “Getting the right eye care at the right time from the right clinician is important from the cradle to the grave. We would like to see everyone having access to regular eye examinations from pre-school onwards to give kids the best start in life. The risk of eye disease grows as you get older, and it is vital for eye disease to be detected as early as possible which can only be done by regular eye health checks. Scotland is leading the way here with other countries doing the best they can with the funding available.

“Minor Eye Conditions schemes (MECS) allow you to walk into your local optician with a red or irritated eye for diagnosis and treatment. MEC schemes are more convenient for the user and can save the NHS millions, but right now it is a postcode lottery as to whether there is one in your area of England. Wales or NI.”

Clive also believes better low vision services are needed now across the UK. He says, “The aging population is increasing and the Government needs to provide more low vision services in primary care.

There is a great model to follow: Wales’ excellent Low Vision scheme offering NHS low vision services in local optical practices which makes it easy for people to access the care they need locally, and this should be rolled out across the UK. Scotland has already identified a need for a national low vision service (eye care services review 2017) which we hope will mirror Wales and we also hope that dispensing opticians will be at the forefront when this is implemented in Scotland.”

Fashion Blogger "What Lizzy Loves" appears to Like Louis Stone's Icy 293.

March 2019

What Lizzy Likes

Louis Stone was proud to hear that columnist and popular Fashion Blogger, 'What Lizzy Loves' - Elizabeth Yeowart, had taken a liking to our Icy 293 in C2 'Night Leopard' which she spotted on We sent her a pair and she blogged on them a few days ago with a beautiful photoshoot. Attached are the pictures.

Lizzy said 'These slightly upswept frames, (Icy 293, by Louis Stone) fit the brief. They have a strong, but not severe, silhouette. And I love the subtle pattern mix, courtesy of the hint of grey leopard; a mix that works because of the tonal shades. (The frame is also available in olive green leopard which looks lovely).'


NHS England and NHS Improvement set to merge

March 2019

NHS England and NHS Improvement are now seeking full merger, the HSJ reported this week. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also stated that they would like to see legislative change to fundamentally change procurement regulations in the English NHS.

Commenting in the HSJ, David Hare, chief executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said his organisation had “serious concerns about the proposed reforms to commissioning and procurement” because this risked undermining accountability to taxpayers for how NHS resources are spent”. He added that the proposals also risked “recreating the huge NHS monopolies”.

David Hewlett said: “David is absolutely right and both FODO and the NCHA have been warning about this for some time. This is reform by stealth which was rightly challenged in the High Court last year. Integration may be a good thing but without transparency and accountability is fatally flawed. Without clarity about investment in, outputs out and comparators and KPIs on quality it is patients who are likely to lose out. We will continue to highlight these risks as NHS England seeks legislative change.”

This week NHS England also, without publicity, published consultation on ‘proposals for possible changes to legislation’. The consultation does not appear on the Department of Health and Social Care website, and the consultation document itself does not use NHS England’s logo. The FODO will be analysing this consultation in detail and will update members soon.

Optical practices play a crucial role in eye cancer

March 2019

Figures released on 28 February by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) to mark Rare Disease Day show that optical practices have a key role to play in the speedy diagnosis of this cancer which affects babies and children under the age of six.

Patrick Tonks, Chief Executive of CHECT said: “Last year more parents than ever with concerns about their child’s eyes turned to their local optician in the first instance. It is therefore crucial that optometrists familiarise themselves with the signs and symptoms, appropriate examinations and urgent referral processes for retinoblastoma to ensure these children are diagnosed and begin treatment as soon as possible. Remember, just because it’s rare, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.”

The main presenting symptoms of children diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb) in the UK between 2012 and 2018 were:

• Leukocoria – 70%
• Squint – 33%
• Change in colour of iris – 13%
• Redness or swelling without infection – 6%
• Roaming eyes / child not focusing – 6%
• Loss of vision – 6%
• Absence of red eye – 1%

However the figures also show that 25% of families who contacted an optical practice were turned away without an appointment, usually because of the child’s age.

FODO’s David Hewlett said: “As the sector moves to delivering a full primary eye care service alongside the national sight testing service the issue of triage will become increasingly important. The CHECT has developed a leaflet intended for non-clinical practice staff Optical Assistants’ Protocol for Retinoblastoma and practices will be developing their own systems and solutions. However, we would still recommend that

• GOS is an open access service
• to ask a registrant for advice when a member of the public contacts them seeking an appointment especially for a vulnerable patient such as a child or elderly person
• blanket responses by non-clinicians are not appropriate.

ZOOBUG LONDON returns to Mini Mode 2019.

March 2019

Zoobug at Fashion ShowBritish kids eyewear specialist ZOOBUG LONDON returned to London Fashion Week’s MINI MODE catwalks in February.

This season the event took place at St Mary’s Church, Marylebone.
ZOOBUG’s missio n is to produce outstanding design and a comprehensive choice of stylish fashionable products with trendy details and attractive colours for the 0 - 9 age group.

Zoobug sunglasses are fitted with high quality polarized lenses.

Sir Anthony Garrett celebrates 20 years at ABDO

March 2019

Tony GarrettThe Association of British Dispensing Opticians is celebrating Sir Anthony Garrett CBE’s (right) twenty years at the helm as General Secretary.

There has been much change in the Association during the past twenty years and Tony has been instrumental in this successful journey.

Thurailingam Pavanakumar
Shortly before Tony joined the organisation Thurailingam Pavanakumar (left) , known to all as Pavan, took up the post of Chief Finance Officer. Tony and Pavan very quickly formed a significant working relationship which continues to this day.

Since joining ABDO Tony and Pavan have overseen the relocation of the Associations’ headquarters to 199 Gloucester Terrace from Hurlingham, providing the Association with prestigious central London offices co-owned with FODO and the FMO which the BCLA now also occupies.

Tony was also a driving force behind the formation of ABDO College at Godmersham, Kent which opened its doors to students in 2001

Today 50% of all student DOs train via blended learning at ABDO College. Credit must be given to Jo Underwood, principal since the inception of the college, and her incredible team.

Most recently ABDO has opened the National Resource Centre in Birmingham, the new home for ABDO examinations and training.

ABDO President Clive Marchant says, “ABDO has seen many organisational changes, importantly the move from an ABDO council to the current nationally elected board. Credit to all that has been achieved must be attributed to both these great men and the team they have recruited to work alongside them. Tony has always sought to improve and enhance the profile of the profession and to develop closer co-operation with other optical bodies. Twenty years ago, ABDO did not employ any Dispensing Opticians, a stark contrast to today when most of the senior team are DOs, along with two Optometrists. While we reflect and celebrate, I know Tony and Pavan are always forward thinking, and we will continue to work to take the profession onwards.”

New Business Guide for ABDO Members

March 2019

As part of its ongoing Business Support programme, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians has issued a new eBook for members, the Independent Practice Guide.

The eBook which has been developed along with the AOP (Association of Optometrists) covers key issues from business planning and finance through to staff management and marketing.

ABDO Sector Skills Development Officer Nick Walsh says, “This book gives a great first insight into some really key areas for both new business owners and also those considering going into ownership of an independent practice. The first steps are often the most daunting, and it's good to get some valuable pointers and to know that there is lots of support out there for you
as an independent optician"

ABDO Members can download the eBook from within its Business Support Hub, where ABDO also offers an extensive range of resources to help you develop your career and business.

Members of ABDO also have access to a member to member mentoring programme and the forthcoming Become an independent optician twilight session to help you find out more about what it really means to run your own business in Birmingham on 21st May 2019, 3.30pm – 6.30pm. Click on PHNs Exhibition and Education pages for more information.

Or Book here

Grafton opens appointment diary for Dry Eye Blueprint

March 2019

Grafton Blueprint
Grafton Optical open online bookings for their ‘DRY EYE: the blueprint’ sessions at Optrafair Exchange 2019; giving attendees first hand, practical business advice on how to set up and run a successful and profitable Dry Eye service.

Grafton Optical is pleased to annouce that online bookings for their DRY EYE: the blueprint sessions at Optrafair Exchange 2019 are now open.

The one-hour sessions will take place on Grafton Optical stand F70 and will be run by Kirit and Aaran Patel from Radlett Eyecare, 2012 winners of Optometrist of the Year and Technology Practice of the Year awards. Find out now and book today on the Optrafair Exchange preview pages.

AAO and AAOpt join forces to promote contact lens safety

March 2019

American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Academy of Optometry join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote safe contact lens wear to protect sight.

Spring Break Travel Advisory: Pack Backup Contact Lens Supplies to Avoid Infections

Whether you’re headed to Miami, Cabo or just going camping for spring break, pack backup contact lens supplies just in case you lose anything. Studies show teens and young adults[1],[2] sometimes take shortcuts in contact lens care that put them at risk of nasty eye infections. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry are joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer spring break safety tips so travelers spend their time on the beach, not the emergency room.

• Remember to pack a spare pair of glasses.
• Headed to the beach or pool? Take out your contact lenses before you jump in to avoid exposing your contact lenses to water.
• Take your contact lenses out before bed, even if you’re up late!
• Be sure to bring enough contact lens supplies with you when you travel. Never “top off” solution by adding new solution to old solution.
• Never wear contact lenses that were not prescribed to you by an eyecare professional, including decorative lenses sold at souvenir shops.
• Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling your contact lenses.
• Remove the contact lenses and consult your eye doctor immediately if you experience symptoms such as redness, pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, discharge, or swelling.
• Visit your eyecare practitioner annually for a comprehensive eye examination.

Contact lenses provide safe and effective vision correction for an estimated 40 million Americans. However, contact lens wearers risk infection if they fail to wear, clean, disinfect, and store their contact lenses as directed. Even non-sight threatening infections or inflammation can be painful and disrupt day-to-day life. Good hygiene, proper contact lens care, and regular follow-up care with your eye care professional are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy.

“Most people don’t think of contact lenses as a medical device, but poor habits can set you up for serious eye infections that can damage vision or even cause blindness,” said Tim Steinemann, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “If you experience eye pain, discomfort, redness or blurred vision, remove your contact lenses immediately and call your doctor.”

The CDC has several resources to help you spread the word about contact lens safety this spring including sample social media graphics.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a one-minute animated video outlining eight steps to protect your sight from contact lens infection.

Take a closer look at both Academys.

American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons.

As a global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care.

For more information, visit

American Academy of Optometry

The American Academy of Optometry promotes excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting.

Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange. For more information, visit

SPECTRALIS OCT2 Module Improves Speed and Efficiency on the International Space Station

March 2019

Research on the effects of microgravity on vision continues with the SPECTRALIS multimodal imaging platform.

Space X Heidelberg Engineering, the imaging and healthcare IT technologies company focused on ophthalmic diagnostic solutions that empower clinicians to improve patient care, announced that its SPECTRALIS imaging platform with the company’s next-generation OCT2 Module has been successfully installed at the International Space Station (ISS) and is now fully operational.

NASA launched the SPECTRALIS with OCT2 Module to the ISS aboard the Antares 230 Cygnus CRS OA-9, also known as Orbital Sciences CRS Flight 9E, from Wallops Island, Virginia, last May. The new imaging platform was placed into service in late December 2018. The SPECTRALIS with OCT2 Module replaces the SPECTRALIS OCT that has been operational at the ISS since 2013.

“We at Heidelberg are particularly proud of the collaboration with NASA to have our imaging technology be a part of this mission,” said Arianna Schoess Vargas, CEO. “With this advanced OCT technology, it is easier for the astronauts to capture high-quality images in even less time. Working in such an environment, there is significant value placed on efficiency that doesn’t compromise quality.”

SPECTRALIS with OCT2 Module represents the next-generation OCT technology as it provides noticeably faster scan speed, while a more sensitive signal detection enhances image quality and preserves the resolution in the inner retina. Utilizing TruTrack Active Eye Tracking within the OCT2 Module, clinicians are also able to reduce variability between exams. The end results are repeatable and reproducible follow-up exams, higher image quality, improved workflow and a better patient experience with shorter examinations.

“By implementing the next-generation SPECTRALIS OCT2 Module, NASA will be able to take an even deeper dive into understanding Space Flight Associated Neuro-Ocular Syndrome (SANS),” said David M. Brown, MD, the retina specialist on the NASA SANS Research and Clinical Advisory Panel and retinal surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. “In response to the conditions of long duration space flight, the eyes of almost all of our astronauts experience swelling in the blood supply layers (the choroid) behind the retina and swelling of the optic nerve as it enters the eye. The SPECTRALIS OCT2

Module will enable imaging of these deeper layers of the choroid and optic nerve throughout the space flight and upon the astronauts’ return to Earth’s gravity. Discovering the underlying mechanism of SANS will be mission critical to develop countermeasures necessary for planned spaceflights to Mars and beyond.”

First Gene Therapy Op on AMD eye.

February 2019

Researchers in Oxford have carried out the world’s first gene therapy operation on a patient with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the UK’s most common cause of sight loss.

The operation, performed by Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, involved detaching the retina and injecting a solution containing a virus, in the hope that this would correct a genetic defect that causes AMD. Prof MacLaren said the experiment aimed to use an early genetic treatment “to preserve the vision in patients who would otherwise lose their sight”, adding it would “be a tremendous breakthrough” if successful.

Myopia Management Consensus Statement

February 2019

The College of Optometrists has published a Myopia Management Consensus Statement which provides an overview of the evidence and expert opinion, and includes advice on safe and ethical practice, as well as what is not yet known.

If you have any feedback on the statement you can email the College and feed back your views into the review process.

Read the Statement Here

Optometrist's Book nominated for Award

February 2019

Window of the Soul
David Baker's latest book, 'Window of the Soul', has been nominated by his publisher, FeedARead, for the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize.

The prize has championed outstanding popular science writing since 1988 and is the only major international prize that celebrates all areas of science writing for a non-specialist audience.

The shortlist is announced in August, and the winner announced at the awards ceremony in October. Previous winners include Bill Bryson and Stephen Hawking.'

You can by David's book online here

Heidelberg Engineering shortlisted for Optical Supplier of the Year award

February 2019

Heidelberg Engineering has been shortlisted for the coveted Optician Awards Optical Supplier of the Year Award 2019. Companies who have reached this stage have been selected on the basis of the rigorous criteria laid out by the journal –
“The panel of judges looks for suppliers to the retail optical business who can demonstrate excellence in service, quality and relationships.”

Attracting entries from a diverse range of companies supplying High Street opticians and supporting the professional skills of optometrists, competition for the title is fierce. The Heidelberg Engineering team, which offers highly accurate and reproducible OCT and confocal fundus imaging technology optimized to empower eye care professionals to improve patient care, provided details of how the optical professional has been supported with technical and business advice, ongoing world-class education, and clinical guidance which is helping to improve the standards of eye care throughout the UK.

Testimonials from Heidelberg Engineering UK customers were a major factor in the company being shortlisted. The regard in which the company is held was demonstrated by comments from the profession.

Mark Holloway, optometrist practice owner of Thomas and Holloway Opticians in Dronfield, expressed the view of many -
“Heidelberg Engineering (HE) service has been fantastic. They are quick to respond to requests, give accurate, useable and concise feedback making working with them a 'doddle'. The educational support from HE is one of the key reasons we went with them for our OCT. Heidelberg Engineering has been very quick to support us in developing our skills within the practice and it is a very inclusive business. There is no massive corporate structure; within a few months I knew most of the team in the organisation.”

Don Williams, a Birmingham optometrist practice owner, agreed that the quality and support services provided for the OCT were of paramount importance and one and a half years down the line, he is delighted –
“For me, it is plain and simple: Heidelberg should win the category of Optical Supplier of the Year. This would provide a blue print of how real customer service is and how it should be.”

Mary Bramley, optometrist practice co-owner of Aves Optometrists in Hertfordshire, praised the level of support that she receives from Heidelberg Engineering –

“As an independent practice we are free to choose whichever suppliers we wish. Some are hugely disappointing but Heidelberg Engineering stand head and shoulders above the majority of manufacturers and suppliers because of their personal touch and attention to detail. They are a pleasure to deal with. I would like their fabulous service to be recognised by the industry. The OCT is top quality as is the team of people who support it. The fact that they have a loyal group of staff is a testament to this. Everyone should aspire to the standard set by them.”

Heidelberg Engineering UK General Manager, Tosh Vadhia is proud of the very high levels of commitment provided to the optical community by his team –
“Every single person who works at Heidelberg Engineering and within our educational academy is genuinely passionate about eye health and working diligently to improve the level of care in the community - with the ultimate goal of saving peoples’ vision. This is what drives us all at Heidelberg Engineering. We support our customers with every aspect of their business and go far beyond the remit of simply supplying a medical device – a fact which is increasingly recognised throughout the optical community.”

FODO announces new structure and first-ever MD.

February 2019

In response to growing membership across its eye and hearing care businesses FODO has announced a new company structure and the appointment of Harjit Sandhu as its first-ever Managing Director.

Harjit SandhuHarjit, (pic right) who was previously Director of Policy and Strategy at the National Community Hearing Association (NCHA), will now run the four FODO businesses: FODO, FODO Ireland, the NCHA and ophthalmology partnerships.

Harjit Sandhu said: “I am delighted to take on this key role with such a wide remit, especially at this important and challenging time for the eye and hearing health sectors. We will continue to support sector growth and ensure that our members remain at the forefront of meeting the nation’s eye and hearing health needs by carving out new opportunities and tackling emerging risks head on. FODO, the NCHA and FODO Ireland are all sector leaders and we are now ready to move to the next level.”

David Hewlett,(pic left) current FODO CEO, will take up the new post of Director for Leadership, Transformation and Strategic Partnerships. Ann Blackmore the current Director of Policy and Strategy at FODO is changing career direction and leaving the FODO Group to work as a consultant.

Commenting FODO UK Chair Lynda Oliver said: “We are extraordinarily lucky to have Harjit re-joining the Optical Sector in this important leadership role at a vital time for eye care in the UK and Ireland. There are few people with his combination of analytical, clinical and health economics skills, and he even has the advantage of having started out as an optometrist. ”

David Hewlett said: “Harjit’s appointment is great news for the FODO businesses and for the wider eye health and hearing sectors. From now on Harjit will run the FODO Group businesses and I will be moving from my current role as Chief Executive to focus on aspects of our work programme which it has not been possible to progress over the past few years as the FODO Group has expanded.


"I would also like to pay tribute to Ann who has contributed so much over the past five years. Ann’s input on a wide range of issues demonstrates the value FODO membership brings to its members and the wider sector. We wish Ann well with her consultancy. I am certain she will be in great demand.”

Commenting on the plans, Peter Ormerod, Chair of NCHA and Garvan Mulligan, Chair of FODO Ireland both said their respective Boards unanimously backed the new Group structure.

Peter Ormerod said: “Harjit and David, both experts in health policy and strategy, have been crucial in providing support to and developing the hearing care sector. The new structure will make the NCHA even more agile at a time when more than ever the sector needs the NCHA’s support”.

Garvin Mulligan added: “The optical sector in Ireland has gone through major changes in recent years and FODO has been instrumental in making sure government and regulators got those changes right. We are confident that this new structure will continue to serve us well”.

BLACKFIN – Natural Awareness Campaign

February 2019

Leven by Blackfin The pure white sand merges with the clear blue sky in a true representation of elegance. The silk cloths, lifted by the wind, come to life, creating an atmosphere heavy with suspense and vitality. An almost imperceptible lightness pervades the scene, transmitted by those who have been on an inevitable inner journey and who now, in all naturalness, have reached a state of profound awareness: of who they are, who they were and where they are going.

The die is cast, Year Three of Phase Three has been accomplished: the product, the genuine story and a brand image which has reached a stylistic and conceptual maturity in the design of its eyewear, the new exhibition space and the latest 2019 communications campaign.

Natural Awareness is not a means to an end, a message coined for the latest seasonal campaign, but the next step in Blackfin’s growth. It is a journey of discovery and rediscovery of our primitive awareness.

Natural Awareness is the realisation that the only thing we need to face the future with positivity is to be ourselves.

The sequence of shots showcases the new collection of spectacle frames and sunglasses, marrying sophisticated colours with the exquisite but almost imperceptible purity of the Black Edition collection.

In the campaign images, captured by the lens of photographer Giovanni De Sandre, the beauty and elegance of the Blackfin products merge with the concept of minimal yet utter technical precision and titanium, the material par excellence, embodies their hi-tech and glamorous appeal.

The backdrop, with its gentle, yet fragile and powerful nature, gives us an awareness that helps us realise who we really are. Naturally.
Watch the video now

SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module Receives CE Marking

February 2019

HE Fig 1 Heidelberg Engineering announces the CE marking of the SPECTRALIS® High Magnification Module. With the addition of a highly innovative lens and software upgrade, this new module enables visualization of the ocular fundus at a microscopic level.

The non-invasive SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module makes optimal use of the confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) technology of SPECTRALIS to resolve retinal microstructures by diminishing intraocular stray light coming from outside the focal plane. It combines the selectivity of laser light with confocal scanning to provide infrared fundus images with a level of detail and clarity not available from fundus photography.

The module can be used effectively even in patients with cataracts because of the minimized effects of light scatter.

Heidelberg Engineering expects that the ability to see at a microscopic level will enable eye care professionals to refine surgical and treatment regimens. It may provide unique insights into the pathogenesis and progression of certain retinal diseases.

Some ocular microstructures may be overlooked in diagnostic images when reviewing scans with larger fields of view.

Figure 1: The CE-marked SPECTRALIS® High Magnification Module enables non-invasive, high-resolution cSLO imaging and visualization of previously imperceptible retinal microstructures.

The SPECTRALIS multimodal imaging platform allows the examiner to identify a region of interest within the standard field of view, and to magnify this region using the High Magnification Module.

The magnification of these regions can be used to investigate ocular structures at a microscopic level, while still providing a field of view large enough to navigate the fundus with relative ease.

HE Fig 2Dr. Giovanni Staurenghi, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Milan, Italy, is one of the first clinicians to have tried the High Magnification Module:
“It’s promising to be able to obtain infrared fundus images with such a degree of magnification with our regular SPECTRALIS device. It seems like we are seeing down to the photoreceptor level. We have just started using the High Magnification Module as part of our multimodal imaging approach and we are looking forward to exploring its full clinical value.”

The SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module has also received FDA clearance in 2018 and is commercially available in Europe and the United States both for new and existing SPECTRALIS devices that are equipped with the OCT2 Module.

Figure 2, top row: SPECTRALIS High Magnification Module infrared cSLO images with ~8° field of view. Bottom row: expanded views of the demarcated regions in the top row, revealing fine retinal details at the microscopic level

Christina Aguilera wearing the AVA sunglasses by KOMONO

February 2019

Christina Aguilera
Singer and actress Christina Aguilera wore the Ava sunglass by KOMONO after announcing her new Las Vegas residency on the Ellen Degeneres Show.

This style is part of the brand's Elementary Sun Collection for Spring Summer 2019.

Migraine sufferers praise vista mesh lenses.

February 2019

Dhanesh SakariaExtensive neurology investigations, food diaries and elimination diets have not helped the frequency and severity of migraine attacks for Dhanesh Sakaria, who has suffered from the condition for 30 years, since she was just 16.

But intervention by her optician, with the dispensing of the innovative Vista Mesh spectacle lens, has made a significant difference, reducing the number and severity of attacks :

“I had a prescription for six Zolmitriptan migraine tablets a month, which was frequently not adequate as I had so many attacks. Talking to my opticians about the problem, they recommended that I try Vista Mesh lenses as there has been a lot of anecdotal reports about the lenses helping other migraine sufferers,” said Dhanesh, who is a patient of Roger Pope in the Harley Street area of London.

“I had the lenses made up to my prescription, in a varifocal option, and I wear them all the time – for driving, for work and everything else, so that I don’t need to take them off during the day. They have made a huge difference, cutting the attacks by at least half, and there has been a reduced severity to the migraines that I do experience. I had been incredibly sensitive to light, often causing nausea and vomiting, but the attacks that I have experienced in the past few months have not been as debilitating. I have tried so many different things over the years – avoiding foods, giving up red wine, and so on, but none has worked. Four months into wearing the specs the results are very positive,” added Dhanesh, who lives in Uxbridge.

Echoing this success, Ian Parkhurst of Parkhurst Opticians in Doncaster, has been prescribing Vista Mesh lenses to patients for some time, “I couldn’t work properly without this lens, as it relieves the majority of symptoms for people with migraine and visual stress. We have many patients using the lens who say it has turned their lives around. It doesn’t work for everyone, but we have a very high success rate.”

Teresa Dyer, from Somerset, also reports a reduction in attacks, “Vista Mesh lenses have removed the glare and sharp reflections I suffered when driving and they have really helped my migraines.”

The barely visible fine filter of the lens acts almost like a pinhole effect, reducing glare and aligning scattered light, sharpening contrast and thereby reducing eye strain, prescribers believe. Vista Lenses are available from The Norville Group.

Developing a strategic approach to changing the public’s responses to eye health.

February 2019

ECOO meeting organised by FODOFODO’s David Hewlett and Ann Blackmore were active participants (and joint organisers) of a strategy workshop in Brussels on 31 January organised by ECOO, the ECV and MedTech Europe.

David opened the diagnostic session in his role as ECV chair with a challenging presentation on the mountain the sector has to climb in order change the public’s attitudes to vision and eye health.

He also highlighted key opportunities for more coherent messaging abound Vision 2020 next year, the World Health Organisation global report on vision and eye health (due sometime this year) and the upcoming EU elections on the theme of empowering citizens to look after their own health and World Sight Day.

David said: “As FODO has always advocated, we are much stronger as a sector when we speak and act together especially on eye health messages and the importance of regular sight tests. These things go in cycles and following a period of fragmentation, the concept of working together is once again gaining traction. An exciting work programme is developing to capitalise on this and FODO is delighted to be at the forefront of championing our core values of ophthalmic public health and eye care for all in this way.”

Optoversity challenge set to raise funds for homeless vision care

February 2019

Optroversity City TeamOptoversity is an exciting challenge to test the knowledge and diagnostic skills of the UK’s young optometrists.

Open to third year optometry students, the event is taking place on Saturday 23 March at Anglia Ruskin University. Student sponsorship of the event – organised by Outoftheboxoptics - is set to raise funds for Vision Care for Homeless People.

North London optometrist Karmelo Modina launched the event two years ago and this year teams are entering from Anglia Ruskin, City and Bradford universities. Others are being encouraged to apply before the end of February.

“I thought it would be a great way to bring together optometry students and to help prepare them for working life in the best way possible. It is always good fun, and alongside this the students will be raising funds for Vision Care for Homeless People,” said Karmelo, who supervises students one day a week at Anglia Ruskin.

“The format includes practical OSCE exams, an ocular disease picture quiz, multiple choice questions and an optometry version of articulate. Prizes will be provided by some of the sponsors which include Cooper Vision, Essilor, Modo Eyewear and Thea Pharmaceuticals.

The Teams:

Bradford: Raees Ishtiaq,Anoushka Choudhry: Saneela Mahmood

Anglia Ruskin: Caitlin Walsh, Helen Croxall, Sohajdeep Sidhu, Marta Bahriy

City: Jeyasuji Jeyakum, Nicole Hogan, Brooke Hutchins, Banuja Srikantharajah

Six of the individuals have set up fundraising pages so far. The fundraising sponsorship pages are here

Last year the students raised £2,788 with two teams participating

Photo above :for team City
Left to right: Nicole, Banuja, Brooke, Jeyasuji

Cardiff Opsoc Netball Team wears its new colours courtesy of Louis Stone

February 2019

Cardiff Op Soc Netball Team

Louis Stone (Optical) is proud to say that they have a fantastic relationship with all of the universities running Optometry across the UK, and Cardiff is no exception!

Louis Stone sponsors various charitable projects at Cardiff, as well as the Cardiff OpSoc Christmas Eyeball and Summer Eyeball every year. In the past, they have also been one of the sponsors for their netball and football teams.

This year, Louis Stone volunteered to donate the full amount for Cardiff OpSoc's netball kits and is the sole sponsor for the team (who played 3 matches since term started, in 2018 and played their first match of the year on January 30th 2019).

Cardiff OpSoc said 'Just like to give a huge thanks to Louis Stone for sponsoring the new kits for our OPSOC netball teams!

We are thrilled with the outcome!' - Louis Stone were very happy to help!

The College of Optometrists’ award-winning patient website gets a makeover

January 2019

The College of Optometrists has refreshed its eye care website, which provides information and advice to the general public and enables a better understanding of the role of optometrists in maintaining the nation’s eye health.

The new Look After Your Eyes now features similar aspects to the Find my Optician app on PHN's Public Site MyLocalOptician although the College site is only searchable by College Members and Fellows and where they practise as opposed to Find My Optician where all registered practices, dispensing and optometric are searchable within any location, by speciality and by special products as well as domiciliary provision.

The new site has:
• an improved ‘find a local optometrist’ search function, helping patients locate College Members and Fellows in their area. Users will now be able to find practitioners who offer additional languages, home visits and dementia-friendly services
• a refreshed, modern look and feel, with clearer navigation for users
• up-to-date, evidence-based content aimed at giving users advice and information to which optometrists can confidently direct their patients
• new practical content on conditions including styes and conjunctivitis.

Daniel Hardiman-McCartney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser to The College of Optometrists, says: “The Look After Your Eyes website update makes evidenced-based eye health information easier for the public to access and understand. The up-to-date content will mean that College members can continue to feel confident in referring patients to it for further advice and information. The improved member search function also allows patients to easily locate practising members in their area, and works alongside the College’s highly successful patient leaflet series in raising public awareness of the profession, and membership of the UK’s optometric professional body.”

Fellows and members should check that their details are correct on the College Site and it is a timely reminder for all registered practices to check their details on the Find My Optician app.

PHN's Public site receives 1000 public visits each day on average, many using the Find My Optician App.

January 2019

My Local Optician Find My Optician app

On the public website now established by PHN for over 10 years the Find My Optician where all registered practices, for both dispensing and optometric business addresses are included in the largest practice based database, their contact details being searchable within any location, post code, town or region and by speciality and special products stocked as well as a separate listing for domiciliary provision.

These details are researched by around 1000 members of the public each day.

This is an invaluable resource for the public searching for practice names and addresses in their area.

The profession has been consistent in updating their information, especially the independent sector and it is also widely used by the business to business sector of the optical maufacturers for planning campaigns in areas.

Take the opportunity to make sure your practice appears in searches made by the public looking for an optician in your area now. on the app. Here are simple instructions to add or correct your practice information here.

The ability to market your specialities and products from our national listing is free to all registered optical practices. PHN receives a number of phone calls each week from patients looking for home visits and our service would be much improved by those registered to providing this service letting our team know. You can do this once establishing your entry is correct and following the instructions for Stage 2.

The College of Optometrists issue eye health tips for winter as the cold bites

January 2019

As we are about to enter a cold snap, The College of Optometrists is urging the public to take steps to protect their vision and eye health.

The College has developed a winter eye health poster to highlight the different ways winter can affect vision and exacerbate eye conditions. The infographic, which is available online, also advises readers on how to protect their eyes during the winter months, including tips on how to deal with dry eye exacerbated by cold weather and central heating, and what sunglasses you should be wearing.

Dr Susan Blakeney FCOptom, Clinical Adviser for The College of Optometrists, said: “There are several things you may notice more in winter than in summer. One of these is an increased need to wear your glasses. This is because when there is less light available, your pupil expands which reduces the eye's depth of focus, and means that you notice blurriness more. For example, you may find that even if you don’t normally need to wear your glasses for driving, wearing them when driving at night makes more of a difference than wearing them during the day.

“If you suffer from dry eye you may find that your central heating makes your eyes feel worse. To ease this, I would advise that you lower your room temperature or use a humidifier. If you have any questions, ask your optometrist for more information.”

The College of Optometrists has issued the following advice to help those who encounter vision problems during the winter:

• The glare of a low-lying sun on icy or wet roads can cause difficulty for drivers, even those with good vision, so it’s really important to make sure your windscreen is clean, both inside and out. Sunglasses can also help reduce glare, and if you wear glasses to drive, you can get these made to your prescription, or wear clip on sunglasses.

• If you suffer from dry eye, it may be exacerbated by your central heating. To minimise the discomfort you should try to lower your room temperature or use a humidifier.

• Lower levels of light in winter can make reading and close tasks more difficult, especially for older people and those with existing vision problems. Try using extra light, and position it close to you, such as by using a standard or angle-poise lamp.

• As conditions get colder and the wind starts to pick up, many people complain that their eyes water more than normal. You can help reduce this by wearing spectacles to protect against the wind, even if you don’t usually wear them.

Further information and advice to help look after your eyes can be found on the College’s Look After Your Eyes website:

Mondottica International and Sergio Tacchini announce new eyewear licence agreement.

January 2019

Sergio TacchiniMondottica International and Sergio Tacchini proudly announce the signing of the license agreement to develop Sergio Tacchini branded eyewear collections.

The licence signed between Mondottica International and Sergio Tacchini covers full optical and sun products for unisex collections available from the second half of 2019.

According to Mondottica’s Founder and CEO Michael Jardine, “Since its inception, Sergio Tacchini has always been one of the most iconic names in sportswear as well as the brand of choice for some of the most important champions in sport. Our goal is to create eyewear collections that can contribute to the brand’s success story. Adding to the opportunity for the new eyewear collections is that vintage sport apparel brands are hot property right now and we are pleased to collaborate with Sergio Tacchini as the brand is discovered by a new generation”.

”Sergio Tacchini, a decidedly Italian yet always international brand, has found in Mondottica a partner able to interpret it authentically and distribute it around the world: a prestigious new piece is added to the puzzle of our collection”, comments Patrizia Bolzoni, Sergio Tacchini’s General Manager.

Select previews of the collection will be seen by invitation only during the Mondottica Workshop in Barcelona this summer, with the full brand launch coming at Silmo 2019. What better way to celebrate over fifty years of victories on and off the court by expanding Sergio Tacchini’s already extensive line of products?

The Sergio Tacchini eyewear licence is global and will run through to 2023.

Thanks from Cardiff University OpSoc to Louis Stone

January 2019

Cardiff Op Soc Eyeball
Louis Stone helps support and sponsor university OpSoc eyeballs across the country and just recently received thanks from Molly Feltham, the Student RAG Representative for Cardiff OpSoc after sponsoring their Christmas Ball (held on Thursday 13th December).

'The Cardiff Optometry Society and I would like to thank you again for your kind donations for the raffle and table decorations at our Christmas Ball. As you know, we are raising money for Guide Dogs and Maggie’s Club, and with the success of the raffle, we raised almost £500!

This wouldn’t have been possible without your kind donations and continued support, and we really are grateful. We had 155 people attend the ball (at the Angel Hotel), and we had a great evening filled with festive celebrations.

Third year Sophie Coverdale won Louis Stone's Prism Bar Set (worth £129.95!). We look forward to working with you again in the future for the EyeBall!'

Sophie Coverdale In terms of big plans for the society, Cardiff OpSoc have got a number of charity trips coming up in the summer, from July to September there are a number of groups visiting Ghana, Malawi and Moldova in order to refract and provide eye checks for the people living in these 3rd world countries. They are all very excited about these opportunities, and have lots of fundraising to do!

PICTURES - Winner of Louis Stone Raffle prize Sophie Covendale right and left picture is the Cardiff OpSoc President (left), Student RAG Representative (middle) and Sophie the winner (right).

AREA98 and Harim Academy Euromediterranea announce the second edition of the COCO SONG AWARD

January 2019

Coco Award edition 2
The Coco Song Award
is having its second edition. Area98 recently announced, in collaboration with the Harim Accademia Euromediterranea, the second edition of the competition dedicated to the students of the Academy to offer young talented people the opportunity to give their own interpretation of the Coco Song collection.

Building on the success of the 2017 edition and the excellent feedback from all those who, even partially, contributed to the success of the competition, Area98 decided to follow up on the initiative and launch the challenge again to the students of Fashion Design, Jewelery Design and Interior & Product Design of the Harim Accademia Euromediterranea. The young people will be invited to present their innovative proposals for the line of Coco Song sunglasses with the utmost freedom of expression: though starting from the characteristics that have become the brand's strong points, they will be able to reinterpret them or combine them with new creative elements.

The projects will be evaluated for their ability to combine creative and innovative value with inspiration from the distinctive elements of the collection - the appeal to the East, the key role of color, the use of silk and natural inserts in the frames – besides being evaluated on the true feasibility of the proposal.

The Jury – made up of members of the Board and of the Product Development Office of Area98, teachers at the Harim Accademia Euromediterranea, opticians of the main markets in which Area98 works and representatives of the press from the eyewear sector - will select five finalists, to be announced by February 25th 2019 on the occasion of MIDO.

Of the five projects selected, the Area98 Product Office will produce the prototypes in one or more color variants; the prototypes will be presented to the public at the end of the academic year at the runway organized by the Harim Accademia Euromediterranea and in Milan for the 2019 Fashion Graduate Italy. The winner of the Coco Song Award will be nominated by Silmo on September 30th 2019. He/She will receive a prize of €1,000.00 and will be invited to the premises of Area98 in Pavia di Udine, where he/she can visit the company, get to know its departments, interact with the Artistic Director and get in touch with the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region.

Elisio Tessaro, Coco Song’s Artistic Director, commented: "We are thrilled to undertake this project again, which in 2017 offered a unique opportunity for both us and for the students. Area98 has always been synonymous with creativity and experimentation, and the young talents of Harim Accademia Euromediterranea represent an inexhaustible and extraordinary source of fresh and original ideas. We look forward to receiving new proposals and opening our brand to innovative levels of interpretation."

New Year Honours for those in Optics

January 2019

Donald Camron

Congratulations are in order for leading Scottish optometrist Donald Cameron who has been awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours for his remarkable contribution to eye care in Scotland over the past forty years – setting up Optometry Scotland and establishing the first UK Teach and Treat clinic in Edinburgh, to further the expertise of numerous optometrists.

In addition, Professor Barbara Ryan has been awarded an MBE for services to optometry. Barbara has been a powerful force for good at WOPEC and Welsh Government.

Redfearn awarded for 40 years association with Reichert

January 2019

Malcolm Redfearn

At an informal “pop up” celebratory award ceremony held after 100% Optical’ s free party, Malcolm Redfearn was awarded an official plaque to thank him for his 40 years of continued help, advice and consultancy to the Reichert Company.

Malcolm who still supplies consultancy to Grafton Optical is respected for his knowledge on all things ophthalmic and optometric in the world of equipment.

The award was conceived by the workers and managers of Reichert as a thank you.

STEPPER Shows Continued Support For Excellence In Professional Dispensing Optics

January 2019

Stepper Award

Since 2001 the STEPPER Prize has awarded to the student achieving the highest mark in the ABDO Preliminary Qualifying Practical Examination.

The 2018 recipient is Adriana Stiuriuc who is a student dispensing optician at Bayfields Opticians in Harrogate.

In addition to working in practice, Adriana is studying at Bradford College.

Adriana received her award in December from Peter Reeve, Managing Director STEPPER (UK) Ltd and Julian Boysen, Business Development Manager, STEPPER (UK) Ltd.

Picture (left to right): Adriana Stiuiuc (Bayfields Opticians) and Peter Reeve (STEPPER)

International and home grown singer puts Komono sunwear in the spotlight.

December 2018

Rita Ora on stage
Rita Ora performs on stage in the AVA sunglass model made by KOMONO

British singer and actress Rita Ora wore the Ava sunglass by KOMONO during her performance at the Capital FM#s Jingle Bell Ball 2018 held at the O2 arena 8/9th December.

This style is part of the brand's Elementary Sun Collection for Spring Summer 2019. Rita performed along with Little Mix, Jess Glynne and many others to sell out audiences.

KOMONO creates contemporary watches and eyewear, designed in Antwerp. Fiercely dedicated to the Belgian tradition of quality and craftsmanship, KOMONO has made global fashion and design more accessible since 2009. Staying true to the origins of the word KOMONO (it means “small things” in Japanese), the KOMONO team shares a passion for distilling the best of culture to its simplest forms. KOMONO is the perfect blend of vision and timing.

The video of the performance can be seen here:



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