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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, April to June 2018


CITY, UNIVERSITY of LONDON, appoints myopia control PhD student.
Independents’ support organisation chooses to Th!nk Different for its annual event.
AOP Awards now open for 100% Optical January 2019 event.
Last chance for Myopia Control sign up.
Ophthalmology data analysis championed at congress.
ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham opens to first students.
MultiColor shines at ARVO in comparisons to color fundus photography.
Seeing Beyond the Eyes CET Roadshow launches – A Man on a Mission with Low Vision
London launch for world class glaucoma atlas.
American Academy of Optometry Launches Academy an Online CE Platform
ABDO announces new Head of CET.
Optometrists urged to play greater part in patient quality of life.
College of Optometrists announces programme for sixth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference.
Insight Optical Training Launches Practical Glazing Workshops.
Optrafair, The Blue Light Debate and the results of your own Big Blue Light Survey
Optrafair celebrated 40 years in style, one week on we reflect on its successes.
Optrafair, Bright and Buzzy for 2018
CET points galore for optical practitioners on Specsavers Optrafair stand
Specsavers say at Optrafair Lecture, “Dream partnership is the aim to make eyecare better”
American Academy 2018 San Antonio Education Program Announced
Regional Sales Manager win exhibitors draw at Ocuco
Essilor unveils new products and equipment at Innovations Conference on the day before Optrafair
ABDO announces new National Resource Centre in Birmingham
Grafton Optical announce the Grafton Dry Eye Centre which will debut at Optrafair 2018 on stand C54
Essilor Innovation roadshow takes to the road
Just 10 days to go to Optrafair 2018 at the NEC and here's a roundup of the exciting events taking place.
Read archived stories from 2018 frst quarter.

CITY, UNIVERSITY of LONDON, appoints myopia control PhD student.

June 2018

Kristina MihicCity University is taking steps to prepare for the time when potentially 50% of Europeans could be myopic, and to explore if the prediction can be arrested before reaching this point. City’s Division of Optometry & Visual Science has taken on a PhD student to look at designing an Ortho-k lens specifically to maximise myopia control, as well as correcting vision.

Jointly funded by UK independent company No7 Contact Lenses, which will have the option to manufacture any new designs, the student is optometrist Kristina Mihic.

With a specialist interest in this field, Kristina joins from her role as Clinical Tutor at the University of Velika Gorica in Croatia. She is well known to many within the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA).

“We know that wearing Ortho-k lenses slows the rate of myopia progression. We are looking at the best means of ensuring the most successful outcomes for patients in the long term,” said Kristina.

Co-supervised by City lecturers, Dr Manbir Nagra; Prof Chris Hull; and Dr Byki Huntjens, the three year role is set to bring greater clarity of understanding in the field of myopia control lenses.

Topographical Height map of cornea
As Kristina explained, “Now that we are living longer, we are going to be myopic for longer, and as a result the period during which we are at risk of developing myopia related pathologies will be extended. In the year 2000 myopia prevalence in Western Europe was estimated to be approximately 22% and this is expected to increase to approximately 56% by 2050.

" We know that even a small reduction in myopia could reduce the risk for many associated conditions. Ortho-k has shown promising results and we want to maximise these.”
No7, as the UK market leaders in Ortho-k lenses, will work closely with Kristina on all aspects of design.

“I have visited the team at No7 and it is a big modern lab using Focal Points Design. I look forward to discussing all aspects of lens design and the materials that we select. We will explore the results of design with ethnicity, pupil size, and may be able to investigate the optimum hours of wear each night,” she added.

Currently undertaking a systematic review of all available literature, Kristina will begin practical work of the project in September.

Rebutting the negative challenge that infection risks rise for children wearing night-time lenses, she said, “While there is a risk associated with overnight wear, it is worth considering that the lenses do not leave the house and lens cleaning, insertion and removal is normally supervised by a parent. We have to consider the risk of infection versus serious long-term pathology.”

Independents’ support organisation chooses to Th!nk Different for its annual event.

June 2018

SightCare 2018SightCare has taken the theme of its upcoming conference, Th!nk Different, to heart with a change of date, format and location for its main annual event for independents.

Changing from its previous business conference in Birmingham in March, this year the new interactive two-day conference will be held at Telford International Centre on 16-17 September 2018.

The business and networking conference will focus on differentiation and the customer experience with the help of 16 speakers. There will also be an exhibition featuring over 40 optical suppliers and support organisations for small businesses.

The workshop and masterclass programme will emphasise how differentiation is the key to being a successful independent. The programme is aimed at both independent practice owners and their staff, offering both peer review and discussion CET.

The workshops will include maximising profit from stock sell-through, creating a successful environment where people want to come to work, making your spectacles collection memorable, social media marketing and how to deal with annoying people to avoid negative word of mouth.

There will also be sessions on frame styling, lenses and contact lenses, plus a masterclass on how practices can augment customer care and revenue by working with a local hearing professional.

The opening keynote speaker is Kevin Byrne, the chief executive and founder of Checkatrade which generates more than £2.7bn a year for more than 19,000 companies. His presentation will highlight the power of referral.

The closing keynote speaker is Josephine Fairley, co-founder of the confectionery brand Green & Black’s, who will highlight the power of ‘thinking different to build a great business.’

The conference will also feature a new Business Clinic which delegates can book for expert advice to help them grow their business, save money and make the most of their SightCare membership.

The 2018 event will spotlight the inaugural SightCare Awards which are designed to celebrate the independent spirit and will be presented to five winners. There will also be an informal social networking evening with entertainment on the Sunday.

SightCare Chief Executive, John French, said: “I am delighted to be taking the optical sector’s longest running business conference for independent practices to a new purpose-built venue.
SightCare can now grow its business-focused workshop programme to offer business owners, practitioners and practice staff a wider choice of interactive sessions, all designed to help members think differently about how they can stand out from the competition,” he added.

“Independent practice owners who understand the benefits of working on their business rather than in their business will enjoy two days of inspiring keynote speakers, choice from 18 interactive workshops, our independent team workshop afternoon and social networking evening, and engage with over 40 of our preferred eye care and business partners,” he concluded.

The conference has the complete first floor of the Telford International Centre, with affordable onsite accommodation and free parking, as well as a free shuttle bus to and from the local rail station.

The event is free for SightCare member practices, however, non-members wishing to find out more about SightCare can attend for a fee.

AOP Awards now open for 100% Optical January 2019 event.

June 2018

Nominations are now open for our 2019 Awards, and we are delighted to announce two new categories – Locum of the Year and Audiology Practice of the Year.

Details of the criteria for entry into each Awards category, and how to make a nomination, can be found on the dedicated AOP Awards 2019 Mi-Voice nomination website.

Full list of categories

Public vote categories
Audiology Practice of the Year
Charity of the Year
Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year
Dispensing Optician of the Year
Health and Wellbeing Practice of the Year
Lecturer of the Year
Locum of the Year
Newly-qualified Optometrist of the Year
Optical Team of the Year
Optometrist of the Year
Practice of the Year
Student of the Year
AOP members’ choice categories
Frame of the Year
Product of the Year


Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is selected by an AOP panel, including our Chief Executive and Chair.

Last chance for Myopia Control sign up.

June 2018

Are you ready to learn something new and change the way you practice? Do not miss your final opportunity to connect with global leaders in myopia control, earn CET credits and gain the skills to better manage progressive myopia for your patients.

Self-paced learning through instructional videos and interactive case studies, find out why 98% of participants have now changed the way they practice after completing the course.

Call to Action
Sign Up NOW
Website URL at htpp://

Ophthalmology data analysis championed at congress.

June 2018

Integrating advanced eye scans, from a multi-modal imaging platform to the latest generation of electronic medical records, was demonstrated with the click of a mouse at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Annual Congress in Liverpool.

The combined forces of Medisoft and Heidelberg Engineering – now sister companies – delivers efficiencies in the eye clinic as well as unlocking new and powerful ways of displaying and analysing ophthalmic records, said Heidelberg Engineering UK Director, Krysten Williams.

”Having the most relevant data at your fingertips in seconds has been endorsed by more than 5,000 users of Medisoft’s software worldwide and the launch of mediSIGHT, our new flagship data management platform, is giving eye health professionals the next generation tools that they need,” she said.

Christian Martin, Managing Director at Medisoft, agreed “Talks about big data and new NICE clinical guidelines reinforced the huge need for our services. The fact that 22 posters were based on data from the Medisoft platform was also highly significant. Delegates were genuinely excited about the benefits of us becoming part of the Heidelberg Engineering family.”

A raft of new features for medical retina, vitreoretinal and cataract surgeons were revealed in the newest release of mediSIGHT – a system that has been built from the ground up to be fast and intuitive. As well as showcasing the benefits of using the Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS to its full capacity for image capture, mediSIGHT enhances the user’s experience by seamlessly integrating with other ophthalmic devices via the HEYEX 2 image management system. For the first time a single screen allows the clinical team to see a picture of the patient’s entire ophthalmic history.

“Having data at your fingertips in seconds provides the very best means of planning your clinic and future budgeting needs. Delegates were particularly impressed with the personalised letters that are automatically generated after a visit or procedure. It is difficult to over-estimate the value of effective audits to understand and improve patient outcomes,” added Krysten.

ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham opens to first students.

June 2018

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ National Resource Centre opened its doors this weekend. The centre was visited by the ABDO Board yesterday, and today the first cohort of students sit their practical exams in ophthalmic dispensing at the new location in Birmingham.

Alicia Thompson, BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC(Tech) Director of Professional Examinations says, “The ABDO National Resource Centre is without doubt among the very best of the optical training centres available in the UK today. Sourcing the most advanced technology we have brought together the best in ophthalmic instrumentation coupled with cutting edge conferencing facilities including the use of 'Clevertouch' presenting. ABDO is immensely proud of our latest innovation provided for UK optics.”

She continues, “Whilst created to enhance our students’ experience during their examinations by providing comfortable surroundings, this centre also provides ABDO membership with a world class meeting facility. When the centre is not being used by our members, ABDO is offering the UK optical market at large a great opportunity to benefit and share the amazing facilities we now have available by hiring out our centre from us.”

The ABDO NRC clinical facilities showcase the latest technology and a wide range of equipment for dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions services and glazing. A particular highlight is the 10 clinical bays equipped for refraction and contact lenses including one equipped with CCTV recording facilities. This enables the production of training material as well as the live streaming of any current actions happening in the consulting room to an audience of up to 235 delegates in other areas of the centre, viewing via a number of large TV screens. ABDO

Examinations Support Officer Phil Hall FBDO CL has masterminded the implementation of many aspects of the facility and says, “The amount of sponsorship we have had for the ABDO NRC is tremendous. We are extremely appreciative of the profession-wide support from optical business, with support in terms of frames, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and instrument manufacturing.”

MultiColor shines at ARVO in comparisons to color fundus photography.

June 2018

A number of international studies evaluating the sensitivity of SPECTRALIS MultiColor confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy versus color fundus photography were presented at the Association for Vision and Research in Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2018 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. The studies presented at ARVO reported better sensitivity and visualization of a number of pathologies using the SPECTRALIS MultiColor Module in comparison to color fundus photography.

The SPECTRALIS MultiColor Module differs from color fundus photography in that it uses three laser wavelengths simultaneously and a 3.5µm/pixel resolution to provide diagnostic images that show distinct structures at different depths within the retina and clearer images than conventional color fundus photography.

Amit Meshi, UCSD, San Diego, California, USA, et al.1 compared retinal pathology visualization and detection between the SPECTRALIS MultiColor Module, Optos P200 and Topcon TRC-50DX. The authors concluded that whilst overall detection rate of retinal pathology was similar across all three devices, a larger area of macular involvement and significantly better epiretinal membrane (ERM) visualization was noted in the SPECTRALIS. A comparison of the three technologies is shown in figure 1.

A study by Ryoh Funatsu, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima-shi, Japan, et al.2 was in agreement with the findings by Amit Meshi et al. and concluded that “evaluation of ERM by MultiColor is more sensitive than color fundus photography” and in addition reported that “MultiColor might be a possible marker for metamorphosia in ERM patients”.

For the identification of diabetic maculopathy, Obaid Kousha, Ninewells Hospital, London, et al.3 showed that MultiColor combined with SD-OCT provides “effective monitoring” of diabetic maculopathy and that “5 eyes with exudates and severe macular edema requiring urgent intervention were missed by color fundus photography but not by MultiColor”. The benefit of multimodal imaging was highlighted by their finding that “MultiColor, when complemented by SD-OCT, didn’t miss any clinically significant macular edema”.

Hiroto Terasaki, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima-shi, Japan, et al.4 compared fundus images obtained by MultiColor to those obtained using color fundus photography in detecting nerve fiber layer defects. They found that “detection of abnormal findings in the nerve fiber layer by MultiColor was more sensitive than by color fundus photography”.

Amit MeshiFind out more about the MultiColor Module for SPECTRALIS at

Visit the ARVO website to read the study abstracts in full:

1. Amit Meshi, UCSD, San Diego, California, USA, et al. Comparison of retinal pathology visualization in multi-spectral scanning laser imaging. Abstract Number: 1501 - C0342, ARVO 2018.
2. Ryoh Funatsu, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima-shi, Japan, et al. Comparision of color fundoscopy and SPECTRALIS MultiColor on detection of epiretinal membrane and relationship between ERM findings and metamorphopsia. Posterboard Number: C0111, ARVO 2018.
3. Obaid Kousha, Ninewells Hospital, London, et al. Diabetic maculopathy: Multicolor and SD-OCT versus fundus photography. Posterboard Number: C0111, ARVO 2018.
4. Hiroto Terasaki, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima-shi, Japan, et al. Diabetic maculopathy: Multicolor and SD-OCT versus fundus photography. Presentation Number: 3444, ARVO 2018.


Figure 1. (above right) Images of the same eye taken using A: Topcon TRC-50DX, B: SPECTRALIS MultiColor Module, C: Optos P200. (Amit Meshi, et al. Comparison of retinal pathology visualization in multi-spectral scanning laser imaging. ARVO, 2018).

Seeing Beyond the Eyes CET Roadshow launches – A Man on a Mission with Low Vision

May 2018

A nationwide CET roadshow was launched 14th May to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by patients who are diagnosed with irreversible sight loss.

Visuliise Trainig and ConustingEntrepreneur Dan Williams may be severely sight impaired, but he’s totally focussed on improving the skills of Britain’s optometrists and dispensing opticians to help the 2 Million or so patients that are living with sight loss, a number that is expected to double over the next 30 years.

Dan has teamed up with dispensing opticians Jayshree Vasani and Peter Black to deliver “Seeing beyond the eyes” a 6-point CET event comprised of two discussion workshops, one “an introduction to visual impairment”, the other looking at “saving sight and supporting sight loss”.

Rocket science this is not, however delegates learned a lot. In a sometimes moving discussion it was demonstrated how with very little effort opticians can make a tremendous difference in the lives of patients who have received the devastating news that they have irreversible sight loss and don’t know where to turn too.

The key take home message was that patients need emotional and practical support immediately on becoming visually impaired and cannot wait to be certified by an ophthalmologist. For that reason, depending on availability, delegates were urged to refer patients to their local sight loss charity, Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired (ROVI), or Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) at the same time as being referred to ophthalmology to avoid any delays in support which could for example lead to them losing their job unnecessarily.
Opticians tend in this situation to think about low vision aids or magnifiers, and although they may be important, often the first step is adaptation of the home, mobility, emotional support utilisation of modern technology and simple inexpensive gadgets to help with daily living.

The point was well made that a patient’s local garden centre is likely to have a wider selection of magnifiers than their optician, and that low vision services are the least commissioned of all the enhanced optical services negotiated by Local Optical Committees.

Daniel Williams said “I am pleased to launch our UK wide roadshow to empower Optoms and Opticians to see beyond the eyes, I have heard from many sight loss professionals that they don’t get many referrals from Optoms and DO’s, however if these professionals are not aware of services sight loss organisations provide then it is inevitable that they won’t refer, I am on a mission to raise the profile of low vision amongst the optical community and ensure no patient leaves without a referral for support”

Watch our Seeing Beyond the Eyes Launch video HERE

Sadly, patients who don’t get the support they need are at greatly increased risk of mental illness, depression and even death.

Occasionally opticians save a life through diagnosis of a brain tumour or other condition. Perhaps they could save more lives by ensuring people with sight loss receive the support they deserve and are not driven to suicide, which is tragically a real issue?

Darren Paddick, RNIB, Eye Clinic Liaison Officer ECLO said “As an ECLO I felt it was very important to support this course, as in many cases a routine visit to an optician can lead to the start of a patient's sight loss journey.

"Therefore, it was of paramount importance that optometrists and dispensing opticians were made aware of the ECLO service. I was also curious to see how engaging and detailed the course would be, and I was not disappointed. The reaction from the delegates when they heard what support was out there in the form of an ECLO was worth attending alone!”

One delegate who attended, Peter Sunderland, Optometrist and Owner of FRAMED Opticians said “I found it really good actually. It was much more enjoyable than the usual run of the mill CET lectures.

I think where it won was that inside of all is us, I believe that we had the clinical skills, an knowledge that LV patients need us to have, and actually, speaking for myself, the majority of the Social and care side I knew also, however that has a tendency to be put on a back burner in practice. It’s good to have it brought to the front again. ”

“I have been amazed with all of the positive feedback from Optometrists and Opticians and how they are leaving the course and making positive changes, whether that be making their practice design more inclusive, referring patients with low vision to support services or displaying leaflets of sight loss organisations. It is definitely a step in the right direction.

One Sight Loss Advisor has tried engaging with local Opticians who were 299 yards away from the local sigh loss association but hadn’t been able to engage, however with the course it has now brought the two together and building upon the relationship. This just proves why such a project is so important” Daniel went on say “I feel like I am the Polyfilla bringing the sight loss organisations and optical sector together for the good of patients”

This is a national project and if you would like to book please visit

Prefer to download a podcast? Here it is:

Seeing Beyond The Eyes Podcast

MYOPIA MANAGEMENT COURSE to run again this June.

May 2018

Registrations are open for the latest ‘Managing Myopia’ online course, conducted by Brien Holden Vision Institute Academy, commencing on June 12, 2018.

‘Managing Myopia’ is a revolutionary, patient focused course based on the latest advances in research that will change the way optometrists understand myopia. It will help identify candidates at risk and empower optometrists with the skills to better manage progressive myopia for patients.

The 6-hour online course is self-paced and features the global leaders in myopia management through instructional videos, interactive case studies and a live webinar.

Ninety eight percent of participants who have completed the post-course survey said that they changed the way they manage myopia in practice after completing the course.

The course is accredited for continuing education points in the US and Canada (COPE), Australia (OA), New Zealand (NZOA), the United Kingdom and Ireland (GOC), Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia (OA and NZOA).

It will also be translated into Spanish and available for practitioners (although not accredited) in Spain and Latin America.

"The course developed by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and has received rave reviews from participants thus far. This programme is online delivery only, and GOC approved for 6 credits and can be done at the individuals own pace other than one live webinar in late June." Said Professor James Loughman, Director of the Centre for Eye Research Ireland and Research & Clinical Director at Ocuco. He continued, "This is the first of 3 likely programmes, the follow up ones will address complex myopia first and then, interestingly it will cover Business Development aspects, how to build myopia management into a modern practice, so this could be of particular interest once practitioners have gone through the practical myopia management programme first."

To find out more or register click here

London launch for world class glaucoma atlas.

May 2018

Glaucoma AtlasGlaucoma education is elevated to a new level on 7 June, when the Glaucoma Imaging Atlas is launched in London by Heidelberg Engineering.

Pioneering the field of glaucoma diagnosis and management, Heidelberg Engineering’s launch at the Royal Society of Medicine in Wimpole Street, is supported by world leading authorities who have contributed to the reference.

“This comprehensive diagnostic imaging guide for glaucoma assessment and management features 27 contributors from five countries and 30 detailed patient case studies. It is the cornerstone of Heidelberg Engineering Academy’s educational programme,” said Ali Tafreshi, Heidelberg Engineering’s Director of Clinical Research in Germany.

“Our longstanding commitment to high-quality diagnostic imaging provides a global standard in eye care practices and academic institutions. This atlas is the culmination of extensive interpretation of OCT images and data by some of the most respected clinicians in the field. It will be used as a teaching tool to further educate the medical community on the implementation of our OCT technology, as an aid to diagnosis and management, enabling effective, individualized patient care,” he said.

The presentations of case studies will be made by Mr Tafreshi, Director of Clinical Research at Heidelberg Engineering, Germany, Christopher Mody, UK Director of Clinical Affairs, and Dr Christian Mardin, Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.

Royal Society of Medicine, Thursday 7 June 6pm- 8.45pm

To reserve a place contact:

American Academy of Optometry Launches Academy an Online CE Platform

May 2018

The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new online CE and resource platform, Academy Online.

Users can find a collection of session recordings from past annual meetings as well as distance learning credits. This initiative is aimed at assisting optometrists and vision scientists in obtaining new knowledge and staying on top of current trends while earning CE hours outside of the annual meeting. Content can be viewed at any time using any device that connects to the Internet.

Currently uploaded content includes video footage of the 2016 Plenary Session, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice®: Current State of Health Care and Research,” featuring world renowned author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell, and several sessions from Academy 2017 Chicago.

Users can also browse posters from the 2016 Scientific Program and interact with the presenters via discussion threads.

Academy members have complimentary access to Academy Online and non-members can access the content for a fee. Tests are also available for purchase online for $25 for select courses, allowing individuals to claim COPE-approved distance learning credits.

To access Academy Online visit For help with technical issues or log-in access, please email

ABDO announces new Head of CET.

May 2018

Alexandra Webster has been appointed to take over from Paula Stevens as Head of CET from August 2018.

Alex is a Dispensing and Contact Lens Optician with extensive experience within the industry,

She is a practical examiner for ophthalmic dispensing, a probationary contact lens examiner and a practice visit assessor for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO). She has also been a member of ABDO’s National Clinical Committee and the GOC Education Strategic Review Expert Advisory Group.

Sir Antony Garrett, CEO of ABDO says, “I am delighted to welcome Alex Webster to the ABDO team as our new head of CET. Alex brings a strong mix of skills and experience to the department which will help her to shape and develop our CET offering to all members in the years ahead. Recently Alex has served on the new ABDO Clinical Committee and now joins the executive team at an exciting time in the development of the Association. I and the rest of the ABDO team look forward to working with Alex when she takes up her new role

Alex says, “I am excited to be taking on this new role with ABDO. The organisation has done such a significant amount to develop and produce fantastic CET. I want to build on these existing achievements and ensure that what we offer remains relevant for members in a changing landscape.”

Optometrists urged to play greater part in patient quality of life.

May 2018

Optometry has a major role to play in the quality of longer life expectancy, believes Professor John Nolan from Ireland’s Nutrition Research Centre. Speaking at the annual meeting of UK optometrists, Optrafair in Birmingham, he said: “There are strong indications that the first signs of blindness – particularly caused by macular degeneration – have some correlation with the first signs of dementia. The state of the retina, and the nutrients present – dietary pigments known as carotenoids – give us a tremendous insight into the state of the brain and the nutrients in the brain. Thanks to the wonderful technologies that we now have to assess patients, the retina can be used as a biomarker for brain health and how this relates to nutrition status,” said Professor Nolan, who has been exploring the link between nutrition and eye health for fifteen years at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), based in Waterford.

Leaves seen claerly
“We know that three key nutrients – lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin (carotenoids) – taken together have a direct impact on macular pigment density, and that enrichment of these carotenoids enhances visual function, but that we get very little of these nutrients in a regular diet. We know that individuals with high macular pigment also score highest in cognitive function tests – particularly with attention and memory.

“Even healthy people who eat plenty of leafy greens and coloured vegetables only consume circa 1.5 mg of carotenoids per day, which is not enough. We need at least 10 mg per day to impact change at tissue level, so we are miles away from having enough of these important nutrients naturally. With age, our ability to neutralise unstable free radicals reduces and our ability to protect our cells of vision is sub-optimal.

Image show clear vision of leaves.

“This is not just about stopping vision loss and preventing the onset and progression of macular degeneration, but it is also about optimising the vision that we have. As a profession, optometrists know even patients with good, and best-corrected, visual acuity complain about glare at night and contrast sensitivity due to light scatter. Enriching macular pigment with the three carotenoids reduces light scatter and enhances contrast sensitivity.”

Professor Nolan’s team in Waterford have been monitoring a group of more than 100 healthy volunteers in one study and another cohort with AMD for over a ten year period as part of the European Research Council funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST).

Leaves seen with macualar degenearation
“Undoubtedly sustained supplementation gives us the best outcome. We have achieved a 100% improvement in macular pigment response when the three macular carotenoids are used in the intervention, with positive results evident after 12 months.

“This is surely a better route to care than waiting for the disease to develop to end stages and having to spend something like £36,000 per eye, per patient, to treat advanced wet macular degeneration with anti-VEGF injections,” he added.

Image show affect of macual degeneration.

Professor Nolan uses the Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS – an upgradeable multi-modal imaging platform – to monitor his patients, as Krysten Williams, UK Director of Heidelberg Engineering explained, “High repeatability and reliability are important factors when monitoring patients in studies investigating the influence of diet and supplements on macular pigment density.

John Nolan is using a SPECTRALIS HRA+OCT with MultiColor specially designed for research, not available for sale*, using dual-wavelength auto-fluorescence to measure macular pigment, which has been clinically proven to be a highly accurate measure of macular pigment density levels in comparison to the existing gold standard, but with the added advantages of being an objective test that is faster, non-invasive and easier for the patient.“*

To find out more about retinal health and nutritional supplementation you can visit or attend:
11-13 July, Downing College Cambridge: Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference. Click here for details

*The macular pigment measurement in SPECTRALIS HRA+OCT is a research device only and not for sale.

Heidleberg Engineering are sponsors of your free Opchat News published by PHN. Take a look at their page and links to their site.

College of Optometrists announces programme for sixth Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize conference.

May 2018

The College of Optometrists has announced the programme for its one-day conference, Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize, which will take place on Sunday 7 October at the Hilton London Wembley.

The programme includes some of the most popular lectures, seminars and workshops of the College’s annual conference, Optometry Tomorrow 2018, which took place in Birmingham in March this year. There will be a reprise of the joint presentation between Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr Kam Balaggan, and his patient, Professor Gilmartin, who has severe macular degeneration. The presentation, entitled; ‘The vitreoretinal battle to save my only eye. Unique and personal perspectives from Professor Gilmartin’ is both an informative and moving insight into what it really means to have a potentially blinding condition, and was very highly rated by conference delegates.

John Butler MCOptom, attended the lecture and said; “The lecture was sensational, astonishing and thought-provoking. This was a fitting finale to the meeting, an extraordinary tale of courage on the part of surgeon and patient, and a great credit to both. I remain humbled and inspired by their account.”

Other highlights include a presentation from Professor David Crabb, Professor of Statistics and Vision Research at City University London on using big data and Melanie Hingorani, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, on allergic eye disease. There are also two retinoscopy workshops, a peer review for independent prescribers and five peer discussion sessions. Delegates can earn up to nine interactive CET points. The full programme can be accessed online at:

College President, Professor Edward Mallen MCOptom, said: “Originally for those who couldn’t attend the two day annual conference, Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize is now a key event in the College’s calendar. It has gained a reputation for high quality CET sessions and draws some of the most respected practitioners from the eye health sector as speakers and presenters.”

Tickets for Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize are £80 for College members (£70 for those who qualified from July 2015), and £60 for students or pre-registration trainees. The non-member rate is £150.00. Workshop tickets are available at £30 each to fully-qualified College members.

Tickets can be booked online at:

Insight Optical Training Launches Practical Glazing Workshops.

April 2018

Following the successful launch of their training courses for Level 2 Certificate & Diploma in Optical Support and Level 5 Optical Care (Scotland); Insight Optical Training is now offering a one-day glazing workshop.

Designed for complete beginners, this one-day workshop introduces the basics of glazing spectacles with both theory and practical elements including:

• An overview of the glazing process

• Lab safety and British Standard tolerances

• Equipment overview and usage

• Practical session covering laying off, blocking, glazing and edging

• Covers both manual and automated processes

Attendees will receive a workshop manual and certificate of attendance.

Anthony Blackman (Director of Training) said “we are delighted to be able to offer this one-day course as an introduction to glazing for anyone who hasn’t glazed before. We expect to be repeating the workshop 2 or 3 times a year and are grateful to Tant for their support”.

Date: Saturday 12th May 2018
Location: Tant Laboratories, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 3YT
Cost: £180 (lunch included)

Attendees to the workshop can also sign up to a short distance learning course to gain the WCSM Level 2 Award in the Glazing of Spectacles. This unit can be credited towards the Level 2 Certificate & Diploma in Optical Support.

Level 2 Glazing Theory unit: £100
Workshop & theory unit: £260 (when booked together)

For further details or to book one of the limited places email

Optrafair, The Blue Light Debate and the results of your own Big Blue Light Survey

April 2018

Blue Light Risk or Not
Professor John Marshall introduced the debate, to a large audience at the CET Theatre who were keen to know the current thoughts on Blue Light and from an invited a panel of experts including James Wolffsohn, Mike Kilpartrick to provide their opinions.

The main point made on the day was that the lack of evidence-based information on blue light damage to eyes was due to the difficulty in collecting such evidence over a long period of time and the difficulty creating control groups.

It was however evident that light damages all cells over time in humans and in nature and household products with light exposure.

Popular press has created false diversions that have clouded the issues. Forget the worry about light emissions from hand held technology this is minimal in output but do consider the overall light conditions that modern day man is subjected to compared to only 10 years ago.

Professor Marshall explained that interestingly in infancy we have some amount of blue light defence inbuilt in the eye and we certainly have no requirement for blue light given we have no blue light receptors at the fovea.

There are many studies that show levels of damage that light within the blue light wavelengths can do at the cellular level so if we do not need blue light up to 460nm for good vision why take the risk, why not just remove it?

It was pointed out there was no evidence-based information that would require IOLs to have blue light protection but almost all ophthalmologists fit them as a matter of rule.

A lifetime of light exposure now with the added risk of LED lights and our extended waking day will require regular and natural repair of photoreceptors.

Just as our body repairs our skin cells approximately every 7 days so does the retina attempt to repair photo receptors. The subtle difference being that our skin cells after repair can remove the debris and waste products, that is not possible for the retina.

The waste products from retinal cell damage are trapped and it is these that may well trigger early signs of damage and eventually AMD.

The audience was asked if they had a choice in IOL replacement following a cataract operation would they opt for a standard or blue light IOL?  Almost all opted for the protected IOL. (Without Evidence Based Research to sway them!)

Overall, whether following the College and ABDO Line was seen as a pressure, or a lack of evidence or knowledge by those attending the debate, they when asked for a view were almost divided on the issue down the middle.

Our Big Blue Survey reflects this confusion that reigns within the professions

Big Blue Light Survey Q5

The results have been collated following the end of the survey on April 9th just before Optrafair.

2/3rds of the responses came from Optometrists and the main balance from Dispensing Opticians. 7% from industry and less than 2% from academia.

Only 37% of respondents admitted that patients brought up the notion of blue light.

A slight majority believes as a profession we do not do enough to protect our patients from blue light but a significant number 26% did not know the answer. Demonstrating a lack of knowledge about the subject.

This was confirmed by over 60% of respondents believing the public need more information on blue light risks.

Almost half the replies did not know if AMD has any link with Blue Light, but of those who have an opinion, 1/3rd believe a link exists.

A majority of all replying believe that discussing blue light is part of an Opticians’ Duty of Care.

Large Hunger for more education on the subject

One conundrum produced by the survey shows that whilst the majority are unhappy with the level of education on blue light science, it also shows that a similar majority feels competent to explain the problem to patients.

Over ¾ of respondents would welcome more educational content on blue light from industry.

You can see the full survey here

There is an overwhelming view that Blue Light is likely to prove harm, but full evidence-based information is not yet available and is in truth unlikely to become available before many will have suffered from over exposure to blue light if proven.

The current guidance from the College and ABDO is regarded as unhelpful. There needs to be a middle ground where a cautious approach in safeguarding patients from over exposure to Blue Light is regarded as the sane option.At the very least all patients should be givn the option to protect themselves.

This more interactive position of informed protection backed by better education about light exposure between 420-460 nm thus allowing 470nm levels to maintain the melatonin balance would allow professionals to provide an educated opinion without false barriers imposed by professional bodies with no more knowledge than others.

Our Briefing Document continues to grow with other International Reports on damage to the eye and links to AMD. Click here to read about the continuing debate. Know of other facts then join the dabate and email

A respondent has been chosen randomly to receive £100 in JLP vouchers that will be dispatched shortly.

Optrafair celebrated 40 years in style, one week on we reflect on its successes.

April 2018

Over 7,000 optical professionals attended Optrafair’s spectacular 40th anniversary event this year, held at the NEC in Birmingham from 14th – 16th April.

Visitors flocked in as the doors opened to the public, eager to explore a show floor filled with over 150 exhibitors showcasing the latest in optical technology, frames, lenses and business solutions.

Education has always been a key focus at Optrafair, and this year the event boasted three theatres of packed-out educational CET sessions and gave attendees the chance to earn even more CET points on stands with exhibitors whilst getting hands-on with the latest technology.

Optrafair certainly celebrated its 40th anniversary in style, hosting a myriad of new features that made it bigger, better and brighter than ever.

FMO chief executive, Bryony Pawinska said: ‘The FMO and MA Exhibitions have invested heavily in developing a modern trade show that meets the needs of all exhibitors so that visitors can come to one place to see everything that is new in optical and ophthalmological technology as well as the latest lenses and frames.’

Optrafair CatwalkNew to 2018, the Spectrum Catwalk delighted crowds of visitors as models showcased the latest on-trend fashion frames in a lively, professionally choreographed show. Nicky Clement, marketing manager for Eyespace said: ‘The catwalk has been a fantastic addition to this year’s show; dynamic, fun and an amazing visual platform for us to showcase our latest designs. The frames and our Video Lookbooks looked absolutely incredible projected onto the super-size screen!’

In response to feedback from the 2017 show, this year Optrafair presented the BCLA Contact Lens Hub to accommodate the ever-growing interest in contact lens content and products. The British Contact Lens Association were on hand all day to field questions about contact lenses and dry-eye management, as well as hosting a series of CET-filled peer-review sessions.

Business  Theatre at Optrafair
More support was provided for independent opticians in 2018, with the exclusive Independents’ Lounge sponsored by National Eyecare Group, providing a place to network and exchange knowledge with peers and meet with a select number of industry experts. Independent Opticians were also greeted with exclusive deals from many exhibitors.

Networking opportunities expanded out onto the show floor as the open-access FMO Bar hosted live music and a Happy Hour on each of the show days.

Visitors and exhibitors alike enjoyed catching up in a more informal and relaxed setting.

CET Theatre at Optrafair
Ed Tranter, managing director of MA Exhibitions said: ‘We’ve been delighted with the response to the event. It’s been another big step forward following on from the success of last year.

Developments for 2019 are already well underway, as we look to build on this momentum. Optrafair is already the biggest education exhibition in the UK, so I was particularly pleased with the advances on the fashion side of the show’.
Tranter continued: ‘the catwalk routines were so good, that we couldn’t resist getting the MAX team up there after the show shut…the best thing I can say about that is, A for effort!’

By the end of the third day, over 70% of the show floor for the 2019 event was already sold. Make sure to not to miss next year’s show; Optrafair returns to the NEC from the 30 March – 1

Optrafair, Bright and Buzzy for 2018

April 2018

Optrafair 2018 opened its doors at the NEC in Birmingham at 9 am on Saturday 14 April to a record number of visitors. The weather augured well, with a beautiful warm Spring day greeting the thousands of optical professionals who came to see the very latest in optical technology, frames and lenses.

FMO CakeFMO and its exhibition partner, Mark Allen Exhibitions, reacted to exhibitor and visitor feedback after last year's show, and introduced a number of improvements, notably an earlier start, breaks in the education programme, and more entertainment.

Happy hour on each day of the show featured a live band, and new features added to the bright and buzzy atmosphere including a fashion catwalk with the latest frames from Bondeye, Eyespace, International Eyewear and Wolf Eyewear.

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of Optrafair, launched in 1978, and the NEC presented a cake to mark the occasion to FMO members who had supported the show for many years.

Said FMO Chief Executive Bryony Pawinska, ‘FMO and our exhibition partners Mark Allen Exhibitions have invested heavily in developing a modern trade show that meets the needs of all exhibitors so that visitors can come to one place to see everything that is new in optical and ophthalmological technology as well as the latest lenses and frames. Visitor numbers hit more than 7000 and over 70% of exhibitors have rebooked for Optrafair 2019. If you provide a show where visitors are engaged with the products, not just the CET, and where exhibitors are selling to buyers, then you have it all.’

FMO Chair Andy Yorke summed up the show: ‘I was absolutely delighted with the vibrancy and atmosphere at Optrafair 2018. Over the 3 days we spoke with many customers new and old, and we were extremely satisfied with the outcome of the show. I’m looking forward to the next 12 months and the challenges that this will bring as I truly believe there is a high degree of positivity throughout the whole optical industry.’

CET points galore for optical practitioners on Specsavers Optrafair stand

April 2018

Delegates on specsavers standAround two thousand CET points were earned by hundreds of optometrists, contact lens opticians and dispensing opticians from across the sector on the Specsavers stand at Optrafair at the weekend.

Victoria Taylor, Head of Professional Recruitment and Retention, said, ‘It was fantastic to meet so many people who were interested in taking part in the CET, and keen to find out more about life at Specsavers.’

Apart from the quizzes at the start of the day, all sessions offered three interactive points with the most popular being the peer discussion, ‘Kids give me a headache!’ which was open to optometrists and DOs, and the peer discussions on ‘Oculoplastics: what advice should we give?’ and ‘How urgent is this case?’.
The sessions were led and facilitated by Specsavers professional advancement team members, most of whom are heads of enhanced optical services and joint venture partners.

Katie Trapp from the team said, ‘We had already increased capacity to 60 places per session from 50 last year but we still had to bring in extra seats for some sessions so we could accommodate more people.’

Many were surprised that CET of such calibre was available at no charge to all practitioners, regardless of where they work.

‘I think people really appreciate our inclusive approach, and the expert advice and support they got from our speakers and facilitators,’ she added.

Specsavers say at Optrafair Lecture, “Dream partnership is the aim to make eyecare better”

April 2018

Lecture in Business ThatreA ‘dream partnership’ of ophthalmologists and optometrists working together in the community can help resolve the capacity crisis in the NHS and improve eyecare, and at the same time secure the future of the optometry profession.

This was the message at Optrafair from Specsavers and from Newmedica, a leading provider of ophthalmology services to the NHS.

‘The issue of capacity in eye health services and the direct consequence for patients’ vision has been talked about for over 15 years,’ said Nigel Kirkpatrick, consultant ophthalmologist and Newmedica clinical director, at the business theatre session: ‘The dream partnership: closing the gap between ophthalmology and optometry.’.

‘The rise in demand has been exponential, and now is breaking many NHS hospital eye services. Unless we come together and do something radical and different, the situation will perpetuate and avoidable sight loss will continue to happen."

‘We have to deploy new ways of delivering these services - using smart process design, using multi-disciplinary teams, applying technology and moving these services out of hospitals.

Giles Edwards
‘When it comes down to it, there are huge opportunities for collaboration between ophthalmology and optometry. I know, and any other ophthalmologist could tell you, that the overwhelming majority of eye disease can be managed and monitored with the right governance in community optometry.’

Giles Edmonds, clinical services director for Specsavers,(left) called for a joined-up strategy across the profession to help achieve this dream partnership.

Alice Austin and Gavin Purse
‘We need to make sure that we are closing the gap between ophthalmology and optometry, on getting closer to the medical profession. We need to focus on becoming the GP of the eyes, a real common goal for us all. We fundamentally believe that with this dream partnership we can protect the future of optometry.’

The partnership can be achieved, according to Darshak Shah, Newmedica MD, (right) reflecting on the 18 months since Specsavers invested in Newmedica.

He explained, ‘We have been working on developing new models of care that have a true unification of consultant ophthalmologist and primary eyecare expertise, and enable the delivery of integrated eyecare services from new and established community locations.

‘It can be done! It takes lots of work, and changing of mindsets across the eye health sector but the end result will be undoubtedly better for patients and the professions involved… but only if we all influence and push towards the same goal.’

American Academy 2018 San Antonio Education Program Announced

April 2018

The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce highlights of the education program taking place at Academy 2018 San Antonio, November 7-10, 2018.

The annual meeting offers a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences. Attendees can choose from over 250 hours of lectures and workshops, Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) symposia, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, an expansive exhibit hall, and several memorable social events.

This year’s Plenary Session from 10 AM – 12 Noon on Wednesday, November 7 is titled, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice®: The Future of Health Care Delivery,” and will discuss the trends and concepts that will shape your future practice. What is the future of health care delivery? How will governments deliver health care to their citizens? Let's ask Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania. How will you deliver health care to your patients one on one? Let's ask Dr. Gordon Guyatt, Distinguished Professor at McMaster University and the man who coined the term "evidence based medicine." How will telemedicine be use by you and others to enhance patient care? Let's ask Dr. Anthony Cavallerano, Executive Director, Clinical Training and Patient Care and Adjunct Professor at New England College of Optometry.

The Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium is titled, “Vision Restoration for Retinal Degenerative Disease.” The goal of restoring vision in patients with retinal degenerative disease is within reach. The 2018 Hirsch Symposium will bring together three leading researchers to highlight different approaches to save or restore sight in patients with degenerative disease: gene replacement therapy, stem cell repair, and optogenetics to restore vision in severely damaged retinas. Speakers will include Drs. Sheila Nirenburg, Tom Reh, and Byron Lam.

Another not-to-be-missed event is the fourth joint symposium of the Academy and the American Academy of Ophthalmology titled, “Advances in Ocular Imaging.” Ocular imaging has become a major part of eye care. Practitioners must learn the interpretation of ever-changing images and decide how much weight to put into these findings as they diagnose and treat disease. This symposium will update you on the anterior segment, retinal and glaucoma applications of ocular imaging and their clinical implications. Speakers will include Drs. Austin Roorda, Joel Schuman, Don Miller, David Huang, Adrian Glasser, Hiroshi Ishikawa, Susana Chung, and Phillip Rosenfield. This symposium is a continuation of the effort by the two Academy organizations to work together to better prepare and support their members in delivering the highest quality eye care.

Ezell Fellows Present is a symposium where three investigators at different stages of their careers supported early on through the Foundation’s Ezell Fellowships present their research. The symposium this year is titled, “Contact Lens Discomfort: More Than (Where the Lens) Meets the Eye.” Contact lens discomfort (CLD) is a common cause for cessation of lens wear, and accordingly not only a struggle for patients, but also care providers, researchers, and lens manufacturers. This session will discuss factors related to the contact lens material and overall design, the ocular surface, and attributes and characteristics other than the contact lens and ocular surface which impact patient-reported CLD. Updates on new research, as well as treatments, and possible future directions will be provided. Speakers are Drs. Maria Markoulli, Lakshman Subbaraman, and Pete Kollbaum.

Academy 2018 San Antonio will take place at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. Registration and housing open on May 21, 2018. For more information, click here

Regional Sales Manager wins exhibitors draw at Ocuco.

April 2018

Alice Austin and Gavin PurseIt has become somewhat of a tradition now that Ocuco run a draw for the hard-working exhibitors and stand staff at Optrafair and 2018 is no exception.

The lucky winner yesterday was Gavin Purse, the regional sales manager at Dunelm.

Gavin was awarded a Bluetooth speaker by Alice Austin the sales and marketing director of Ocuco.

Ocuco also celebrated their latest acquisition, that being of Opticommerce the complete solution for online sales within Optics.

pictured right are Alice Austin and Gavin Purse

Ocuco are sponsors of your free Opchat News, take a look at their pages here


Essilor unveils new products and equipment at Innovations Conference on the day before Optrafair
April 2018

Essilor Teamcutting the cake 25 yearsAs a guest of Essilor for the daytime event held within the Vox Centre close to the NEC we joined around 200 invited practice owners who where witnessing a slick presentation throughout the afternoon when later they would go on to celebrate the day at a black-tie dinner.

The scene was set by Randeep Gill the group’s Commercial Director who introduced the event and his team of 7 presenters. Nigel Corbett who explained Essilor’s commitment to poor vision health found throughout the world today.

They (Essilor) are fully behind the UN’s Development goals of eradicating uncorrected loss of VA on the planet by 2050.

In a number of actions Essilor is committed to these actions indicated by their link with VAO in Ethiopia where so far 350,000 children have been screened.

Essilor TeamEssilor are also aligning with the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee £Billion Fund for better vision and Eye Heroes for their work with kids in school.

There then followed an introduction to the new Transitions lens, its branding and its future marketing which started this month.

With a new brand logo, cinema ads and video ads. The campaign will raise the issues of how the world has been swathed in so much light compared to only a decade ago and how light whilst key to good vision can also be a big distraction causing tiredness and discomfort.

Transitions latest lens is the best yet, the market leader and now comes in 7 colours.

Paul Cumber from the Equipment division then introduced the worlds most accurate and developed phoropter Vision R 800 with a single lens element accurate to 0.1DS/DC and axis. Its design provides a lighter experience with a wider field of view for the patient. The machine on show yesterday is the only example at resent before the role out so attendees were the lucky ones to get a hands-on feel.

Paul also introduced the new connection with Orcam, the wireless aid to vision for those with poor or no sight. Essilor will partner in sales with Orcam to increase the understanding of this invaluable aid.

Continuing with the strong theme of Essilor’s assistance to provide knowledge and products to improve the lives of patients and customers and to assist practitioners to provide a service that can be bespoke to individual customers. This is how Lyndsey Dickens who heads up Essilor’s bespoke team presented how her team could assist in better engagement and management to practices. There are now around 140 practices who have adopted the Bespoke arrangement.

Aude demonstrating Crizal Sapphire UV

The big part of the day was undoubtedly the introduction of Essilor’s new flag ship lens, the Crizal Sapphire UV lens. For the first time after extensive R & D and testing an AR lens will have a 360-degree reduction with the normally subtended 15-degree angle of ray defense increased to 45 degrees both on the front and the back surface.

Aesthetically pleasing with a slight blue reflection compared to the green reflex seen in most older design AR coats including the Crizal Forte which it was announced will be phased out over 6 months.

Also introduced was a new pricing structure simplifying the lens prices to just 2 levels through just 3 lens types once in force.
The presentations were followed by a hand on experience in the Innovation Showcase room where delegates were treated to what we can all enjoy at Optrafair this weekend.

Opchat News is working on a more detailed report on the Crizal Sapphire UV lens to be published shortly.
Essilor are holding roadshows from April 24th throughout the UK and they will be supplying dates and locations for our Events Diary shortly.

ABDO announces new National Resource Centre in Birmingham

April 2018

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians is opening a National Resource Centre to act as an education and examinations hub for both students and existing association members.

Explaining the impetus behind the facility, Alicia Thompson, BSc(Hons) FBDO R (Hons) SLD SMC(Tech) Director of Professional Examinations says, “The ABDO National

Resource Centre will be the pinnacle of training and assessment. The Education Strategic Review and the changing landscape of our profession will naturally expand our scope of practice and we need the facilities to ensure our members are both competent and confident to embrace change and explore the exciting potential this brings.”

The ABDO NRC will both support the profession and generate income. The clinical facilities showcase the latest technology and a wide range of equipment for dispensing, refraction, contact lenses, screening, minor eye conditions services and glazing. Alicia Thompson adds, “The generosity so far in donations and sponsorship is overwhelming and we are extremely grateful for profession-wide support from optical business, retail, frames, lenses, contact lenses, equipment and instrument manufacturing.”

The ABDO NRC is sited at Aston Cross Business Village, within easy reach of major road, rail and air transport networks. It will be the new location for all dispensing and contact lens practical examinations. The centre includes rooms divided by partition walls, ideal for dispensing practical exam sections, with the potential to be opened up for conferences, seminars, training, revision and CET courses. There are also rooms for viva exams and smaller meetings, a fully functional glazing lab and 10 clinical bays equipped for refraction and contact lenses.

Sir Antony Garrett, ABDO CEO and general secretary, says: “The new ABDO National Resource Centre is a major step forward in the service that this Association provides for its members. This is the largest development project since the establishment of ABDO College in 2001, and further demonstrates the determination of the ABDO board to ensure that ABDO continues to keep the needs of members at the core of its development strategy.”

The ABDO National Resource Centre will open in time for the summer exam session.

Grafton Optical announce the Grafton Dry Eye Centre which will debut at Optrafair 2018 on stand C54

April 2018

Grafton Dry Eye Centre

Grafton Optical are pleased to announce the launch of the Grafton Dry Eye Centre which will debut at Optrafair 2018 on stand C54.

The Centre will showcase Grafton’s growing portfolio of Dry Eye Disease diagnosis and treament products and devices. It will provide a one-stop-shop for optometrsists and ophthalmologists wishing to offer their clients a specialist Dry Eye service.

Dry Eye disease is increasingly gaining momentum, both in its reported prevalence and its coverage in the industry media.

More and more practices are now diversifying to incorporate services to diagnose, treat and manage the disease as they learn the significant benefits not only to their patients but also to their income.

The Grafton range of products provide a lucrative revenue stream for practices, providing diagnosis and treatment to sufferers of this growing condition which accounts for at least 30% of a practices patient demographic.

Visitors to the Dry Eye Centre will gain first hand experience of Grafton’s exciting range of products. This will including new diagnostic product releases the SBM Sistemi Ocular Surface Analyser and the i-Pen Tear Film Osmolarity System by i-Med Pharma, as well as the E-Eye IRPL® therapy device.

To find out more, book an appointment with one of the Grafton product experts in the Dry Eye Centre at Optrafair here or drop by to check out whats on offer on stand C54.
Grafton Optical are long term sponsors of PHN's Opchat News. Thank you for your support. See the Grafton Pages

Essilor Innovation roadshow takes to the road.

April 2018

Essilor, is embarking on an innovation roadshow this month, visiting 24 towns and cities around the UK, to help independent practices future-proof themselves.

Randeep GillIt starts in Birmingham on Friday 13th April, ahead of Optrafair, and runs at various venues throughout April and May.

It is designed for independent practices who want to differentiate themselves and offer patient innovation.

Delegates will get an insight into the latest products and services created to meet these evolving needs on the back of extensive research and development.

Essilor’s commercial director, Randeep Gill, believes the roadshow will bring together like minded people from the optical industry and challenge perceptions, pushing ideas into the mainstream for adoption into practice to create the practice of the future.

“We want to share the power of optical innovation across the UK,” said Randeep Gill.

“The roadshow is an ideal way of doing this. It helps us drive our mission of improving lives by improving sight by supporting wellbeing and quality of life.”

The roadshow includes visits to Chester Racecourse on 25th April, Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh on 3rd May, The National Space Centre in Leicester on 16th May and Moller Centre in Cambridge on 2nd May.

For a full schedule of events and to book a place click here

Just 10 days to go to Optrafair 2018 at the NEC and here's a roundup of the exciting events taking place.

April 2018

Optrafair this year celebrates four decades at the cutting edge of optics as it continues to go from strength to strength. Optrafair promises to be a celebration of optics.

Not registered yet? Click here.

In addition to an unrivalled selection of exhibitors, showcasing the latest equipment, frames and solutions and CET accredited education and business training, Optrafair will provide a feast of dedicated features covering all aspects of practice life.

Back by popular demand are the CET Theatre, ABDO Theatre, and after their successful inauguration at last year’s show, the Business Theatre and FMO Networking Bar.

Meanwhile, there are three brand new features for 2018, the BCLA Contact Lens Hub, a fully choreographed Spectrum Catwalk, the Independents’ Lounge and dedicated Audiology opportunities.

Specsavers is once again offering access to its world-class CET programme, with all-new 2018 content across 16 CET points at optrafair, including interactive points.

Topics include:

• Glaucoma decision-making

• Assessing the urgency of referrals


• Oculoplastics

• Paediatrics

• Managing cases of visual loss and contact lens complications

Heidelberg Engineering has an action-packed programme of education at Optrafair! Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians can earn up to 8 interactive CET points across the three days. Click here for more info

Tears to tell

Uncover disease prevalence and consider case overviews to gain a greater understanding of how a best practice Ocular Surface Disease (OSD) diagnosis protocol can benefit you clinically. Speakers: Ros Mussa and Nick Howard

Myopia versus Obesity: A tale of pandemic proportions

James Loughman presenting for OcucoOcuco Clinical and Research Director, Prof. James Loughman, PhD FAOI is returning to the CET Theatre to present his lecture - Myopia versus Obesity: A tale of pandemic proportions.

Examining the rampant increase of myopia worldwide and how it relates to other widespread health concerns, particularly the far more prominent and universally recognised obesity crisis.

Ocuco is delighted to participate in the CET Presentations once again, with Prof. Loughman’s lecture taking prominence as the first in this year’s CET Theatre line-up on Saturday the 14th of April 2018 09:30-10:30 at the NEC in Birmingham. Click to full story and appointment bookings here

Saturday from the CET availability is becoming a key day with the debate on Blue Light.

Blue Light ImageAt 12.30 on the Saturday Professors John Marshall and James Wolffsohn will address the current thinking and his views on "Blue Light".

PHN started the debate some 2 weeks ago with a page comparing and contrasting current views both here and abroad. Click here

Optical professionals have been sent a link to a survey on the Big Blue Light Debate, both by PHN and FODO in an effort to provide a measure of the feelings of the profession on Blue Light ahead of the keynote speech by Marshall and Wolffsohn. (Not completed the survey yet? Click here. It takes a few minutes and provides a possibilty of winning JLP vouchers)

Register for Prof. Marshall's and Prof. James Wolffsohn's Lecture here.

Optrafair 2018 will be brimming with new features and exclusive content you will not find at any other UK show. Click here to register now.


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