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Opchat Magazine Exhibition and Training pagesExhibition and Education News, January to March 2020


Insight Optical Training is relaunching their website as enrolment for the new level 2 qualifications starts by end of this week ( 3rd April)
Eyecare and sight loss sectors- It’s time to work better together to support the 250 people in the UK that start to loose their sight every day!!
Bangkok 2020 Summit Postponed
Optrafair 20/20 follows suit and postpones till September 2020
BREAKING NEWS VEE Cancelled due to Covid-19
Promotions at the NRC by ABDO
New AOP conference supporting the whole practice team
Optrafair 20/20 Preview Pages continue to expand
College’s Optometry Tomorrow conference hosted in Telford International Centre for the first time
"I got more help at the cinema than the optician! "More information shows lack of understanding in primary practice.
New Dates for MIDO 2020 confirmed
The Khmer Sight Foundation has been named as Optrafair 20/20’s Official Charity Partner
FMO welcomes two more new members to Optrafair 20/20
FMO provides the perfect platform for optical companies to expand operations and achieve growth in 2020.
SILMO’s New Baby
Applications now open for NES Optical Assistant Courses
Roles across optics celebrated at the AOP Awards 2020
ABDO Principal announces retirement
Essilor Brings New Dry Eye Solution to ECPS
100% Optical release figures on attendance at last weeks show at Excel
The IRIS, the new centralised area within Optrafair 20/20 promises to be the font of all learning at Optrafair 20/20.
Presidents’ address and Optical Question Time at Optrafair 20/20
ABDO launch new training courses at 100% Optical tomorrow, Saturday 25th January
FUTURISSILMO! Dates to save in 2020
Make a visit to Grafton at 100% in order to benefit your patients.
Applications for the John Horder Prizes are now invited by the RSM General Practice with Primary Healthcare Section and CAIPE.
This year's Optrafair 20/20 guarantees Inspiring Seminars
GOC withdrawers approval for Portsmouth Masters Degree
The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for 2020.
ISCC 2020 welcomes overseas interested scleral fitters
100% Optical 2020, secure your points over the weekend
Publication validates Macular Pigment Assessment
Optrafair Lecture renamed Kanski Lecture in honour of Jack Kanski for Optrafair 20/20
Archived News from October to December 2019 on Exhibition and Education

Insight Optical Training is relaunching their website as enrolment for the new level 2 qualifications starts by end of this week ( 3rd April)

March 2020


Insight Optical Training is delighted to announce that people can now enrol of its Level 2 optical assistant qualification, endorsed by the awarding body NCFE.

Course Units Duration* Course Fee
Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Optical Practice Any 4 units 6 months £400
Level 2 Diploma in Supporting Optical Practice 8 units 13 months £800

*Duration is only a guideline and learners are free to study at a pace that suits them and their work or home commitments
The qualifications are available via online distance learning courses, giving learners the flexibility to study when they want to. Also, they are open courses, so that they can be started at any time of the year. The assessment will be continuous during the programme, so learners will not have to sit all their assessments at the end of their course.

There are 8 units to choose from: -
• Who’s Who in Optics Communication in Optical Practice
• Eye Anatomy and Why We Need Spectacles The Customer Journey in Optics
• Understanding Frames Understanding Lenses
• An Introduction to Contact Lenses The Optical Screening Process

“It is great that we are now able to start enrolling people onto our first qualification which has been endorsed by the awarding body NCFE. The level 2 is a great start in optics for those new to the industry or who have no formal qualifications. We anticipate a wide range of learners, including receptionists, optical assistants, customer service staff, sales reps and those working in manufacturing“
Anthony Blackman – Co-Founder and Director of Training at Insight Optical Training

Go to the Insight Academy Websitet Now

Eyecare and sight loss sectors- It’s time to work better together to support the 250 people in the UK that start to loose their sight every day!!

March 2020

Daniel Williams, man on a mission with low vision takes a look at how eyecare and sight loss sectors can work better together for the benefit of low vision patients like himself.

There is little doubt that optometry and ophthalmology in the UK provides excellent medical intervention to prevent and treat eye diseases, but for those who have permanent sight loss there is a lack of understanding and support and this can often come directly after suspected diagnosis.

Yet eyecare professionals can work alongside local charities and services, supporting low vision patients to form a continuous chain. Patients, clinics, eye care services, charities and eyecare professionals can all gain immense value.

After you have given a patient a diagnosis of visual impairment, instead of people experiencing the stressful scrabble around to find what they need, it would be so much better if they could be given support to help them to cope. In other words, never assume that once a referral has been made to the hospital eye service that this is the end of your involvement as a practitioner. There is so much more you can do.

By raising more awareness within the optical sector of the various pathways that exist for people with sight loss, thousands of patients could be helped when they do not know to whom, or where, they can turn - this is why the Seeing Beyond the Eyes project has been vital to bridge the gap.

Link to the full story and further advice and other clinical briefings here

Bangkok 2020 Summit Postponed

March 2020

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the postponement of the IOA Summit.
We ask for your patience whilst we work through the implications of the global COVID -19 pandemic and advice from authorities and government.

The IOA Summit (June 7 – 13 2020) will now NOT be held as planned

The IOA is currently in discussions with hotels, venues and industry partners and working hard to secure a future date for the summit.

Summit registrations may be carried forward to the new date or refunded in a phased fashion by the organisers.

Optrafair 20/20 Postponed until 19 - 21 September 2020 at NEC Birmingham

March 2020

Optrafair 20/20 Cancelled

Having monitored the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully and listened to event stakeholders’ views and concerns over the last couple of weeks, the FMO Board and MA Exhibitions have unanimously decided to postpone Optrafair 20/20. The decision has been made in consultation with the NEC and with advice from the UK government and public health authorities.

The health, safety, and well-being of Optrafair 20/20 exhibitors, visitors and staff has always been our number one priority. We hope that by making this decision now we can eliminate the uncertainty and reduce the inconvenience felt by registered exhibitors and visitors.

We’re pleased to confirm that Optrafair 20/20 will now take place from 19 to 21 September at the NEC.

All bookings will be transferred as a matter of course. We will be working hard on all aspects of the show to ensure it delivers. We now have the opportunity to realise our promise of the best ever Optrafair in September without the uncertainty which inevitably faces us all at the moment.

BREAKING NEWS VEE Cancelled due to Covid-19

March 2020
VEE Cancelled

We at Vision Expo want to express our concern for everyone impacted by coronavirus. Based on our active and close monitoring of ongoing developments related to the COVID-19 virus; recent reports from public health officials and in line with national and regional authorities and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, together with extensive consultation with our partners at The Vision Council and in the global vision care and services community, Vision Expo East, due to be held March 26-29, will now be consolidated with Vision Expo West in Las Vegas, September 23-26.

Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for everyone involved, while continuing to provide the best customer value to our wonderful community. Leading up to the Vision Expo West event, we will continue to serve the industry, creating ways to connect, collaborate and keep our world moving during this difficult period:

1. During March, Vision Expo will work to develop virtual meetings between contracted exhibitors and pre-registered attendees.
2. Vision Expo will work to create customized services for participants in order to maximize successful outcomes at Vision Expo West.

Speaking about the announcement, Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council, said, “This was a difficult decision for our organization, but ultimately The Vision Council’s Board of Directors believes the safety and well-being of our members, exhibitors, attendees and staff must come first. Furthermore, we want to be respectful to the exhibitors and attendees who would not be able to attend Vision Expo East due to travel restrictions.”

Yancy Weinrich, COO of Reed Exhibitions, said, “Vision Expo East is a pivotal event that brings together our diverse industry to celebrate advances in eyewear, eyecare, technology and fashion. Over the past year, our Vision Expo staff and the entire show community worked tirelessly to plan a completely reimagined show that we were looking forward to unveiling in March.

This will now take place September 23-26th in Las Vegas and we’re excited for the show at that date.”

The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions would like to express our sincere gratitude to exhibitors, members, attendees, suppliers and staff for their support during this challenging time. We look forward to bringing the vision community together at Vision Expo West.

Vision Expo West is scheduled for September 23 through 26 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

Promotions at the NRC by ABDO

March 2020

Gemma Evans NRC ABDO

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians’ (ABDO) has announced promotions for two key members of the team at the National Resource Centre (NRC) in Birmingham. Matthew Stringer (right) will now be the NRC Operations Manager and Gemma Evans (left) will now be the NRC Events Manager.

Gemma previously held the Events Coordinator role at the NRC and Matthew Stringer held the NRC Technician position.

Alicia Thompson, Director of Professional Exams said, “The change in Mat and Gemma’s job role and title reflects their hard work and total dedication in building the business side of the NRC beyond all expectation. Their delivery of excellent customer service, along with the entire NRC team, means we are seeing very high levels of customer satisfaction, repeat business and recommendations.”

Matthew Stringer

ABDO’s NRC is the go-to venue for examinations for a number of organisations and hosts conferences, seminars, training, revision and CET courses for the optical industry.

The venue also offers rooms for viva exams and smaller meetings, a fully functional glazing lab and 10 clinical bays equipped for refraction and contact lenses.

The centre is available to businesses as well as those in the optical industry to hire for large and small meetings and events.

The NRC is at: ABDO National Resource Centre, 4th Floor, Aqueous II, Aston Cross Business Village, Chester Street, Birmingham, B6 5RQ

New AOP conference supporting the whole practice team

March 2020

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is launching its new Practice team conference – designed to provide tailored content for the needs of the whole practice team.

Bringing together key members of the practice team, the event, sponsored by AOP affinity partner, Lloyd & Whyte and Optos, will have dedicated business-themed content for practice owners and managers alongside clinical education for optical assistants.

Speaking about the conference, AOP Head of Education, Dr Ian Beasley, said: “We’re aiming to upskill members of the practice team for their specific role as well as give business-owners and managers an opportunity to learn how to best to grow and develop their practice.”

Highlights include a session from Dr Lizzie Bartlam, teaching fellow and dispensing instructor at Aston University, on progressive lens dispensing and problem solving and a visual fields masterclass with Dr Lindsay Rountree, lecturer in optometry at the University of Bradford. Optometry Today ’s Clinical Editor for Multimedia, Ceri Smith-Jaynes, will also host a peer discussion where optical assistants will consider common dilemmas that can arise in practice.

Taking place on 8 June, at The Studio, Birmingham, this one-day event will provide a programme of continued professional development that expands on the AOP’s current offering for the practice team, within Optometry Today and the AOP events calendar.

Additional sessions include workshops from Optos, on integrating new services, and Lloyd & Whyte, on risk management. AOP Councillor, Kevin Wallace, will also provide a talk around making accurate GOS claims.


March 2020

Insight Optical Training announces that following our centre approval for the awarding body NCFE, we have now also received the endorsement for a suite of new qualifications for optical assistants.

The NCFE are an awarding organisation recognised by the qualification regulators for England (Ofqual, Wales (Qualification Wales) and Northern Ireland (CCEA Regulation).

This is an unregulated qualification and is not a nationally recognised qualification.

These qualifications have been accredited as Customised Qualifications and NCFE have benchmarked the qualification’s learning outcomes and assessment criteria, using a national framework’s level descriptors.

• Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Optical Practice
• Level 2 Diploma in Supporting Optical Practice
• Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Optical Practice
• Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Optical Practice

In Scotland

• Level 5 Certificate in Supporting the Provision of Optical Care
• Level 7 Certificate in Supporting the Provision of Optical Care

All the qualifications will be available via online distance learning courses, giving learners the flexibility to study when they want to.

Also, the level 2 & 3 courses will be open, so that they can be started at any time of the year. The assessment will be continuous during the programme, so learners will not have to sit all their assessments at the end of their course.

“We are delighted to be able to offer support staff working in optical practices or the hospital eye service the opportunity to start a career in optics. Having NCFE’s endorsement means that both employers and learners can be confident in the qualifications“ said Anthony Blackman – Co-Founder and Director of Training at Insight Optical Training

These new qualifications will restore the bottom rungs of the optical career ladder, following the withdrawal of the WCSM qualifications in 2019.

The flexible nature of the courses will enable someone to be able to gain a qualification in as little as 6 months.

Optrafair 20/20 Preview Pages continue to expand

March 2020

More companies add their marketing of their stories for Optrafair 20/20 on the Optrafair 20/20 Preview Pages

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN OPTICS...hear about it at Optrafair 20/20

February 2020

Concern about the wastage generated by the optical industry, a great deal of which can’t be recycled, has been growing.

What is the impact of optics on the environment and how can you make your everyday practice more environmentally sustainable?

What steps can you take to reduce your carbon footprint?

Find out at the John Conway Discussion at Optrafair 20/20.

The inaugural panel discussion will see optical sustainability experts talk about the environment, as well as provide some tips on how you can improve sustainability in your practice.

The John Conway discussion will take place at 9:30am on 5 April. Don't miss out!

Panellists include:

Julian Wiles (Chair), Founder and Owner, Performance Lenses Ltd

Performance Lenses help to grow optical businesses, with optometrists and dispensing opticians using their products and services to generate new, sustainable and profitable revenue streams.

Harry Dennis, Founder, Waterhaul

Harry Dennis is a sustainability expert, passionate about the role that eco-innovation can play in the eyewear industry. He founded Waterhaul, a social enterprise whichrecycles ocean plastics into premium, functional sunglasses.

Lucy Crane, Founder, Retrospecced

Lucy is geologist by training and used her passion for the environment to found Retrospecced. Her business upcycles vintage and designer glasses, and is currently moving towards zero waste.

Simon Berry, Optometrist and Founder, Simon Berry Optometrists

Simon Berry believes that by selling a product he is indirectly endorsing it. He ensures he finds out all about the ethical issues involved, including how the product has been manufactured and the materials used.

George Bailey, Co-founder, Coral Eyewear

Coral Eyewear is an environmentally-focused eyewear brand George Bailey co-founded at the age of 19. Coral Eyewear is on a mission to bring the designer eyewear market into a new realm of sustainability.

David Green, Managing Director, David Green Eyewear

David Green produces eyewear that is unique, stylish – and eco-friendly. In keeping with their commitment to assess the impact of every element they use, thegreencompany sources materials according to strictly prescribed green criteria.

Read more on our Optrafair Preview pages here and on the Optrafair page where you can register now and book your seats at the IRIS lecture arena

College’s Optometry Tomorrow conference hosted in Telford International Centre for the first time

February 2020

The College of Optometrists welcomed over 680 optical professionals at its annual conference and AGM last weekend (23-24 February). The conference, which was held for the first time at Telford International Centre, saw delegates attend cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussion and hands-on skills and discussion workshops. The programme, in which delegates could obtain up to 16 CET points, saw optometrists discussing hot topics such as immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery, ocular tumours and glaucoma laser treatments.

Professor Chris Hammond, Frost Professor of Ophthalmology and Consultant Ophthalmologist at King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospital, presented the keynote lecture entitled; ‘The Genetic Future of Eye Disease’. He said; ““The last ten years has seen a research revolution in rare genetic blinding eye diseases, including the development of the first human gene therapy. Genetic research is allowing us to understand mechanisms in common age-related eye diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, and in other areas such as myopia. We hope these discoveries will allow the development of personalised medicine, to predict who will get disease, to prevent this where possible, and to personalise treatments in our patients for the best outcomes. It has been an honour and a pleasure to speak at this year's Optometry Tomorrow conference and to open a window to the future of genetics in eye disease with my optometric colleagues.”

Helen Owens, Eye Health Business Unit Manager for Thea Pharmaceuticals Ltd, platinum sponsor for this year’s conference, said; “As Platinum Sponsor for Optometry Tomorrow 2020, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and talk to so many enthusiastic optometrists over the course of the weekend. Thea continues to support this conference as we see it as the perfect combination of high quality clinical presentations and practical workshops. For Thea this is about getting close to our valued customers; listening to their ideas, sharing and feedback”

Following the conference, delegate Emily McCracken MCOptom, optometrist at McCracken Opticians in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, said: “I come to Optometry Tomorrow regularly for the extensive choice of CET and the networking opportunities. The conference app has also been so useful, particularly for accessing presentations once they are over.” Her husband, therapeutic optometrist Mark McCracken MCOptom DipTp(IP) added, “the choice of lectures and workshops are very relevant to community practice and the type of patients I see every day, covering a wide range of conditions from glaucoma and anterior eye through to vitreo-retinal. This year the workshops and peer review sessions have been invaluable. It’s so helpful to gather the opinions of my colleagues, and I had the opportunity to discuss an ongoing case with my peers.”

The conference featured a trade exhibition with over 40 exhibitors and sponsors including platinum sponsor, Thea Pharmaceuticals; gold sponsors, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision and SpaMedica; silver sponsors, Visioneering Technologies Inc ; bronze sponsors, Alcon Eye Care Ltd, Entod Research Cell UK Ltd, Essilor, No7 Contact Lenses, Scope Ophthalmics and Topcon Healthcare.

David Hill was the winner of the Optometry Tomorrow Poster Prize 2020 for his poster entitled; ‘A minor eye conditions pilot scheme delivered by community optometrists’.

Optometry Tomorrow 2021 will be announced soon; look out for details on the College website.

"I got more help at the cinema than the optician! "More information shows lack of understanding in primary practice.

February 2020

Emma and Alan share their feelings about blindness

Emma and Alan share their experiences of visiting their opticians in the UK and believe their cinema provides more support for people with sight loss. Emma feels there is a true lack of appropriate training given to opticians to empower them to support patients with visual impairment.

If you’re experiencing difficulties with your eyesight, the bearer of that difficult news may well be an optician. As you sit there in front of an eye-chart, struggling to see some or all of the letters, the stark reality that you’re about to lose your sight could be about to hit you … but at a time when you most need information, advice and support, increasing evidence suggests it isn’t always available.

Read further into this story which is available in our clinical briefing stories as well as links to YouTube.

New Dates for MIDO 2020 confirmed

February 2020

Mido New Dates


Just days after this weekends cancellation of one of the largest Optical Exhibition and Conferences the organsiers announce new dates in July 2020.

The show has been rearranged for July 5th ,6th and 7th 2020

The Khmer Sight Foundation has been named as Optrafair 20/20’s Official Charity Partner

February 2020

This exciting news is confirmation of how seriously the FMO is treating this year’s conference and exhibition in this Vision Year of 20/20.

Serious in its desire to promote a better global vision outlook for the many, but seriously fun for all attendees.

Khmer sight Foundation

The Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF) is working to tackle the issue of blindness in Cambodia by performing sight-saving operations for those who cannot afford them, as well as investing in the country’s own ophthalmologists through teaching and training. Khmer Sight Foundation also supports volunteer surgeons who provide free eye surgeries for the poorest communities in remote parts of Cambodia.

Did you know there are no optometrists and only 35 ophthalmologists serving a population of 16 million in Cambodia?

After the blight of the Khmer Rouge, a communist movement resulting in the massacre of a quarter of Cambodia’s population, there has been a significant loss of key healthcare and eyecare knowledge. This, in combination with the extreme poverty prevalent in Cambodia and the shortage of health manpower, infrastructure and facilities, has led to a widespread eyecare problem.

Out of the country’s 16 million people, it is estimated that 200,000 men, women and children are completely blind. The leading cause of blindness in the country is cataracts, which are both preventable and reversible with an effective, cost-effective and life-changing operation. A simple procedure that takes just 20 minutes and costs $40 can give a Cambodian sight and change a family’s life.

Khmer sight Foundation

However, most sufferers are unable to work and support themselves or their families. They are extremely poor with little or no access to healthcare services, including this simple but effective operation.

Khmer Sight Foundation are working to not only provide these life-changing procedures, but also to support the training and education of the local population. Despite the challenges of staffing and operating locations, they are continuing to grow. In 2018 alone, KSF operated on 2,170 patients.

KSF also aims to develop sustainable eye care in the future. The Cambodian government has recently increased the number of training programs for ophthalmology specialisation in Cambodia.

Khmer sight Foundation
Alongside this, the government, in association with KSF, has begun work upon a new ophthalmology complex in Phnom Penh.

This will create a one-stop centre for eye screening and operations. Free ophthalmic surgery will be undertaken here with KSF international volunteers as well as local Cambodian ophthalmologists. The complex will also house a new school of optometry and teaching facilities for local ophthalmologists.

The setup will allow the current generation of local specialists to become self-reliant and ready to take on the challenge of eradicating avoidable blindness. KSF’s priority is to reach the greatest number of unserved blind people, with the highest quality care at the lowest cost possible.

The common goal is the elimination of avoidable blindness in Cambodia by the year 2020.

However, there is still a long way to go until KSF can eradicate avoidable blindness. They need your help and support to treat patients, train graduates and change the lives of the Cambodian people.

KSF & Optrafair

Optrafair 20/20 is committed to improving the vision of the public by providing key knowledge and equipment to eye care providers. However, not everyone worldwide has access to this, which is why we're working with Khmer Sight Foundation.

How can you help?


Donate money or equipment to help improve KSF's medical facilities and provide scholarships for local Cambodian graduates who wish to learn more about eye care. You can find their donation page here.


Assist directly with KSF's mission. Whether you are a medical specialist, intern, student or administrator - KSF could use your help. Find out more at

You can find Khmer Sight Foundation on Stand G100 at Optrafair 20/20 to find out more about the charity and how you can get involved.


Khmer sight Foundation

Professor Sunil Shah, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Midland Eye Private Clinic in Solihull, and International Medical Chair of KSF, will also be performing live femto-second laser cataract surgery and answering your questions - don't miss out!

Have you registerd for the conference and booked your seat?

Its FREE and you can REGISTER HERE

More news on the show can be found on our dedicated Optrafair 20/20 pages and our company previews pages as we get nearer to April 4th to 6th 2020.

FMO welcomes two more new members to Optrafair 20/20

February 2020

As FMO gears up for Optrafair 20/20 exhibition and conference, two new members have been announced and six more have applied for membership.

20/20 Preview logo

Optrafair 20/20, which runs between 4 and 6 April at the NEC, is where both new members will be exhibiting. Cerium Visual Technologies will be demonstrating the Intuitive Colorimeter Curve, the innovative digital instrument which is revolutionising Colorimetry assessment. Claire Millar, Director of technical Services, said ‘We look forward to having genuine sales conversations with real decision makers at Optrafair 20/20. We joined FMO to allow us to attend the meetings they organise throughout the year, keep up to date with commercial and regulatory developments and generally support the optical industry.’

Occuity is set to change the field of ocular measurement, specialising in the research, design and production of non-contacting optical instruments. The first device in their range, a non-contacting pachymeter, will be on their stand at Optrafair 20/20. CEO Dan Daly said ‘Optrafair 20/20 provides the ideal opportunity to exhibit our first device to the optical industry. Further devices based on the patented Occuity technology are currently in development and will provide upgrades to the pachymeter and some very exciting devices designed to screen for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.’

FMO will be announcing more new members in the run up to Optrafair 20/20, which runs from 4 to 6 April at the NEC.

Opchat News through PHN are Media Partners of the FMO and the MA Group and under the agreement all exhibitors at this year's Optrafair 20/20 are offered a 500 word insert with up to 3 images on the Opchat Optrafair 20/20 Preview Pages

Put the date in your diary and REGISTER your interest now here allowing you to research the amazing series of lecturers throughout the 3 days on the New IRIS stage central to the show.

FMO provides the perfect platform for optical companies to expand operations and achieve growth in 2020.

FMO LogoFebruary 2020

Membership of the FMO provides many benefits to Optical services and manufacturing companies over and above significant reductions in exhibiting at the UK's oldest and most prodigious conference and exhibition, demonstrating 60 years of support to the UK Vision Sector.

BSI/ISO Standards

FMO members benefit from a 15% discount on BSI optical standards.

Meeting room in London

FMO members can use the FMO Board Room at 199 Gloucester Terrace, near Paddington Station in London, completely free of charge (subject to availability).

Monthly Bad Payers List

Perhaps more importantly, by contacting every debtor before adding them to the list, in many cases the FMO can secure prompt payment on your behalf.

Invaluable Updates and Insight

At all General Meetings there are presentations by leading industry figures. The FMO issues Insider Information, a fortnightly online newsletter providing invaluable insight, news updates and information covering the diverse optical industry.

The voice of optics

The FMO is proud to be a founder member of the Optical Confederation.

This coalition enables FMO as a trade body to influence responses to Government and other consultations, and to ensure that on the big strategic issues for the sector, we are able to help our members more than we could do on our own.

Focus Groups and General Meetings

The FMO Focus Groups cover Equipment, Frames and Lenses. You can also attend the AGM, twice yearly General Meetings and Standards Meetings

Annual Christmas Luncheon and AGM

FMO members and their guests come together every December following the AGM, to network and enjoy a convivial occasion in the company of like-minded people.

Special relationship with Opchat News and PHN the media partners of the FMO exist providing free advertising space on Exhibition Pages.

Take a look at whats on offer here

SILMO’s New Baby

February 2020

Since the very first eyewear trade fair almost 7 years ago, the ambition of CEO/Funder behind the eyewear fair concept, copenhagen specs, Morten Gammelmark has always been to support and promote independent eyewear.

To get the stories behind all the fantastic independent brands told, to show the opticians what a great mix of eyewear brands we have in the world, and make the opticians bring the independent brands to their shops and tell the stories to their customers.

May 9-10, 2020 the doors in the Italian Pavilion, Fira Montjuic at Plaça d'Espanya will open to the very first edition of Barcelona Specs.

The unique fair concept will be the same as the fairs in Copenhagen and Berlin, with small booths, focus on the product and a cosy and very unique atmosphere.

You can amongst many other independent eyewear brands meet Etnia Barcelona, Moscot, Garreth Leight, Barton Perriera, RES/REI, Cazal, Xavier Garcia, Woodys Barcelona, Kaleos, lafont and Morel.

Morten Gammelmark, Founder/CEO of Barcelona Specs says: “We are very happy to bring this unique eyewear fair concept to Barcelona and open the doors for the first time soon. We have already experienced a lot of interest from both eyewear brands and opticians, who wants to visit. Together with our partner, SILMO, the long time promoter of eyewear excellency, we will continue to work hard to ensure, that the first edition of Barcelona Specs will be a great eyewear fair for south Europe at spring time.”

Applications now open for NES Optical Assistant Courses

January 2020

Insight Optical Training announces that they are now taking applications for our optical assistant courses in Scotland.

- Insight Level 5 (Scotland) Certificate in Supporting Optical Practice
- Insight Level 7 (Scotland) Certificate in Supporting Optical Practice

Applications can be made directly via our website:

In Summary

• Courses start in April and finish in December

• Places are on a first come first served basis

• The closing date for applications is Monday the 23rd March 2020

• Thanks to the support of NHS Education for Scotland (NES), the fees for the course and assessment are:-


o Level 5 only £200
o Level 7 only £250

• The course is delivered online via our online learning platform MyIOTA which is available 24/7

• Full-colour printed course manuals are also provided

• The course includes three 1-day workshops held at Stirling University, led by experienced lecturers

• Each learner has a personal tutor to support them in their studies

“We are very pleased to be able to continue offering these two popular courses in Scotland, thanks to the ongoing support of NES, as well as our partnership with the awarding body NCFE.”

Roles across optics celebrated at the AOP Awards 2020

January 2020

AOP Awards

On Sunday, 26 January, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) welcomed optical practitioners to its ninth annual awards ceremony.

Celebrating the full breadth of optometry, the 2020 AOP Awards, which were supported by headline sponsor CooperVision, recognised contributions of the whole practice team and beyond, across 15 categories.

The accolade of Hospital Optometry Team of the Year went to the Optometry-Led Glaucoma and Urgent Care Service Team at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Commenting on the win, Dr Vijay Anand, Deputy Head of Optometry, said: “Winning the award is the culmination of two years of hard effort.”

Dr Anand went on to explain that the team’s new clinics at Moorfields Eye Hospital show “that optometrists are safe and effective at managing patients with glaucoma and those attending eye casualty. It highlights that optometry-led working is being recognised in its own right and paves the way for future pathways of working within secondary eye care.”

AOP Chief Executive, Henrietta Alderman commented, “The AOP Awards shines a spotlight on the extraordinary individuals and teams who are propelling the profession forward with their knowledge, expertise, dedication and passion. This year is no different – with all the winners, and indeed finalists, giving an impressive account for optometry.”

Other winners included Dr Saleel Jivraj, who was awarded Optometrist of the Year, and Professor Martin Rubinstein, who was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Commenting on being selected, Professor Rubinstein said: “It is a great honour to be given an award by the AOP – it feels remarkable and delightful.”

The event was held at ExCel London as part of trade and education event 100% Optical. The awards ceremony was hosted by Dr Phil Hammond, with finalists, guests and winners enjoying a drinks reception, gala dinner and live entertainment.

Nominees were shortlisted by a panel of expert judges before being put forward to a public vote, Winners in two categories, Frame of the Year and Product of the Year, were chosen exclusively by AOP members. As in previous years, the Lifetime Achievement Award was selected by Ms Alderman and AOP Chairman, Mike George.

Almost 30,000 votes were cast this year. For more information and a full list of winners visit the AOP Awards pages.

ABDO Principal announces retirement

January 2020

Jo Underwoor ABDO retiring Principal

Jo Underwood MSc BSc(Hons) FBDO (Hons) CL (Hons) SLD FEAOO SMC(Tech) PGCE, Principal of ABDO College, has announced her retirement. Jo has been in charge of the college since its inception in 2000 and will be retiring at the end of this academic year.

Jo Underwood says, “It is with some regret that I step down as Principal of ABDO College, but I believe the time is now right for someone new to take over the role and bring in transforming ideas. It is not very often that one has the opportunity to set up something totally new and I am very grateful to have been given that chance. I feel proud and privileged to have been able to fulfil the project aims and would like to thank all of the College staff who have helped to make it a success.”

Sir Anthony Garrett CBE HonFBDO says , “ABDO College started with Jo, she has recruited all of that academic staff and seen the development of the College building from an empty shell to a fully equipped and high quality facility. Above all, Jo has ensured that the very highest standards of training are in place. Her contribution to the profession is beyond compare. Twenty years ago ABDO College was an aspiration, today it is recognised as a highly successful centre of excellence. Jo has led from the front and delivered a project beyond what seemed possible all those years ago. What an achievement.”

The search for a new Principle will commence towards the end of February.

Essilor Brings New Dry Eye Solution to ECPS

January 2020

TearSTIM by Essilor
Essilor Instruments is bringing a new dry eye procedure to UK ECPs, offering a quick and long-lasting solution for patients, with scientifically proven results.

It was first shown last week at 100% Optical.

It has taken on the sole UK distribution of TearStim by ESW Vision to provide the unique procedure which uses Intense Regulated Pulsed Light technology (IRPL) to get the meibomian gland functioning properly again.

The non-intrusive procedure is performed within a few minutes and involves the optician covering the patient’s eyes with protector shells.

Unlike eye drops that temporarily alleviate the symptoms of dry eye, TearStim fixes the cause of the problem over four short sessions and offers a long-lasting solution to the 40 per cent of spectacle or contact lens wearers suffering with the syndrome.

Studies have proven a significant improvement of irritations perceived by patients, with 90 per cent satisfaction.

Instruments director, Paul Cumber said: “The new treatment offers a simple solution to dry eye management and reviving stressed eyes.

“Dry eye affects all types of people, whether it’s caused by working at computers, hormone imbalances, pharmaceutical drugs or wearing contact lenses, by offering the treatment, ECPs have the opportunity to entice existing and new patients in-store.

“There’s also an element of education needed with many patients living with symptoms, such as watery eyes, but not linking it to dry eyes. Over time, many other symptoms and serious complications can occur, such as infections, styes or corneal ulcers. Making it important to encourage patients to address the issue.

“The treatment not only combats the causes of dry eye, it is also preventive as it takes effect even before symptoms arise, which is another selling point for at risk patients.

“The launch forms part of our on-going mission of improving lives by improving sight, while continuing our role to be the best business partner for independent practices.”

Patient leaflets, window posters and treatment reminder leaflets will be available to support the launch.

How TearStim works

TearStim emits painless light pulses below the eye in the region of the parasympathetic nervous system, and by stimulating the nerve neurotransmitters are released that encourage the secretion of the meibomian glands and contribute to restoring their normal activity. In addition, the quality of the gland secretion is improved, and the lipid layer of the tear film is stabilised.

The procedure involves the optician covering the patient’s eyes with eye protector shells. A special gel is applied below the eyes and a series of 8-10 painless and non-invasive light pulses are aimed at the region below the eyes.

The series is repeated in the same way on the lower eyelid of the other eye and in total, the treatment comprises three to four sessions. The effect will last from a period of six months to three years and then an annual booster session in the form of a single treatment is recommended.

100% Optical release figures on attendance at last weeks show at Excel

January 2020

100% Results

Media 10 who run the commercial optical show have announced the attendance numbers for last weekend's exhibition.

They say that 9570 visitors and exhibitors attended the exhibition held at London's Excel in the East of London.
(Numbers are yet to be audited)

The show had around 200 stands exhibiting over 3 days.

Next years show will be held on the 23rd to 25th January 2021, same place same times.

The IRIS, the new centralised area within Optrafair 20/20 promises to be the font of all learning.

January 2020

The dedicated area will be the place to attend over each lunch hour with the world's leading experts in Vision both demonstrating and discussing with you new concepts in vision care. It will also be the place to network with your friends and colleagues, chew over what hints and new ideas you have discovered both at the IRIS and throughout the action-packed show.

Optrafair 20/20 in this important vision year has listened to what you want to hear and see and ramped up its offering to make this a seriously good conference and exhibition.

SILMO 2020 Oct
Just as one of the many examples don't miss WORLD-LEADING and admired contact lens and AE specialists Professors Lyndon Jones and Philip Morgan.

Yes, the Optrafair 20/20 programme continues to grow with the addition of two of the world's most eminent contact lens and anterior eye specialists, Professor Lyndon Jones and Professor Philip Morgan.

Lyndon Jones is a Professor at the School of Optometry & Vision Science and Director of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. He graduated in optometry from the University of Wales back in 1985 and gained a PhD in 1998 from Aston University before emigrating to Canada. He holds three of the higher clinical awards awarded by the UK College of Optometrists, as well as being a Fellow of the BCLA and was awarded an honorary DSc by Aston in 2018.Lyndon Jones

As University Research Chair, he has concentrated primarily on the interaction of novel and existing contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye diagnosis and management and ocular drug delivery. He has delivered over 1000 lectures worldwide, spread over 40 countries.

Philip Morgan is Professor of Optometry, Deputy Head of the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry and Director of Eurolens Research at the University of Manchester. His research interests concentrate on the clinical performance of contact lenses. Since 1996 he has managed an international survey of contact lenses.

Philip Morgan
He is the Immediate Past President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and VP of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the BCLA.

He has authored over 200 papers, most related to the clinical performance of contact lenses and the nature of the UK and international contact lens market.

Professors Jones and Morgan are currently preparing their presentations, which will cover all aspects of modern contact lens practice. Their session aims to provide a platform to provide clinical-based discussion as well as the opportunity to ask questions, and will take place on the Iris, a flexible central stage which will accommodate all the headline lectures, interviews and presentations.

Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to fully interact with Professors Jones and Morgan.

As well as hosting their ‘An Audience With’ discussion, they will be providing hands-on training at Optrafair 20/20’s Dry Eye Tech Live session. They will also be available at Profs’ Corner, where visitors will be able to book private one-to-one sessions with the various professors speaking at Optrafair 20/20.

Join the professors as they lead a clinical-based discussion covering the major issues in modern contact lens practice.

Discover how to optimise patient care and maximise the success of contact lenses with practical messages to aid clinical practice.
This year the show will also have major contact lens involvement.


• The importance of the eyelids and eyelid margins in contact lens success

• The differences between modern soft contact lens materials and their clinical relevance

• The current state of play with the use of contact lenses for the management of myopia

• The current rate of contact lens drop-outs, how they impact the market and how this can be minimised

• How ocular surface inflammation may be critical to our understanding of several contact lens-related problems

• The importance of compliance in contact lens wear and which behavioural steps are the most important for avoiding adverse events

To book sessions you must have registered your interest so do that right away by clicking here.

Like to view the program? Click here

An Audience with Professor Lyndon Jones and Professor Philip Morgan can be seen on Sunday 5 April from 2:00pm - 3:00pm at the The Iris

In this session, the two speakers will present recent research findings across six important contact lens-related areas and how this information can be employed in clinical practice to optimise patient care and maximise the success of contact lenses.

The information will be presented in an interactive manner such that comments and discussion from the delegates will be encouraged.

AIMS: In this interactive session, six major issues in contemporary contact lens practice will be discussed and...WELL just book your place and find out what you need to know!

Presidents’ address and Optical Question Time at Optrafair 20/20

January 2020

Optrafair 20/20 offers world class presentations and debate from industry experts covering the issues and concerns facing the optical industry, as well as providing suggested solutions.

The Presidents’ Address and Optical Question Time are exclusive, brand-new features at a revitalised Optrafair 20/20, which offers delegates a unique opportunity to hear from the Presidents of some of the county’s leading colleges, industry and membership bodies, retailers and practitioners from independent practices and corporates.

The Presidents’ Address will be chaired by Clive Marchant, ABDO’s President, and features Mike Burdon, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Colin Davidson, Vice President of the College of Optometrists, Richard Whittington, Chief Operating Officer at LOCSU and Jonathon Bench, President of BCLA.

The theme for the Presidents’ Address will be ‘What are the main priorities for the profession in improving eyecare for the public?’

Optical Question Time is another new feature for Optrafair 20/20, with high-profile entrepreneurs, practitioners and experts from across the optical sectors.

The panellists taking part include Doug Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers, David Moulsdale, Chair and CEO, Optical Express and Imran Hakim, Chief Executive, Hakim Group, as well as Lynne Fernandes, Lynne Fernandes Optometrists, Professor Nicholas Rumney, Chair, BBR Optometry Ltd and Dr. Scott Mackie, Co-Founder, Mackie Eyecare and Director, Mackie Professional Services.

We are also delighted to announce that optician comedienne Sarah Morgan will host proceedings.

The Optical Question Time Themes will be:

• Education
• Environment
• The Market Place
• The Future

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the session.

Chair of FMO, Stuart Burn said: ‘Gaining the support and commitment of so many of the country’s leading experts and industry leaders for the Presidents’ Address and Optical Question Time, will provide a fantastic forum to discuss and debate the issues that really matter to the industry. Feedback from last year’s Optrafair revealed a demand for top level debate. I can assure you that Optrafair 20/20 will be well worth the wait.’

‘Both the Presidents’ Address and Optical Question Time will offer frank and insightful discussion and debate.

Optrafair 20/20 will offer delegates the opportunity to glimpse into the future of practice and provide practitioners with some valuable thoughts on their future strategy.

Optrafair 20/20 will take place between April 4 and 6 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information, and to register for the event, and get your place book at the comprehensive eduactaion lecture program click here

Your Opchat News is once again the Co Media partner of Optrafair 20/20. Missed any news them click to the Optrafair pages and links here

ABDO launch new training courses at 100% Optical tomorrow, Saturday 25th January.

Janaury 2020

ABDO Collge

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is launching a new series of training courses and qualifications in association with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) who also assess and award the qualification. The new Level 5 Management & Leadership qualification for ABDO members will be launched at 100% Optical.

Nick Walsh

Nick Walsh from ABDO says, “These new courses from ABDO are the ideal next step for any manager, whether you are just starting out or looking to formalise knowledge and experience gained in practice.”

He continues, “If you are a manager or aspire to a management role, ask yourself this question: In the last 12 months, how many hours have you spent on structured management training or learning for yourself? As a manager you need to make time for your own development: this will improve the success of the business, the effectiveness of the team and the morale of the team as well as bringing benefits to your career.”

ABDO Management & Leadership training is a great way to turn any informal learning into a recognised qualification through a course of study and assessment.

The qualification awarded by CMI is well recognised. Students get membership of CMI and access to the support and materials that they offer including the fantastic ManagementDirect online resource.

It is an ideal way for employers to develop existing managers and train up those aspiring to a role in management.

ABDO training is via e-learning, removing the need for time away from the business to complete study. There will be optional workshops to allow students to extend their knowledge. The qualification can be completed at either a diploma or certificate level.

To find out more, visit stand Stand B244 at 100% Optical, London Excel

FUTURISSILMO! Dates to save in 2020

January 2020

SILMO 2020 Oct

New year means new SILMO Paris edition which means new visual identity.

Discover now the colours of SILMO Paris 2020.

With this ambition to anticipate, to be reactive and to always think ahead, SILMO Paris unveils its new futuristic communication.

Reserve the dates and embark, from 2 to 5 October 2020, for a FUTURISSILMO.

SILMO are looking foward to welcoming you among 35000 others for a great weekend!

Make a visit to Grafton at 100% in order to benefit your patients.

January 2020

Your patients deserve the gold standard in tonometry care – book to find out more about the Reichert ORA® G3 and the 7CR at 100% Optical on Grafton Optical stand M16. The time for change is now.

Grafton at 100%

Grafton Optical are inviting attendees at 100% Optical 2020 to visit them on Stand M16 to experience the gold standard in tonometry care with the Reichert devices; Ocular Response Analyser (ORA) G3 with Corneal Hysteresis and IOPcc and the 7CR Auto Tonometer with Ocular Response Technology and IOPcc.
The ORA® G3 is the only non-contact tonometer to measure Corneal Hysteresis, a superior predictor of glaucoma progression. Corneal Hysteresis is an indication of the biomechanical properties of the cornea differing from thickness or topography, which are geometrical attributes. An increasing number of hospitals are now using the Corneal Hysteresis metric as a more reliable and objective predictor of glaucoma progression.

The 7CR device incorporates the Corneal Hysteresis metric to give a more accurate IOP reading, known as IOPcc (Corneal Compensated IOP). IOPcc is minimally affected by corneal visco-elastic properties, thickness, or surgical procedures such as LASIK or PRK. As such it is a better indicator of glaucoma risk than other methods of tonometry, including Goldmann Applanation.

• Not just another non-contact tonometer; make a more confident glaucoma risk assessment with Corneal Hysteresis

• Synergise diagnostics in line with your local NHS Hospital Trust

• No more false referrals

• Minimal training required – no need for a specialist operator

Grafton Optical CEO David Thickens commented “ORA® G3 is being adopted by hospitals across the country wishing to modernise their systems and processes to tackle on going capacity challenges for many ophthalmology department outpatient services. There is much emerging evidence that virtual clinics offer a logical solution to overcome the burden of these increasing referrals. The ORA® G3 and 7CR devices offer the perfect time and money saving solution to both hospitals and optometry practices, and also provide patients with the absolute gold standard in tonometry care.

Optometry practices investing in either of these devices are able to synergise care with their local Hospital Trust, refining patient care and eliminating false referrals. The time to make the change is now.”

Grafton Optical is offering a £500 trade in on any out-dated tonometer when you buy the ORA G3 or 7CR.

To book an appointment on Grafton Optical stand M16 at 100% Optical 2020 to demo the ORA® G3 or 7CR, please click here.

Applications for the John Horder Prizes are now invited by the RSM General Practice with Primary Healthcare Section and CAIPE.

January 2020

The deadline for the John Horder Awards is Friday 1 May 2020.

The annual award was established in memory of Dr John Horder by the General Practice and Primary Healthcare Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE).

The award will be presented at the 40th Primary Care Update to be held at the Royal Society of Medicine in September 2020.

There are 2 prize groups available to all working in the health care professions.

The John Horder Student Award

The student award of £150 is open to prequalifying students from all health care professions. It is given to the student submitting the best essay describing and discussing their experience of interprofessional working or learning.
You can apply here

The John Horder Award

The award of £600 and a Certificate of Achievement will be presented to a nominated or self-nominated individual or team working within the primary health and social care community who can demonstrate outstanding principles of interprofessional learning and working.

Apply here

Both awards are particularly attractive to students and optometrists and health planners working within primary care who have assisted in the introduction of service chains through primary care to secondary care.

This year's Optrafair 20/20 guarantees Inspiring Seminars

January 2020

This year the Optrafair 20/20 programme has been put together by a specialised and experienced advisory board to bring you the best education possible.

Optrafair 20/20 is the UK's most diverse exhibition.

Inspiring sessions will cover everything you need to know, with topics including:

• AI
• Contact lenses
• The environment
• Dry eye
• Low vision
• Myopia management
• Lenses
• Ocular imaging
• Audiology

and MUCH more!
Have you registered free yet??

Sessions are filling up - make sure you book your seminars now to guarantee your space!

Register Now HERE and take a look at the educational program.

GOC withdrawers approval for Portsmouth Masters Degree

January 2020

GOC issues withdrawal notice to University of Portsmouth Master of Optometry programme

The General Optical Council (GOC) has announced the withdrawal of provisional approval from the University of Portsmouth’s Master of Optometry programme from 10 January 2020. Education institutions require approval for their qualifications to be recognised for the purposes of GOC registration.

This follows on from a notice of intention to withdraw, which was issued on 9 December 2019. The university was given a month to object to the decision and no objections were received during this time.

As part of the withdrawal decision, the GOC has permitted the current year 4 (level 7) students to receive a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Optometry. This will allow them to continue their studies and undertake a clinical placement under the College of Optometrists’ Scheme for Registration which could lead to registration with the GOC.

A further request has been submitted by the university for the current year 3 (level 6) students to be permitted to undertake further teaching and assessment to achieve a BSc in Optometry. This is being considered by the GOC separately.

GOC Chief Executive and Registrar, Lesley Longstone, said: “The decision to withdraw provisional approval has not been taken lightly. Protecting the public remains at the forefront of our agenda and we have followed robust processes and worked closely with the University to provide the opportunity for them to address our concerns.
Our role as a regulator is to ensure that all regulated education and training meets our standards, and we take regulatory action when those concerns are not resolved. We have notified the Office for Students, the independent regulator for Higher Education in England, regarding our decision.

We recognise this is a difficult time for students and others affected and have been assured by the university that the students’ interests are their top priority.”

The International Opticians Association (IOA) has opened applications for 2020.

January 2020

The IOA Silmo International Optician of the Year Award recognises the importance of the optician in the optical business and their role in the choice of the optimum products for their clientele.

The International Opticians Association (IOA) is an international body dedicated to the enhancement and development of the profession worldwide. It is a strategic partner with Silmo in the development of the profession worldwide.

As well as being able to demonstrate that they are a qualified dispensing optician in the country where they practice, the winner of this award will display the following attributes:

• Professionalism – the client is at the heart of their business and receives excellent care.
• Excellent communication skills – both personally and via social media.
• Entrepreneurial spirit – with solid business acumen highlighted through the success of their enterprise.
• Innovation – within their business model / product offer / shop design.
• Specialisation – with a reputation in a specific branch of optics
• Creativity – both in the products they offer and the way they practice.
• Engagement – with the profession, the community, charitable endeavours and industry.
• Advocacy - championing the profession of dispensing.

Judging process:

IOA members, country members and industry partners will be able to nominate opticians worldwide. These people will be contacted and asked to fill in a dossier. The dossiers will be scrutinised by a panel made up of a number of industry experts. A shortlist of up to four people will be established and the winner will be announced during the prestigious Silmo d’Or ceremony in Paris France. Nominations should be sent to Elaine Grisdale at before April 13th 2020 with a covering letter stating why the person should be considered for this coveted award taking into account the criteria above. A shortlist will then be drawn up after approval from the IOA Board (deadline end of April 2020) and the shortlisted nominees will be contacted to fill in the final dossier for consideration by the special jury. This judging process will be completed by 1 July 2020. The winner will be announced on Saturday 3rd October 2020 at SILMO Paris.

The winner will be announced on the 3rd October 2020 at SILMO Paris. As well as the prestigious award, the winner will also win a trip to Silmo 2021.
To find out more visit

ISCC 2020 welcomes overseas interested scleral fitters

January 2020

The International Cogress of Scelral Contacts congress starts July 24th to 25th 2020in Fort Lauderdale FL USA

What you can expect at the 5th International Congress of Scleral Contacts (ICSC)!

When you join us for this meeting full of rapid fire, highly interactive presentations, you will get an expansion of your existing knowledge and further increase your confidence to fit the latest technology in scleral lenses.

During this two day conference, you can expect to learn more on topics such as upcoming scleral technologies, side effects of sclerals, solutions for fogging, toric peripheral curves, novel scleral uses, unknowns, marketing your practice, crosslinking, ocular surface disease and much more.

ICSC will feature top expert speakers to a very interactive audience of optometrists, Scleral Lens Education Society Fellows, contact lens practitioners, and ophthalmologists. In addition, there will be vendor supported wet labs that will offer the opportunity to gain fitting tips, and the chance to evaluate various products and designs

You can register here or find out more information

100% Optical 2020, secure your points over the weekend

January 2020

Taking place on 25-27 January 2020, at London ExCeL, this year’s 100% Optical will offer a comprehensive educational programme, delivered by the Association of Optometrists (AOP).

Over the three-day event, delegates will have access to a wide range of education, exhibitors and thought-provoking talks from leading industry speakers. A series of CET-accredited sessions will also take place in the AOP lounge (L03) – an AOP led education space.

Highlights include ‘The evolution of patient's needs’ – discussion workshops that are designed for locum practitioners and aim to give attendees, working with patients of all ages, the opportunity to build on skills. Talks aimed at newly-qualified optometrists will also take place, including a peer discussion on how to avoid common pitfalls with Kevin Wallace, AOP Councillor for Scotland.

Dr Ian Beasley, AOP Head of Education, said: “The AOP-led education for 2020 has an emphasis on bringing practitioners together by delivering an extensive range of peer discussions and workshops covering key clinical topics.”

“The programme will also host high profile speakers on the main stage with a 2020 keynote on each of the three days. A series of professional development sessions aimed for the wider practice team ensures there is something for everyone at the event,” he added.

AOP members can benefit from face-to face advice in the form of one-to-one employment, legal and regulatory guidance by speaking to our in-house experts in the AOP lounge (L03).
For all other session bookings, and to register for 100% Optical, delegates should visit the 100% Optical website where, unless they are a student or a lecturer, they should register as a trade visitor. Registration is free.

Publication validates Macular Pigment Assessment

January 2020

New high-caliber publication validates macular pigment assessment with SPECTRALIS®

Prof Joghn NolanThe paper “Standardizing the Assessment of Macular Pigment Using a Dual-Wavelength Autofluorescence Technique”, published in Translational Vision Science & Technology in December 2019, demonstrates how the investigational SPECTRALIS Macular Pigment Optical Volume* (MPOV) measurement provides a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the macular pigment (MP) profile.

Macular pigment has been confirmed as an important dietary variable to enhance and protect visual function, with implications for patients with AMD and other retinal pathologies (1). A challenge for this research has been to standardize the assessment of macular pigment. Previous techniques have been limited because of their inability to provide a full image, their subjectivity and high variability.

This new research work validates the assessment of macular pigment with the investigational dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique of the SPECTRALIS MPOV and introduces a benchmark for the clinical setting. The authors, Marina Green-Gomez, Paul S. Bernstein, Christine A. Curcio, Rachel Moran, Warren Roche and John M. Nolan, state that the SPECTRALIS MPOV “should be considered a preferred metric for the assessment of macular pigment” (2).

The corresponding author, Prof. John M. Nolan, from the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland said: “Now that the importance of macular pigment has been verified by substantial clinical studies with positive implications for enhancing visual performance for all populations, including patients with age-related macular degeneration; accurate, validated and standardized measurement of human macular pigment now represents a unique opportunity for eye care. The measurement of macular pigment using the Heidelberg Engineering SPECTRALIS represents the new gold standard for objective assessment of this pigment, and I am sure will empower clinicians to do more for their patients as we prepare for a new standard of vision beyond 2020!"

Beyond proposing that the dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique of the SPECTRALIS MPOV* becomes the gold standard for macular pigment assessment, the authors envision the standardization of macular pigment assessment across research studies and clinical settings as the foundation for normative databases to be created.

For further details, see this direct link to the publication here

Heidelberg will be exhibiting at 100% Optical and Optrafair 20/20 this year.

*SPECTRALIS MPOV is currently under development and not available for sale.

1 Bernstein PS, Li B, Vachali PP, et al. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin: the basic and clinical science underlying carotenoid-based nutritional interventions against ocular disease. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016;50:34–66.

2 Green-Gomez M, Bernstein PS, Curcio CA, Moran R, Roche W, Nolan JM. Standardizing the assessment of macular pigment using a dual-wavelength autofluorescence technique. Translational Vision Science & Technology December 2019, Vol.8, 41. doi:

Heidelberg are long-time sponsors and supporters of Opchat News allowing us to continue with your free independent news source.

Optrafair Lecture renamed Kanski Lecture in honour of Jack Kanski for Optrafair 20/20

January 2020

Kanski Lecture at Optrafair 20/20
World-class ophthalmologist and author Jack Kanski passed away on 5 January 2019. To honour his life's work, the inaugural Optrafair Lecture has been renamed the Kanski Lecture.

Stuart Burn, Chair of FMO, said: "We are delighted to announce that Optrafair’s keynote lecture from 2020 onwards will now be called The Kanski Lecture. Jack Kanski passed away earlier this year and was one of the world’s foremost optical educationalists. His contribution to optics was immense and Optrafair is thrilled that Jack Kanski’s wife, Valerie, has given her approval to use the Kanski name for its keynote lecture."

The Kanski Lecture has been awarded to leading ophthalmologist Pearse Keane. Having graduated to Master of Science and Doctor of Medicine at University College Dublin, Keane is now consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and NIHR Clinician Scientist at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

Keane will be speaking on the subject: ‘AI and its likely impact on optometry and ophthalmology'.
Free registration for Optrafair 20/20 is open NOW, but sessions are booking up quickly – register free now and save your place before it’s too late.

Keane explains: “The number of eye scans we’re performing is growing at a pace much faster than human experts are able to interpret them. There is a risk that this may cause delays in the diagnosis and treatment of sight-threatening diseases, which can be devastating for patients.

“The AI technology we’re developing is designed to prioritise patients who need to be seen and treated urgently by a doctor or eye care professional. If we can diagnose and treat eye conditions early, it gives us the best chance of saving people’s sight. With further research it could lead to greater consistency and quality of care for patients with eye problems in the future.

“If this technology can be used more widely – in particular by healthcare professionals without computer programming experience – it will really speed up the development of these systems with the potential for significant patient benefits. The process needs refining and regulation, but our results show promise for the future expansion of AI in medical diagnosis.”

Technological change and innovation are the key themes for Optrafair 20/20, which runs from 4 - 6 April 2020 at Birmingham NEC. Optrafair is owned by FMO, whose Chair Stuart Burn and Immediate Past Chair Andy Yorke have secured a host of keynote lectures from industry leaders.

Regarding his lecture, Keane has said: “I will describe the motivation - and urgent need - to apply deep learning to optometry and ophthalmology, the processes required to establish a research collaboration between the NHS and a company like DeepMind, the initial results of our research, and finally, why I believe that optometry and ophthalmology could be fundamentally reinvented through the application of artificial intelligence.”

Minister confirms importance of AI at Moorfields

Confirming the importance of the research at Moorfields, Matt Hancock, Health and Social Care Secretary, said: "This is hugely exciting and exactly the type of technology which will benefit the NHS in the long term and improve patient care”.

Optrafair 20/20, the show with it all

We know time out of practice is expensive and a luxury and that is why the organisers of Optrafair 20/20 have created the most important show of the year in the UK with the widest coverage of all things Optical. Under one roof Optrafair 20/20 provides the education and stimulus your practice needs to kickstart the new decade. A complete showing of fashion, ophthalmic lenses and equipment from every leading company plus the key inspirational speakers that you need to here. We will be releasing news stories about this year's exciting show aimed solely at providing dedicated optical professionals the knowledge they want in order to continue to provide the first-class service they do to the public.

If there is only one show to attend this year it has to be Optrafair 20/20 register now and book your seat at the Kanski Lecture straight away.

Optrafair 20/20 takes place on 4-6 April at Birmingham NEC. Register free to catch Pearse Keane in action alongside a host of other industry-leading speakers.

See Opchat news Optrafair stories as we receive them here.


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