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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, April to June 2018

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2018 Now Available.
SynergEyes teams up with Brien Holden Vision Institute.
Joint conference will bring Visionaries together in November
Specialist contact lens education events.
ABDO Extended Services Training Day.
New onsite training for Menicon
Dawn of a bright new era’ for BCLA as Sunil Shah takes over Presidency following London AGM.
A tale of two cities as BCLA UK hailed a huge hit.
New educational Specialist Club launching Inaugural CET event to focus on niche contact lens options.
IACLE reaches out across the world with a busy year of activities.
Save the date! BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition will return to Manchester in 2019.
Asian meeting is opportunity for new BCLA Fellows.
No7 Director celebrates 40 years in contact lens industry.
EUROMCONTACT releases the 2017 Market Data Report.
Dry eye clinics gain ground with video of problem.
IACLE announces worldwide winners of annual awards
IOA announces President and Vice President for 2018-2020.
ABDO announces new Chief Examiner for Contact Lenses.
J & J continues to strengthen its position in the marketplace.
ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial Gives Fresh Insights for Contact Lens Practitioners.
Dry Eye Certificate proves popular as 200 sign up
Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election
Time to revisit contact lens clinical care?
BCLA new Contact Lens Hub provides many opportunities at Optrafair
Read the archived news on Contact Lenses in 1st Quarter 2018

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2018 Now Available.

June 2018

ACLM 2018 Year BookThe 2018 edition of the product manual of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers has now been published. It lists technical details for all the contact lenses, solutions and materials produced by ACLM member companies, and covers the overwhelming bulk of products available in the UK. It has become an essential product guide and handy reference for contact lens practitioners.

As is the case every year, there are plenty of new products and changes to parameters, and many older technology items have been removed. There are articles on how to retain your patients, how to manage their concerns on presbyopia, the latest statistics on the UK contact lens market, as well as the usual handy reference tables.

Also included is the latest information on the GOC’s ‘Love Your Lenses’ project which is designed to inform both practitioners and members of the public about how to use contact lenses properly and safely. More details are here and all practitioners are urged to get involved and join the ongoing campaign.

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

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

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

SynergEyes teams up with Brien Holden Vision Institute.

June 2018

Partnership to bring new extended depth of focus contact lenses to the global market

James Kirchner SynergiseEyes
SynergEyes, the leading hybrid specialty contact lens company, has announced a new partnership with the Brien Holden Vision Institute to deliver advanced, customised vision correction for myopes and presbyopes.
The exclusive worldwide licensing agreement will enable the manufacture of design technologies developed by the Institute, augmenting the SynergEyes presbyopic package by offering the latest designs on the hybrid contact lens platform.

With around half of the world’s population predicted to be myopic by 2050, and with the US ‘Baby Boomer’ generation now presbyopic, the new partners believe it is crucial that technological innovation in contact lens design and manufacturing is translated into high performance products to manage the visual deficiencies.

The aim is that the tailored, hybrid contact lens enabled through this technology will allow practitioners to meet the needs of individual myopes and presbyopes, by delivering precise correction and a high degree of contact lens comfort.
President and Chief Executive of SynergEyes, optometrist James Kirchner, explained: “SynergEyes seeks to improve the quality of life for people by delivering on the hybrid platform innovative lens designs that solve age-old problems in a new way.”
Mr Kirchner added: “Working with a recognised worldwide leader like the Brien Holden Vision Institute, we plan to bring an extended depth-of-focus lens design onto the hybrid platform to the global market."

The Brien Holden Vision Institute has developed new optical designs that incorporate an extended depth of focus (EDOF) to provide optimal visual performance from distance to near, with minimal ghosting.
The EDOF contact lens provides a series of smooth, non-monotonic power variations across the optic zone to deliberately manipulate multiple higher-order aberrations.
The aim is to achieve an extension in depth of focus which would facilitate a balanced visual performance designed to satisfy presbyopes with low, medium and high-add requirements.

Welcoming the new partnership, the Chief Executive Officer for the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Professor Kovin Naidoo, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SynergEyes to bring our novel EDOF designs in myopia and presbyopia management in specialty hybrid contact lenses and make them available to a broader market around the world.
“This is especially important for myopia, as our mission is to slow the progression of myopia in all children to reduce their risk of permanent vision impairment and address a looming public health crisis,” he concluded.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute is a non-profit research, education and public health organisation. It develops new solutions for vision care, especially for myopia and other refractive errors, to eliminate vision impairment and avoidable blindness, thereby reducing disability and poverty.
SynergEyes manufactures and markets hybrid contact lenses for astigmatism with Duette and Duette Progressive and the UltraHealth contact lens for irregular corneas. Its portfolio also includes the SynergEyes VS scleral lens, SynergEyes corneal RGP designs and SimplifEyes daily disposable contact lenses.

Joint conference will bring Visionaries together in November

June 2018

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) will mark the 25th anniversary of the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association (MCLOSA) by teaming up to present a joint programme in November within the BCLA Visionaries conference in London.

Sunil ShahNew BCLA president Professor Sunil Shah said the partnership with MCLOSA, a sub specialist ophthalmology interest group with a focus on the cornea and external eye disease, has the potential to improve clinical care.

He added: “As a corneal specialist, I have been involved in the BCLA and worked with optometrists, CLO’s and industry for many years. A joint conference with MCLOSA, which I hope will be the first of many, will allow the multidisciplinary group that forms the BCLA to interact with the MCLOSA members to the benefit of both groups and hence ultimately the clinical care that is provided.”

MCLOSA is focused on innovations in contact lens practice, clinical care and medical management of contact lens wear, and the role of contact lens in different eye diseases.

MCLOSA President Mr Alex Shortt said: “The modern management of patients with dry eye, corneal and ocular surface diseases requires expert input from both optometrists and ophthalmologists. Both groups of professionals require highly specialised skill sets to achieve the best outcomes for patients.

“It is the 25th Anniversary of MCLOSA this year and collaborating with the BCLA is the perfect way to mark the milestone.

“This joint conference is an exciting collaboration which will see the UK's leading optometrists and ophthalmologists come together to exchange knowledge and develop their ocular surface and contact lens skills for the benefit of patients.”

The joint meeting encompassing BCLA Visionaries, will be held on Friday, November 30 at the Royal College of Physicians. Further details will be released in due course via

Specialist contact lens education events.

June 2018

No7 Fitting Lenses
Fitting specialist contact lenses – including EyeDream Ortho-k – can bring significant rewards to the practice and No7 is holding a series of dedicated CET accredited masterclasses during the summer at its new training suite.

The Hastings lab and training centre will host Ortho-k training days on: July 5 and 19, August 2 and 16 (3 CET points) which will cover all aspects of patient selection and engagement, topography image acquisition, and fitting. Delivered by No7’s Professional Services team the training days also provide the opportunity to visit No7’s specialist lab where the bespoke lenses are manufactured.

Mini-sclerals, hybrid lenses, therapeutic and hand painted lenses will be covered at masterclasses on August 9 and 23 (4 CET points). Find out more about the options available – particularly Elements and Comfort 15 - and the use of topography in contact lens fitting, plus the high levels of support provided by No7’s specialist team, by attending one of the events.

To secure a place or find out more about online education and support from No7 visit their website.

ABDO Extended Services Training Day.

June 2018

36 ABDO contact lens opticians attended the first Minor Eye Conditions Services (MECS) extended services training days in Birmingham at the end of last month. ABDO has more than 130 contact lens opticians working towards MECS and Glaucoma Repeat Measures (GRM) accreditation.

Every contact lens optician training for the scheme is in the process of completing 11 WOPEC online lectures and the corresponding MCQ assessments. The courses are funded by LOCSU.

Those who took part in the extended services training days had completed all the lectures and will make up the first cohort of practitioners able to offer minor eye condition and glaucoma care in areas with commissioned schemes.

Clive Marchant, president of ABDO says, “There is great pressure on our Hospital A & E departments. The provision of MECs service within primary care high street optical practices will help reduce this pressure and provide patients with minor eye conditions, an accessible local and convenient service.

“This is an exciting advancement for the profession which we must all embrace, but it is not without challenges. High street optical practices are driven by full appointment books of routine eye examinations which drive the sale of optical appliances. This model of practice must change. We must become less reliant on the sale of goods which are under increasing threat from external retailers and online services. Enhanced services must be our future direction of travel, attracting realistic remuneration, unlike our depleting NHS sight test fee.

“The numbers expected to seek MECS services are massive, no one sector can provide these services alone, all practices and their teams must be on board, this will provide an effective service and balance the percentage of MECS versus routine appointments per practice. There are approximately 1400 contact lens opticians and their entry working alongside optometrists will assist with the provision of MECS. LOCS report that 75 to 80% of patients who have already used MECS services present with anterior eye problems, all of which can be seen and assessed by CLOs. This frees up valuable optometrist appointments.”

The days consisted of lectures and practical sessions, including Anterior Chamber Assessment, Van Herick Assessment, Foreign Body removal and Goldman Intraocular Pressure Measurement.

There were lectures from Nik Sheen and Sasha Macken of WOPEC and Scott Mackie of ABDO

Following the training days all those who attended will put into practice their new skills with the assistance of their optometrists in practice and ABDO regional support network groups. ABDO in conjunction with WOPEC will hold the first OSCE day late summer 2018 at its new National Resource Centre.
Commissioning for MECS is progressing across England and all new contract will embrace CLOs. As existing contracts are renewed CLOs will be included.

New onsite training for Menicon

June 2018

Menicon Onsi9te trainingMenicon has celebrated the launch of its new onsite training facility in Northampton with a free CET evening attended by 23 members of Northampton Local Optical Committee.

The first event in the new clinic on May 23 featured lectures and discussions worth 6 CET points in total, with topics including the anterior eye and the visual recognition test. Peer discussions were also held on irregular corneas and fitting contact lenses, as well as myopia control.

The private family company David Thomas Contact Lenses has had a facility on the Northampton site since 1985. Bought by Menicon nearly 10 years ago, the site was expanded earlier this year with the extension of the offices and training spaces.

This is the first time there has been a clinic onsite and the new facility will be used for training practitioners, holding CET events and launching new contact lens products.
Menicon’s Professional Services Manager, Josie Barlow explained: “The aim of the new facility is to provide future CET events covering a wide range of topics and skills, increase the confidence of practitioners in fitting RGP contact lenses and to provide training specific to our specialist lenses, for example our Rose K range and Menicon Z Night Ortho-K.

“We will also use it as a platform for launching future products, such as our new scleral lens later this year,” she added.

The company was pleased at how successful the first event was, with practitioners even telephoning the next day to highlight how interesting they thought the first event was.
Menicon’s UK and Export Sales Manager, Gill Narramore, highlighted: “We were delighted to welcome practitioners to our first onsite event at our newly completed training facility and received very positive feedback.

“The success of the evening was due to Josie’s passion for educating and sharing knowledge and she always has an excellent rapport with her audience,” she added.

Looking to the future, Ms Narramore concluded: “We are already planning our next event on Ortho-K, but we would also welcome practitioners contacting us to arrange tailor-made training too.”

Dawn of a bright new era’ for BCLA as Sunil Shah takes over Presidency following London AGM.

June 2018

The new President of the BCLA has pledged to “push the boundaries” of modern eye health and lead a new generation of pioneers to revolutionise day-to-day practice.

Sunil ShahProfessor Sunil Shah was installed as the BCLA’s new President at its AGM in London on Sunday, June 10th – held alongside the BCLA UK Conference and Exhibition.

He takes over from outgoing President Keith Tempany, who enjoyed a productive 12 months at the helm, helping to shine a light on key ‘agenda-setting’ topics such as myopia management and the fitting of contact lenses for children.

Professor Shah, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon affiliated to Midland Eye in Birmingham and Solihull, said: "Taking over as President of the BCLA is a huge honour and I am thrilled and humbled to be given the opportunity to carry on the exceptional work delivered in recent years by Brian Tompkins and Keith Tempany. 

"As an organisation, the BCLA is leading the way in providing a 21st century membership association pushing the work of the pioneers who are changing the face of the profession and revolutionising the field of contact lenses and anterior eye. 

"These are exciting times, with rapidly evolving technology allowing practitioners and patients to benefit from cutting-edge innovation.“

Professor Shah was recently made a full professor at Aston University and has also been named in the top 100 most influential people in world ophthalmology.

He added: “As president, I will strive to ensure BCLA members benefit from the very latest research and have access to up-to-the-minute thinking on the techniques which make a difference to the day-to-day running of their practice - ensuring they stay one step ahead of the competition and push the boundaries of what is possible in modern eye health.

"I look forward to welcoming members old and new to events up and down the country as we continue to make the BCLA more inclusive and more accessible then ever before. It promises to be a hugely exciting time and I can't wait to get started."

Professor Shah, whose clinical interests include complex corneal problems, refractive surgery and dry eye, will now lead the organisation through its next cycle of global events, including BCLA Asia, Visionaries and next year’s BCLA Conference and Exhibition in Manchester.

Outgoing President Keith Tempany said: “The last 12 months have been a whirlwind and unquestionably the pinnacle of my career. Serving as BCLA President has been a huge honour and I wish Sunil well in his new role. It’s the dawn of a bright new era for the BCLA and its members and the future is in safe hands.”

The AGM was held on Sunday alongside BCLA UK in London, the second date of the split-site event that saw hundreds of delegates attend a host of lectures and hands-on workshops, as well as a dedicated dry eye track and an optical assistants course.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “As an organisation we have been fortunate enough to have some truly inspirational leaders and Keith has carried on this tradition is his own inimitable style. We look forward to Sunil taking over the reins and carrying on Keith’s hard work, as we head into a busy 12 months for the BCLA.”

A tale of two cities as BCLA UK hailed a huge hit.

June 2018

The decision to stage BCLA UK across two days, taking in two cities and opening the event up to a larger audience than ever before, has been labelled a ‘game-changer’ – with eye care professionals from across the country gaining access to the very latest research.

For the first time, BCLA leaders organised a ‘split-site’ conference, with the programme held on separate days in London and Birmingham, allowing more people to attend and benefit from the world-renowned expertise on offer.

BCLA lectures
A dedicated dry eye track saw Professor James Wolffsohn lead a series of workshops and a wide-ranging discussion on the diagnosis and management of the condition while Dr Shehzad Naroo delivered a compelling lecture on delivering the concept of ‘Ocular Surface Happy’ to improve retention rates among contact lens patients.

Dr Claire Hallas, a practitioner health psychologist, looked at why parents say yes or no to contact lens use for their children – the first time the BCLA has welcomed an expert outside of optometry to give a unique insight into the field.

The programme was praised by delegates, with optical assistant Kasia Rosiewicz impressed by the dedicated OA course led by Sarah Morgan. She said: “It was an excellent session explaining how to handle and clean contact lenses, see new products and meet a whole host of people.

“Coming to a BCLA event has been a great adventure. Previously it would have been difficult for me to come along but having this event on one day over two cities has been a game-changer for me and many others.”

Fellow delegate Nirmal Misra added: “I enjoyed the interactive workshops and seeing the new technology making its way on to the market. It was a pleasure to hear from the pioneers who are changing the contact lens world.”

Dr Michael Read delivered a lecture stressing the importance of choosing the right material for the right patient while Dr Nicola Logan examined the topic of myopia control and looked at what optometrists can do in everyday practice.

Further sessions were delivered by Professor Phil Morgan, Professor Fiona Stapleton who travelled from Australia to attend the event, and an interactive grading workshop facilitated by BUCCLE.

Workshops were held on irregular corneas, fitting lenses in children, Orthokeratology, presbyopia and meibography while an interactive grading session gave delegates the chance to gauge their accuracy.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “We are always looking to evolve and, after listening to members we thought we’d try a split-site UK conference this year, giving more people than ever before the chance to attend.

“We’re delighted with the feedback we have received and all those attending have gone home with new techniques, new contacts and the knowledge they need to elevate the patient experience through enhanced clinical skills.”

As part of BCLA UK, five new BCLA Fellowships were awarded, with Byki Huntjens, Neil Chatterjee, Pauline Bradford and Sarah Smith presented with their certificates in Birmingham and Paul McDonald receiving his award in London.

New educational Specialist Club launching Inaugural CET event to focus on niche contact lens options.

June 2108

Positive Impact, in conjunction with leading specialist contact lens companies, is launching a new educational initiative it has named ‘The Specialist Club.’

The first meeting in July will focus on specialist and niche contact lenses and will offer delegates up to 8 CET points at the one-day event, as well as free contact lens vouchers.

Nick Atkins The collaboration between different contact lens manufacturers makes it a must attend event for anyone in specialist practice, or any practitioner interested in expanding their scope of fitting, Positive Impact highlights.

The contact lens companies sponsoring the inaugural event are SynergEyes UK, UltraVision and Menicon. The contact lens companies will be participating at the first event and the launch will feature CET discussion lectures for practitioners, as well as fitting demonstrations of the market-leading products within the companies’ portfolios.

The topics will include hybrid, scleral, orthokeratology (ortho-k) and specialist soft contact lens options. Positive Impact highlights that the draw for practitioners is that there will be interactive workshops on all the different types of products in one place.

The first meeting of The Specialist Club will be at the Holiday Inn, Wembley, on Monday 9 July from 9am-5pm, with the cost to delegates £45, plus VAT. Up to 60 delegates are expected to attend.

The three sponsoring companies are offering every delegate vouchers worth in excess of £340 for the first pair of lenses they supply a patient post-event, meaning that the cost of attendance is easily offset.

Positive Impact’s Director of Marketing and Professional Services, Nick Atkins (pictured) said: “The Specialist Club seminar will be focused on getting practitioners more confident in the fitting of a variety of contact lenses for those patients who are not un of the mill.

“It will be a collaboration of specialist contact lens manufacturers with the aim of making it a must attend event for anyone in contact lens practice, either more specialist or those simply interested in expanding their scope of fitting beyond just disposable soft lenses; for example, fitting hybrid lenses as an alternative to torics, or ortho-k as an alternative to daytime lens wear.”
“The draw for delegates will be that there will be interactive education on many of the different types of products under one roof,” Mr Atkins emphasised.
“While some companies will have competing portfolios, they will all focus on one non-competing product during the educational sessions and there will be a small exhibition where they can present the rest of their portfolios.
“Assuming this first event is a success, we will consider repeating it around the country in the second half of the year," he concluded.

IACLE reaches out across the world with a busy year of activities.

May 2018

Members of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators reached nearly 20,000 students in 560 academic institutions worldwide in 2017.

During the year, IACLE added new resources, programs and events to improve the quality of contact lens teaching and increase the number of skilled contact lens practitioners throughout the world.

IACLE has today released its Activity Summary 2017 Jan-Dec showing that:

• Since 1990, IACLE has provided resources and training to more than 2,200 members – contact lens educators from 91 countries around the world.

• At the close of 2017, IACLE had 782 active members in 71 countries (Dec 2016: 731).

• Nearly half (47%) were from its Global Priority Countries: China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia.

• IACLE members reached an estimated 19,600 students in 560 institutions in 2017.

• A total of 154 candidates sat the 2017 Fellowship Exam and 84 were successful. As of February 2018, there were 328 active FIACLEs (Fellows of IACLE) worldwide.

Major events and initiatives in 2017 included:

• IACLE Congress on Contact Lens Education, held in Hyderabad, India in September.

• Research Update, a new monthly resource introduced in January 2017.

• IACLE in the World, a weekly radio broadcast via Franja Visual Radio in Latin America.

Guillermo Carrillo
In 2017, Platinum Sponsor Alcon, Silver Sponsors CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision, and Donor Sponsor Euclid Systems together helped support IACLE’s high-quality contact lens programs worldwide.

In the last quarter of 2017 Bausch + Lomb renewed its support for IACLE by becoming a sponsor at the Bronze level.

Hosted by IACLE Americas Regional Coordinator Guillermo Carrillo, (right) IACLE in the World is a new weekly broadcast via Franja Visual Radio, a web-based program with an audience of more than 100 eye care practitioners in Latin America

Save the date! BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition will return to Manchester in 2019.

May 2018


The BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition is returning to Manchester next year – with the city set to play host to one of the profession’s most eagerly anticipated events.

Eye care professionals have been urged to pencil in 30 May to 1 June in their diaries, with the three day event undergoing a change in format to culminate in the grand finale of the Awards dinner on the Saturday night.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “We are thrilled to be heading back to Manchester Central for the 2019 Clinical Conference and Exhibition. It promises to be a weekend to remember, featuring a host of passionate speakers who can inspire eye care professionals to make a real difference to patients’ lives.

“We will be staging a number of practical hands-on workshops showcasing the very latest techniques in the field of contact lenses and the anterior eye and the exhibition will feature innovation and up-to-the-minute technology from the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers.”

Asian meeting is opportunity for new BCLA Fellows.

May 2018

Singapore for BCLA this yearEye care professionals have been invited to join a select group of 200 leading eye care professionals across the globe by applying to become a BCLA Fellow at the organisation’s forthcoming event in Singapore.

The BCLA Fellowship scheme recognises a member’s esteem in the field of contact lenses and the anterior eye. It allows them to use the affix FBCLA, highlighting their commitment to the Association and significant contributions they have made.

Since the scheme was launched in 2006, a total of 200 professionals from the international community of contact lens industry and practice have become BCLA Fellows following viva voce assessment at BCLA events.

To gain a Fellowship of the BCLA, members of the Association (excluding online and student members) must be awarded 50 points by the academic committee and subsequently satisfy the committee of their contact lens and / or anterior eye credentials in an oral assessment based on the evidence presented.

Fellowship submissions are now open for 2018, with a deadline of June 30 ahead of Viva Voce Assessments at the BCLA Asia event.

The event, supported by platinum sponsors Alcon, CooperVision and Menicon, is being jointly staged by the BCLA and the Singapore Optometric Association (SOA) on Tuesday, September 18 and Wednesday, September 19 at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre.

BCLA president Keith Tempany said: “We are thrilled to be heading to Singapore – a city known for its thriving business sector and a pioneering commitment to innovation.

“Our Fellowship programme aims to highlight the work of the leading eye care professionals and their commitment to innovation, research and life-changing vision care. We look forward to many high quality applications and welcoming the latest intake of BCLA Fellows in Singapore.

“Growth in the contact lens market is particularly strong in Singapore and across Asia as a whole and the event will aim to continue to build the confidence of eye care practitioners to prescribe contact lenses with a focus on prescribing to the presbyope, fitting children, speciality lenses and managing dry eye disease.”

The draft programme is currently being prepared and will be unveiled soon. For more information about BCLA Asia and how to make a Fellowship submission visit

No7 Director celebrates 40 years in contact lens industry.

May 2018

Mini ScleralNo7 Technical Director Kevin Taylor, celebrating 40 years in the contact lens industry, has highlighted the increasing complexity of designs now produced routinely –

“What can be achieved in just one lens is incredible: a bespoke scleral, multi-focal with a toric periphery, in the most advanced material with specialist coating to combat the issues of dry eye is now not uncommon. We would not have conceived of such a lens 40 years ago. Technology has vastly improved the options – shapes, sizes, materials combine to deliver nanometer tolerances, but what we saw at the last EFCLIN (European Federation of the Contact Lens and IOL Industries) conference confirms more great advances in the immediate pipeline."

“In the next five years we are going to see greater wear in a broader age demographic. Currently we are making lenses for patients from 6 to 92 and we expect to see this become more prevalent. The growth in myopia control is very tangible – already we are seeing month-on-month increases in prescribing as the understanding of myopia management filters down to the patient level. Additionally, more specialist lenses – particularly sclerals – will become more prevalent.”

Kevin provides the technical advice - and his experience in manufacturing - to the team of 62 who make No7’s lab in Hastings a world-class centre of excellence. Respected not just amongst UK practitioners, it has grown its export market so that it now deals with most countries in the world.

Leading the team that services No7’s busy phone lines and email queries, Kevin is a familiar name to more than 300 Ortho-k EyeDream practices. Practitioners with empirical fitting queries wanting to order lenses from K readings and refraction, or who are looking for advice on multifocals, sclerals and other specialist lenses are also likely to be familiar with Kevin and his team’s reassuring advice.

15 years ago Kevin’s sympathetic ear at the end of the telephone for the most complex visual needs gained an unexpected insight into the world of hospital eye appointments, when he was diagnosed with the relatively rare Eales disease. Trips to Moorfields and the local Sussex eye hospital brought a successful outcome for the bilateral problem with laser treatment and a vitrectomy following a vitreous haemorrhage. It was an insightful episode – successfully resolved - for a man who spends his life supporting the optical profession.

EUROMCONTACT releases the 2017 Market Data Report.

May 2018

EUROMCONTACT releases the 2017 market data report on sales of contact lenses and lens care products. The report is available on the EUROMCONTACT website: Since 2003, EUROMCONTACT provides the framework for statistics on market data and analysis covering 31 countries, based on a collection and compilation of data from an independent company.

The report “A Comparison of European Soft Contact Lens and Lens Care Markets in 2017”, from Euromcontact a.i.s.b.l is now available on-line.

In 2017, the market value of soft contact lenses (SCLs) at industry to eye care professionals (ECP) level grew by 5.7% to € 1’789 million. EUROMCONTACT collects data for Daily Disposables (DD), Weekly / Bi-Weekly and Monthly (W/B&M) and conventional soft (CS) contact lenses (CL) in 31 countries / clusters.

The CL market for the eleven reported countries (BE-LU; DK; FR; DE; IT; NL; NO; ES; SE; CH; UK-IE) grew by 4.3%, and the value was € 1’4316 millions. The eleven countries represent 79.9% of the total collected. In these eleven markets DD grew by +7.6%, W/B&M grew (0.4%). CS grew by 5.5%, but when looking only at those with data in ’17 and ’16 CS declined by 8.7%.

With a total of 14.8% (-0.22%) of the 15-64 years old population wearing CLs, Sweden is leading the penetration ranks, ahead of Denmark (13.19%, -0.38%) and Norway (11.37%, +3.25%).

Silicone Hydrogels (SiHy) are now at 83.5 % share in the W/B&M segment (across all 33 countries) and well above 60%, even 70% (except IT) in all of the reported eleven countries.

Read or download the full report here.

Look at the related tables here

Dry eye clinics gain ground with video of problem.

May 2018

Ravi Sohal
Video footage of a patient’s tear film is the best way to engage them in dry eye treatment, resulting in far greater compliance believes London optometrist Ravi Sohal.

“Revealing the break-up of the tear film is dramatic. In the past, before we could do this, patients really didn’t understand the issue fully, but now we have far greater compliance, and this is keeping many more patients in contact lenses,” says the independent owner of Blackheath Eyecare.

Lyndon Jones
Ravi purchased the Medmont topographer from No7 six months ago for specialist contact lens fitting and Ortho-k prescribing but the Tear Film Surface Quality (TFSQ) has proved to be much more than just an extra –

“The TFSQ was a bonus but it has proved to be very useful. The technology fits very well with the digital slit lamp, and Blephex. The Rendia patient videos are also very good to help to explain the condition to patients.”

Ravi’s appointment book of dry eye patients has never been busier, with patients ranged in age from a 20 year old vegan to others in their 50s through to 80s –
“We have a lot of patients who have been to other practices which do not treat dry eye, or who have been buying their lenses on line and now realise they have a problem,” added Ravi.

IACLE announces worldwide winners of annual awards

April 2018

Contact lens educators from Canada, India, the Netherlands, Colombia, Lebanon and Argentina are to receive prestigious awards from the International Association of Contact Lens Educators.

IACLE has today announced the winners of the 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards to recognize and reward achievement in contact lens education, and the 2018 IACLE Travel Awards for members to attend major international meetings.

Thanks to generous sponsorship from CooperVision, four IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will be presented, to IACLE members in each of IACLE’s three global regions. This year, for the first time, two educators in the Europe / Africa – Middle East region will jointly receive an award. And three IACLE Travel Awards – funded by all IACLE’s industry sponsors – will be presented, rather than one in previous years.

The 2018 IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year will receive their awards at the American Academy of Optometry’s Academy 2018 meeting in San Antonio, Texas, USA in November.

The winners are:

IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Professor Lyndon Jones (right)
University of Waterloo, Canada

Lyndon Jones
On the announcement of his award, Professor Lyndon Jones said: ‘Founded almost 40 years ago, IACLE continues to fulfil its mandate of providing cutting edge, contemporary education on contact lenses to contact lens educators around the globe.

The vast majority of contact lens clinicians globally have been trained in some way by an IACLE-affiliated educator, and, without IACLE, and the resources it provides to educators, there is no doubt in my mind that contact lens practice would be behind where it is today.

I am absolutely delighted to be given this award and I thank IACLE for its continued dedication to training the contact lens clinicians of tomorrow.’

IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Associate Professor Runa Mazumder
Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science, Kolkata, India

IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educators of the Year

Wim Borst
Deltion College, Zwollen, the Netherlands

Henri Eek
Deltion College and Hogeschool Utrecht, the Netherlands

The 2018 IACLE Travel Awards recipients and the meetings they will attend are:

Professor Martha Lucila Márquez García
Santo Tomás University, Bucaramanga, Colombia
Academy 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, USA

Ahmed Sherry
Modern University for Business and Science, Beirut, Lebanon
Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators’ Annual Workshop, San Antonio, Texas, USA (Thanks to additional support from AOCLE).

Professor Sabrina Lara
Universidad Nacional Villa Maria, Córdoba, Argentina
FEDOPTO Congress in Barranquilla, Colombia

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘This year we have more IACLE Awards winners travelling to more meetings than ever before. A huge congratulations to our winners and thank you to our sponsors and collaborators who make this happen. IACLE members should get ready to nominate themselves or be nominated next year.’

‘We wholeheartedly congratulate the 2018 Educators of the Year for the well-deserved recognition of their commitment to the advancement of contact lens professionals around the world, said Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision. ‘We are thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with IACLE on this program, for the honorees and their work continue to be an inspiration to all of us at CooperVision.’

IOA announces President and Vice President for 2018-2020.

April 2018

Former ABDO president, Dispensing Optician and practice owner Fiona Anderson BSc(Hons) FBDO R FEAOO SMC(Tech) has been re-elected as president of the International Opticians Association. Donald Crichton FBDO, President of ADONZ (The Association of Dispensing Opticians of New Zealand) has been appointed as Vice President.

Fiona continues her work to transform the IOA into the leading association dedicated to the enhancement and development of the optical profession around the world. The IOA also acts as a forum for optician practitioners, industry partners and educators to come together and discuss topics which have an impact on the development of the profession and the delivery of world class eye care and quality vision.

Fiona says, “I am delighted to be continuing in the role of President at this exciting time for the IOA. The whole association has been revamped and is attracting new members on a scale never witnessed before. I hope to be able to build on the solid relationships of the past 18 months and attract new members and sponsors as we seek to develop a truly international association which seeks to promote the science and art of opticianry worldwide.”

Donald says, “I am surprised and delighted to have been voted in as Vice President for IOA. This is a time of great potential growth for the association with momentum starting to build from relationships forged over the past years. I'm looking forward to welcoming new members from different countries with whom we can share ideas and strengthen our professional reputation.”

Sir Antony Garrett, ABDO CEO and Secretary to the IOA comments, “Fiona Anderson has done a great job along with Elaine Grisdale in setting the IOA on a new and exciting course and I am delighted that she has been re-elected for another two years by her colleagues to see through the reform process she has started. Fiona will be supported by Donald Crichton FBDO who is currently President of ADONZ and who is originally from Scotland. The IOA is entering an exciting period of growth and development and opening up to more opticians in an increasing number of countries. The ABDO Board is pleased at the progress made over the past two years and has confirmed its support for the work being undertaken by Elaine and other colleagues to promote IOA activity.”

ABDO announces new Chief Examiner for Contact Lenses.

April 2018

Dean Dunning has been appointed to take over from Rosemary Bailey as Chief Examiner for Contact Lens from February 2020.

Dean is an ABDO Contact Lens examiner for theory and practical with 22 years’ experience in the optical industry. He is also Programme Leader in contact lenses at Bradford College, a member of the BCLA, the British Universities Committee of Contact Lens Educators and the International Association of Contact Lens Educators.

Alicia Thompson, Director of Professional Examinations says, I am thrilled to have appointed Dean who brings to the role his many years of experience in both contact lens practice and academia. I look forward to working with him in the exciting times ahead.

Dean says, “The introduction of extended services for Contact Lens Opticians, along with the General Optical Council strategic educational review make this a really exciting time to train as a Contact Lens Optician. I am really looking forward to my role in helping to maintain and develop high quality Contact Lens qualifications. The opening of the National Resource Centre later this year will ensure that ABDO are at the forefront of training and assessment as the role of the Contact Lens Optician evolves.”

Dean will be shadowing Rosemary Bailey over the next four examination sessions to ensure a smooth transition.

J & J continues to strengthen its position in the marketplace.

April 2018

J & JJ&J has acquired Abbott Medical Optics, TearScience and Sightboxthis during the last few years and now the Food and Drug Administration approved Acuvue contact lenses that use technology from Transitions Optical and adjust based on brightness.

Vision care sales for J & J reached $1.12 billion last quarter, up from $798 million in the year-earlier period, an increase of 34 percent when subtracting currency. When excluding that and an acquisition, revenue grew 9 percent, according to J.P. Morgan.

The company has invested in vision as it refines its medical device group, adding surgical products and a contact subscription service to its lineup of Acuvue contact lenses.

The result is one of the fastest-growing platforms for J&J, particularly in medical devices, said Ashley McEvoy, company group chair of consumer medical devices.
"I would say it really starts with the space of sight, and sight matters, we like to say. It's one of the largest and fastest growing segments in health care, and we think there's still a lot of unmet need," McEvoy said.

J&J entered the eye surgery space in 2016 when it announced it would acquire Abbott Medical Optics. The $4.33 billion deal was completed in early 2017 and gave J&J products for cataract surgery and laser refractive surgery, as well as consumer eye health.

Later in the year, J&J bought TearScience, which makes devices to treat dry eye, and Sightbox, a contact lens membership-based subscription start-up, for undisclosed amounts.

"What the vision team is doing is really evolving the business model to better serve more patients, quite frankly, and create a much better customer experience behind some really modern and differentiated technology and ways to service patients," McEvoy said.

The demographics in the vision market are compelling, said Tom Frinzi, worldwide president of surgical at J&J Vision. Eye health represents an $80 billion market, the third largest behind cardiology and oncology, he said. An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment.

People are living longer and more active lives. They are also undergoing cataract surgery at younger ages. By adding surgical products, J&J says it can now service patients young and old.

"If you just think of the broad-based portfolio, we have everything from prevention to correction and enhancement, all the way through to treatment, and there are not many companies that can bring that to bear on behalf of patients around the world," Frinzi said.

Despite its moves, J&J's vision business still contains gaps. It's not in the retina or glaucoma space, McEvoy said. The latter has seen innovation with minimally invasive surgery.

Glaucoma has typically been treated with eyedrops, an imperfect solution. New surgical options essentially drain fluid from patients' eyes to reduce pressure associated with the disease. J&J is looking at creating its own products in the space, as well as pursuing different strategic partners or acquisitions, McEvoy said.

The contact business still has room to grow, too. Last quarter, worldwide contact lens sales increased to $807 million from $683 million, or about 14 percent when stripping out currency. When also excluding an acquisition, revenue grew 11 percent, according to J.P. Morgan.

J&J sees opportunities to add new customers and upgrade existing customers to more expensive lenses.

Less than 10 percent of people around the world who could wear contacts do, J&J said. In the U.S., a developed market, that number increases to 28 percent. In emerging markets, such China and Russia, it decreases to 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

Glasses being in fashion, misconceptions about who can use contacts and a general fear of putting something in one's eye are stunting new customer growth in developed markets, said Aldo Denti, vice president of global franchise development for J&J's eye health business.

But more people are switching from monthly reusable contacts to daily disposal lenses. Meanwhile, more people are choosing specialty lenses meant for people with astigmatism.

Specialty contacts sales grew by double digits last year. They account for 30 to 35 percent of contact revenue, but that number should increase, J&J said.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved J&J's light adaptive contacts. They use technology from Transitions Optical.

Within five years, McEvoy expects J&J to offer contact lenses that contain medication.
Vision remains a hot growth platform that's still in it's early days.

"And we will take full advantage of not just what the medical device capabilities bring to us, but the consumer capabilities, the pharma capabilities, the surgical and market access capabilities," she said. "I think what you're seeing is a little bit of a learning lab of what J&J looks like on our best day."

ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial Gives Fresh Insights for Contact Lens Practitioners.

April 2018

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians revealed results of a new clinical trial at Optrafair in Birmingham on Saturday 14th April.

When assessing a patient with low cylinder corrections, should you select a best sphere or a toric lens initially? The ABDO Contact Lens Uncorrected Cylinder Trial offers an insight into the positive and negative outcomes of the selection process and therefore enable the practitioner to make a more rational decision. It also points to areas where progress can be made to enable a
Daily Disposable Toric Soft Contact Lens to become the lens of first choice.

Lead Researcher Andrew Price FBDO(Hons)CL, COA says, “Results of the trial indicate that toric daily disposable soft contact lenses (SCLs) SCLs give better objective and subjective vision for distance. However for intermediate and near vision the overall conclusions were less clear cut. It is interesting to hypothesise that the toric cyl axis may, in some cases, be influenced by the eyes convergence and inferior gaze and hence vision adversely affected.”

Objective distance and near VAs improved at follow-up at two to three hours compared with dispensing at 20 minutes for the toric SCLs, whereas for the spherical SCL it hardly changed at all. In the same time period, the rotation ‘away from intended’ reduced dramatically in some subjects. This indicates that toric SCL assessments would be more accurately assessed at a longer time period than has been historically the case. If initial assessments are carried out at 20 minutes then it should be expected that more patients will be found not suitable than if assessed later.

Although toric lenses scored better (DVA) or at least equal (IVA & NVA) than spherical prescriptions, when it came to comfort, this result was reversed. Manufacturers should pay attention to improving comfort of toric lens design.

Dry Eye Certificate proves popular as 200 sign up

April 2018

More than 200 eye care practitioners have signed up to work towards a certificate in Dry Eye as part of a new education programme run by the British Contact Lens Association.

The new CET-accredited programme focusses on clinical skills for Ocular Surface Health (OSH) and Dry Eye, allowing BCLA members to gain CET points while working towards a Dry Eye certificate or a higher level to lead to a BCLA Fellowship.

BCLA leaders have already enrolled 200 members who will work through an education resource to allow clinicians access to new specialised avenues supported by training and peer assessment.

The free programme is in response to what is seen as the ‘changing face of the profession’, taking into account research such as the Forsight report and highlighting a need to increase the scope of optometry and contact lens practice.

Keith Tempany, BCLA President, said: “We are always keen to help our members improve their clinical expertise which in turn enhances the patient experience; this programme in managing the Dry Eye and managing Ocular Surface Health does just that.

“OSH is well documented as fundamental in the success of the contact lens wearer; managing this for the patient, may help the retention of contact lens patients in practice and minimise drop outs due to discomfort.”

A BCLA Dry Eye Certificate will be issued on successful completion of the course, which is only available for BCLA members. The certificate, sponsored by associate partners Thea Pharmaceuticals, can be achieved by any optometrist or CLO who attains six credits and a final OSCE style examination.

The six credits are available from five online modules and one relevant Dry Eye or OSH workshop, peer review or lecture (GOC approved validated with CE number). This certificate will need to be renewed every four years.

Professor Christine Purslow, head of Medical Affairs at Thea Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the BCLA for this course. Dry eye education is essential, and this qualification ensures practitioners will be best placed to offer the specialist service needed to diagnose and manage the disease.”

The issue of Dry Eye will play an integral role in education sessions at forthcoming BCLA UK events in London and Birmingham, including a peer review and a programme of workshops.

The peer review will provide an overview level of understanding on the management and diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease that supports eye care practitioners to raise their levels of confidence and skill to complete the BCLA’s Dry Eye Practical Accreditation Examination.

The event will include interactive workshops, based on the evidence and findings of the TFOS DEWS II report, to familiarise delegates with clinical instruments specific to Dry Eye disease diagnosis and management.

Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election

April 2018

The British Contact Lens Association is looking for “committed” and “passionate” members to put themselves forward to represent their peers and shape the future of the organisation.

Nominations are now open for the BCLA Council elections – giving eye care practitioners and industry representatives the opportunity to take a seat at the top table and influence decision-making in all matters concerning contact lenses and anterior eye.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “BCLA Council members represent the association’s members from a multi-disciplinary profession and industry, covering all aspects relating to contact lenses and anterior eye.

“You would be joining council at a very interesting time and will play an integral part in deciding and delivering the strategic direction of the BCLA, whilst representing members wishes and help to ensure that all members’ views across the association, profession and industry are represented in all activities.

“BCLA Council members will find the experience rewarding with an opportunity to network, develop new skills and to help bring about positive changes to the future of the world of contact lenses and anterior eye.”

BCLA leaders will welcome nominations from optometrists, including those newly qualified, contact lens opticians and ophthalmologists plus all those from technical and commercial areas of the industry.
Only full members of the BCLA based in the UK are eligible to apply and be nominated for election.

The closing date for receipt of completed nominations is midnight on Friday, 4 May and nominations can be made online at If you have any questions or require additional information, please email here

Time to revisit contact lens clinical care?

April 2018

The ‘conservative’ approach to contact lens aftercare will be challenged at BCLA UK as part of a drive to minimise drop-outs and maximise patient success.

As part of the two-day event – which is being held across two cities for the first time this year – Professor Philip Morgan from the University of Manchester will examine the ways in which patients are cared for immediately after being fitted with contact lenses.
The session will look at how much the industry has evolved in recent years but how the aftercare offered is much the same as it was decades previously – suggesting it’s time for an overhaul of the way eye care practitioners structure their service.
Professor Morgan said: “The evolution of the contact lens world over the past three decades has been remarkable, with dramatic improvements in material biocompatibility, better lens designs, simplified lens care systems and flexible and convenient modalities of wear.

“However, our approach to the aftercare examination remains conservative, with our general mode of practice rooted in the early, difficult years of contact lens fitting. Perhaps it is time to rethink our approach to contact lens aftercare.

“Current evidence in relation to key aspects of contact lens aftercare, such as refractive status, vision, comfort, complications, patient education and compliance will be examined.

“A revised and flexible approach to contact lens aftercare scheduling will be considered from a clinical perspective; further to this, we will explore the importance of keeping in contact with our lens wearers in the early weeks after contact lens fitting to minimise drop-outs and maximise patient success.”

BCLA UK will be split over two cities for the first time this year, with the first session being held on Monday, 4 June at Conference Aston in Birmingham and the second scheduled for Sunday, 10 June at IET Savoy in London.

BCLA new Contact Lens Hub provides many opportunities at Optrafair

April 2018

The brand-new BCLA contact Lens Hub at Optrafair will provide delegates with a one-stop shop for all queries about how they can get the most out of contact lenses and the management of ocular surface health.

Co-hosted by the British Contact Lens Association, there will be an impressive range of informative sessions throughout the three-day event, providing an invaluable opportunity for topping up CET points. The hub is free to attend and provides a perfect opportunity to gain expert advice on subjects including astigmatism, presbyopia, fitting of irregular corneas and dry eye disease.

Experts from the BCLA will be on hand across all three days to answer any questions delegates may have on Contact Lens management.

Sessions include:

• Multifocal Contact Lens Fitting Made Easy

Melissa McErlane & Dr. Rachel Hiscox, 3 CET points

• Not a dry eye in the house
Professor Christine Purslow, 3 CET points

• Don’t make mountains out of Mole Hills (Specialist CL fitting)
Josie Barlow, 3 CET points

• Presbyopia and Contact Lenses
Jonathon Bench, 3 CET points

• Astigmatism and Contact Lenses
Guraj Jabbal, 3 CET points

View full programme here

"The dedicated Contact Lens Hub provides us with an opportunity to assemble a team of the very best speakers from across the industry and help delegates be more confident with contact lenses, getting them up to date with the very latest research and best practice.” - BCLA president Keith Tempa

The BCLA Contact Lens Hub sessions are now available for booking - REGISTER NOW!


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