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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, July to September 2018

‘Surviving practice change’ is key to unlocking future success, hears BCLA Asia.
BCLA Presidential Address will be a ‘window into the world’ of an opthalmologist
IACLE releases New Distance Learning Program for contact lens educators
Call for Papers launched ahead of flagship event by BCLA
BCLA to collaborate on new course in Ortho-K.
Good pals share a vision to see more together
SynergEyes announce an expansion of its sales and professional services team for even better coverage across the UK.
National ski champion praises ortho-k for sharper vision
CLAE ‘punching above its weight’ as journal’s impact factor rises for fourth straight year
First recipients of BCLA Dry Eye & Contact Lens Retention Certificate celebrate exam success.
Read the archived news on Contact Lenses in 2nd Quarter 2018

‘Surviving practice change’ is key to unlocking future success, hears BCLA Asia.

September 2018

BCLA AsiaA “seismic shift” in the way practices do business should be embraced rather than feared – with new technology offering practitioners the opportunity to be eye care pioneers.

That was the key message to emerge from BCLA Asia – a successful two day conference held in Singapore which saw more than 500 delegates take part in a series of hands-on workshops and hear presentations from a raft of experts from across the world.

The conference, titled ‘Surviving Practice Change’, examined the nature of a rapidly changing industry and how business owners can adapt to overcome the commercial challenges that presents.

BCLA chief executive Cheryl Donnelly said: “Technology is advancing fast, both in terms of instrumentation, techniques and products available for eye care professionals to enhance the life of our patients within eye care. It is and will represent a seismic shift in day-to-day professional life.

“BCLA Asia was a platform to provide the tools for practitioners to embrace this change to deliver the best eye care for patients in times of commercial challenge and best position themselves for future success.”

Taking place over two days at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre, BCLA Asia included sessions detailing the very latest clinical guidance on topics such as myopia control, dry eye management and presbyopia.

The event was a partnership between the BCLA and the Singapore Optometric Association and featured lectures from leading industry figures including Professor Pauline Cho, Professor Jennifer Craig, Dr Kate Gifford, Professor Eric Papas and Professor James Wolffsohn.

An exhibition allowed delegates to get ‘hands on’ with the latest products and there were opportunities to network with colleagues and the wider contact lens and anterior eye community.
The President of the SOA, Dr Liang Hwee KOH, said: “This conference formed part of our continuing efforts to bring forefront optometric education not just to Singapore but also to the wider Asian community.

“The meeting attracted a wide range of ocular health professionals, scientists and business experts, bringing together a unique interdisciplinary blend of knowledge and networking opportunities.”

Delegates were able to hear about the latest research and clinical guidance across a wide range of subject areas, including myopia management, as well as industry innovations in the field.

BCLA Presidential Address will be a ‘window into the world’ of an opthalmologist

September 2018

Ever wondered what really goes on in the life of an ophthalmologist? New British Contact Lens Association president Sunil Shah is preparing to give an exclusive insight as part of his Presidential Address since taking over the role.

Professor Shah, who took over in the BCLA hotseat earlier this year, will use his eagerly-awaited Presidential Address to explain more about his role and explore how the relationship between ophthalmology and optometry can not only grow but prosper in years to come.

The speech will form the highlight of the forthcoming event at the Royal College of Nursing in London on Tuesday, October 2.

Professor Shah said: “The talk will give an insight into my day-to-day working life as an ophthalmologist and showcase just what an ophthalmologist can achieve if they put their mind to it.

“We will discuss research, humanitarian work and complex surgery on cases that would challenge even the most seasoned of surgeons.

“The presentation will look at paediatric corneal surgery, the results that can be achieved and why this sort of surgery is the most challenging yet most rewarding and needs a multidisciplinary team to deliver.

“I have had a life long interest in the accuracy of IOP measurement and ways to improve it. This research has had a worldwide impact on the understanding of ocular biomechanics and how we manage glaucoma.

“I am a huge believer in teamwork without boundaries. A simple Facebook post led to 120 volunteers joining me in Cambodia to work with the Khmer Sight Foundation. I will be looking at how we, as a profession, can give back to communities in need and create a significant, lifelong impact.

“There is great potential for ophthalmology and optometry to work together to help produce better eye health outcomes. I look forward to promoting unity between the two professions throughout my presidency.”

Registration and drinks reception starts from 6.30pm and the lecture will start at 7pm and finish at 8pm.

IACLE releases New Distance Learning Program for contact lens educators

September 2018

Nilesh ThiteThe International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) has fully revised and updated its Distance Learning Program (DLP) in line with the New IACLE Contact Lens Course (New ICLC). The program is now available to IACLE members via its website,

The New DLP is designed as a self-study aid for the New ICLC to assist educators with their teaching. The program guides members through the course module-by-module with an assignment of multiple-choice questions after each section submitted to IACLE for marking and feedback.

The DLP is also an ideal way to prepare for the IACLE Fellowship Exam which next takes place in November 2019. On successful completion of the Fellowship Exam, members are eligible to apply for Fellow of IACLE (FIACLE) status.

The New DLP consists of 12 assignments in four phases based on the New ICLC modules, each requiring the completion of 2-4 assignments:

Phase 1: 2 assignments: Module A – Basics of Contact Lenses
Phase 2: 4 assignments: Module B – Contact Lens Fitting
Phase 3: 3 assignments: Module C – Contact Lens Care & Module D – Contact Lens Complications
Phase 4: 3 assignments: Module E – Advanced Contact Lens Practice

Director of Educational Programs Nilesh Thite welcomed the launch: ‘IACLE’s flagship program, the New ICLC, was the first step in revamping and updating IACLE resources and programs to meet the needs of today’s educators. The New DLP, a coordinated effort of our Education Team and Fellows of IACLE, aligns well with the New ICLC. Completing this program will help members stay abreast of current knowledge and prepare well for the forthcoming Fellowship Exam.’

The following FIACLEs in India contributed significant new material: Ajay Shinde, Sankara College of Optometry; Rajeswari Mahadevan, Sankara Nethralaya Medical Research Foundation; Prema Chande, Lotus College of Optometry; Gauri Kunjeer Patel, Nagar School of Optometry; Anitha Arvind, Sankara College of Optometry; and Pancham Kulkarni, Lotus College of Optometry.

Call for Papers launched ahead of flagship event by BCLA

September 2018

A call for papers has been issued ahead of next year’s BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, with researchers and eye care professionals urged to submit their latest work.

The flagship event is returning to Manchester next year, with the city set to play host to one of the profession’s most eagerly anticipated international conferences.

Researchers are urged to plan and put the submission dates in their calendars, with the call having officially opened on September 1st.

A pre-screening service will be available, with a deadline of November 23, 2018. The final deadline for papers to be submitted via the BCLA website is January 11, 2019.

The three-day Clinical Conference and Exhibition – due to take place from May 30 to June 1 2019, is 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 an event to remember, featuring a host of passionate speakers delivering the latest research to inspire eye care professionals to make a real difference to patients’ lives.

“The Call for Papers opened on September 1 and we look forward a host of high quality submissions as we continue to trail-blaze cutting edge contact lens and anterior eye research and its implications on evidence-based clinical practice.” added Professor James Wolffsohn, the BCLA Academic Chair.

All abstracts will be published in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (CLAE). Submissions should be in the form of abstracts and can be a paper or electronic poster (to be allocated by the Academic Committee) with case reports also encouraged.

Abstracts must contain the following:

• A clear statement of hypothesis, an explanation of robust methods (such as cross-over and randomised trials with appropriate controls of sufficient sample size), a full report of the resulting data that unequivocally test the hypothesis and a brief discussion of their implications in the conclusion.
• Subject matter should be topical, novel and must contain original data (including actual numbers with standard deviations and significance values where appropriate) - it is important the study is completed rather than expected findings are stated
• Abstract results must be of significant scientific value to advance the understanding or advancement of the field. Literature review abstracts or untested theories will be rejected.
• Commercial relationships must be fully disclosed. Predominantly commercial abstracts will be rejected unless they report new scientific research developments.

For more details about the British Contact Lens Association and on how to submit papers, visit the BCLA website.

BCLA to collaborate on new course in Ortho-K.

August 2018

BCLA and OrthoEye care professionals with an interest in Ortho-K can take advantage of a new course being launched as part of a collaboration between the BCLA and The Hong Kong Academy of Orthokeratology.

The comprehensive Orthokeratology Continuing Education (OKCE) course will be aimed at practitioners who wish to start offering Ortho-K treatment in their practice, or who have recently started their Ortho-K journey and is expected to feature a range of online and didactic lectures, lab sessions, seminars and exams.

It will share the same 12 learning goals as the exam route OKCE which is for practitioners with five or more years of Ortho-K practice.

The first 12 delegates (experienced Ortho-K practitioners in China) have already begun their studies towards the qualification – which includes an element of hands-on laboratory sessions and sees participants spending up to five days attending lab sessions, selected didactic lectures at BCLA conferences, case reports, and taking a written and practical exam.

The BCLA has given its backing to the course and plans are in place to launch an extended global roll-out of the content via an online digital platform.

Professor Sunil Shah, President of the BCLA, said: “The aim of this course is to allow candidates the chance to demonstrate evidence of the understanding of basic theory of Ortho-K, to understand the pros and cons, the selection of patients and a host of other issues related to ortho-k practice.

“It will promote safe and ethical practice and boost professional competency, while increasing knowledge of how to identify potential problems from data collected during examination. This will set a global standard for Ortho-K practice.”

The first phase of the course is currently taking place in China, with the 12 delegates expected to attend the forthcoming BCLA Asia conference in Singapore.
On completion of the modules, participants will have achieved 12 key learning outcomes, including knowledge of assessing and monitoring corneal integrity, explaining the effects of Ortho-K, demonstrating competency in lens fitting and discussing the importance of compliance.

Pauline Cho, immediate past president of The Hong Kong Academy of Orthokeratology, said: “Ortho-K is a rapidly growing field within 21st century optometry and there is a huge appetite for learning. This course will help to meet that demand.”

“We look forward to working with the BCLA to help a new generation of eye health practitioners demonstrate initiative and resourcefulness in seeking information or advice, and to be able to propose modification of decisions or alternatives in the light of new information and considerations, or to overcome learning gaps.”

The OKCE will count for 10 of the 50 points required for Fellowship status of the BCLA and, together with four case records of suitable standard on myopia control, would achieve the FBCLA [myopic control].

Further information about the course will be available at BCLA Asia, taking place on 18-19 September 2018 at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre.

The event will include sessions detailing the very latest clinical guidance on topics including dry eye management and presbyopia. There will be a range of hands-on workshops covering clinical skills, business and presentation/research skills.

An exhibition will allow delegates to get see the latest products and there will be plenty of opportunities to network with colleagues and the wider contact lens and anterior eye community.

Good pals share a vision to see more together

August 2018

Good pals – 10 year old Eleanor and Lucy – have abandoned their glasses but are now both seeing better than ever!
Turners Opticians
The Bristol girls have taken up EyeDream Ortho-k which allows them to sleep off their myopia and be free of glasses and contact lenses every day. The overnight, bespoke, lenses create a moulding force with tears which ensures good vision for the day ahead.
Lucy explained, “Eleanor came into school without her glasses and I thought she had forgotten them. She said she was using Ortho-k. As I have worn glasses since I was 4, I was really interested. I’m -3.00 Dioptres and really needed my glasses, so I decided to give Ortho-k a try and it is amazing. All my friends are saying ‘where are your glasses?’ ”

Lucy didn’t like wearing glasses, but without them could not see the interactive white board, her friends in the playground, and sometimes even the teacher. Taking them off for PE also created problems -

“I started Ortho-k two months ago and I can see everything. Seeing well has given me more confidence at Badtri, the Bristol and District Triathlon Club. Before Ortho-k I couldn’t fit my glasses under my cycling helmet and swimming was a problem.”

Her mother, Kate Budd, whose vision is -8.00 Dioptres was keen for Lucy to try Ortho-k, “If this was around when I was a child it would have changed my life. I was short-sighted from five but wouldn’t wear glasses. There are massive benefits for Lucy in using Ortho-k. I like the fact that it is under my control for hygiene and ensuring the lenses are not lost. It can also limit short-sightedness and I am hoping that Lucy’s eyesight does not deteriorate at the same rate as mine.”

Ruth Altwasser shares the same concerns about her daughter Eleanor’s vision, as she too is very myopic, " “There was a lot of motivation to try Ortho-k, as I have so many problems with glasses when the children swim and splash my glasses. I have never been able to take part in contact sports, and if Eleanor’s vision continued to deteriorate as much as mine and my Mum’s did she wouldn’t be able to do so much, particularly swimming underwater and following the ballet teacher’s instructions.

“Eleanor has been using Ortho-k for seven months and it is going really well. She has taken responsibility for cleaning the lenses and putting them in,” added her mother.
A form of Ortho-K was first used by the ancient Mandarin Chinese. They knew that sleeping with tiny bags of sand on their closed eyelids resulted in better vision the next day, having created temporary change to the cornea.

Refined to an almost perfect science, Ortho-k is now prescribed by opticians after taking detailed topographical maps of the cornea. Bespoke lenses are produced for each eye and gently flatten the cornea by less than a hair’s width, and the results are significant. Both Lucy and Eleanor are being treated by Turners Opticians in Fishponds, Bristol, as Peter Turner, Optometrist, explained, “We know that myopia in UK children has doubled in the past 50 years and the likelihood of developing more serious eye conditions in later life is significantly higher with even low levels of myopia. If we can arrest the progression of vision loss in young people it has to be good. The other benefit is that this leaves them free of glasses and contact lenses all day.”

It is cliamed that Ortho-k is the fastest growing form of vision correction in the UK and is suitable for people of all ages.

SynergEyes announce an expansion of its sales and professional services team for even better coverage across the UK.

August 2018

SynergeyesMost of the new recruits (pictured) met recently at Heathrow for training under the supervision of SynergEyes Sales Manager, Hans Sunassee (front row, far left).

Hans said: “We have aggressive plans for the expansion of our Duette and Duette Progressive contact lenses for regular astigmats and astigmatic presbyopes in High Street contact lens practice. The expansion of our team is the first step to achieving this.”

SynergEyes Head of Professional Services, Phil Thompson (back row, third from right) explained: “Our new Professional Services Consultants are an experienced team of contact lens opticians with extensive experience in fitting all types of contact lenses in a mixture of commercial, hospital and teaching environments.”

He concluded: “This expansion ensures that we can now more easily support fitting and training requests in practices as far afield as Lands End and John O’Groats.”

National ski champion praises ortho-k for sharper vision

July 2018

Charlie EmmettWater skiing speeds of 58km per hour require superb vision and international hopeful, Charlie Emmett, has just upped his game with a clever approach for enhanced eyesight.

The 17 year old Oxfordshire lad, training six times a week for the World Championship slalom water ski title, has found a means of enhancing his performance, having been hindered by his vision -

“Good eyesight is really important in the sport because of the speed and angle of seeing the buoys. You can’t wear glasses in the water and ordinary contact lenses are a nightmare as they move or can be washed out,” said Charlie who trains alongside other internationals at the Oxford Water Ski club.

But a visit to Ivan Cammack Optometrists in Thame has solved the problem, thanks to an overnight form of vision correction called EyeDream Ortho-k which takes place as Charlie sleeps –

“The Ortho-k vision correction has boosted my confidence, and since using the treatment I have won the UK Silver Medal for Slalom skiing – the lenses are incredible. It has made a huge difference and I wouldn’t have achieved the scores without the lenses. I feel so much more confident when I see well. EyeDream lenses are helping me to make my dream come true – of being world champion.”

Charlie’s achievements – he is Southern Regional Champion for both Juniors and Seniors and is now set to compete in the autumn in the International Under 21 age category – are even more remarkable as he is on the Autistic spectrum. The passion for skiing started when Charlie was 5, engendered by his parents Karine and Jeff who are both keen skiers, but the recent success also is due to his optometrist -

“Charlie is a perfect candidate for EyeDream myopia correction. The tailor-made lenses gently alter the shape of the cornea by less than the thickness of a human hair during sleep. This ensures that Charlie has excellent vision for the day ahead. The lenses stay in the bathroom at home and he is free of glasses and contact lenses all day. It is an excellent solution to the problem of poor eyesight for many sporty youngsters, and most get used to inserting the removing the lenses very quickly,” said Ivan.

The additional benefit of EyeDream Ortho-k is the news that correcting the vision of young people seems to slow the progression of myopia, thereby reducing the likelihood of developing serious eye conditions later in life.

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CLAE ‘punching above its weight’ as journal’s impact factor rises for fourth straight year

July 2018

A journal dedicated to contact lenses and the anterior eye has seen its impact factor rise for the fourth successive year – ensuring it remains one of the key publications for eye care professionals.
Contact Lens & Anterior Eye – the official journal of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) – has received a 2017 impact factor rating of 1.865, up from 1.783 the year before.
The rating is calculated by adding the number of citations in 2017 to any content published in 2015 or 2016 and dividing that total by the number of scholarly (citable) items published in 2015 or 2016.
Shehzad NarooEditor-in-Chief of CLAE Shehzad Naroo, a Reader at Aston University, said: “When all ophthalmic journals are grouped together there are around 60 journals that currently hold an Impact Factor. These journals represent the ophthalmic sub speciality of medicine and fields allied to medicine.”

“CLAE is a sub-speciality within this sub-speciality since we do not accept all ophthalmic papers. We limit our submissions to papers related to contact lenses or anterior eye topics that are relevant to contact lens work.“

“Therefore, for CLAE to be classed in the middle of this group of journals and to be consistent in its placing is a testament to the journal. CLAE is above many ophthalmic journals that accept all ophthalmic papers so we are clearly punching well above our weight but more importantly we seem to be consistently doing well in the ranking of journals according to impact factors.

“Researchers have a wide range of choice of peer reviewed journals to choose from but if they want to get their work to be published in the best contact lens journal in the world then they have to look at submitting to CLAE.”

CLAE is a research-based journal covering all aspects of contact lens theory and practice, including original articles on invention and innovations, as well as the regular features of clinical trials, novel case reports, literary reviews and editorials, .

It is available to all BCLA members, as well a smartphone app allowing all resources to be downloaded into the palm of your hand.

First recipients of BCLA Dry Eye & Contact Lens Retention Certificate celebrate exam success.

July 2018

The first 12 candidates to complete a new dry eye and contact lens retention course aimed at improving clinical expertise have received their certificates following exams at Aston University.

An Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) took place on June 26 – the first practical examinations since the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) course officially opened online in March.

The OSCE could only be taken once the five online modules had been completed, plus one relevant, GOC approved Dry Eye or Ocular Surface Health (OSH) workshop, peer review or lecture.

The exam involved five OSCE work stations in which participants had to demonstrate their practical knowledge related to dry eye diagnosis.

Puja Bhargava, who became one of the first in the UK to pass the exam and receive her certificate, said: “I wanted to do the certificate to ensure my dry eye knowledge was as good as it could be. I definitely achieved this through the online modules and MCQs. It was the first time I had taken a verbal exam in at least 10 years.

“The certificate has provided us with such a great opportunity and such useful information. I definitely feel much better prepared for every patient I see and very much ahead of the curve.”

The new CET-accredited programme, supported by Associate Partners Thea Pharmaceuticals, focuses on clinical skills for 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.

Professor Sunil Shah, BCLA President, said: “The Dry Eye Certificate is helping our members improve their clinical expertise which in turn enhances the patient experience.

“Ocular Surface Health 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.”

The free programme for BCLA Members 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.

Christine Purslow, head of medical affairs at Thea Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are proud and privileged to support the BCLA’s new Dry Eye Certificate. We have been at the forefront of dry eye education for optometrists and opticians since the business started 10 years ago, and so this partnership with the BCLA is a great fit with our continued commitment to education for eye care professionals.”



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