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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, October to December 2019

Eight tips for safe spooky contact lenses this Halloween from AOP
A long-lasting legacy to be proud of’ – tributes paid to departing BCLA chief executive.
Product recall: Acuvue daily disposable for astigmatism contact lenses
BCLA members help shape programme content for Pioneers & Visionaries conference
BCLA President urges members to ‘be ready for change’
Read last quarter's Contact News (July to September 2019)

Eight tips for safe spooky contact lenses this Halloween from AOP

October 2019

Make sure eye infections and ulcers aren’t part of your Halloween horror

CL Insertion• Many Halloween contact lenses are unregulated and illegal
• Poor quality contact lenses can cause serious eye health complications with wearers at risk of corneal ulcers or abrasions, eye infections and even blindness
• One eye expert in 10 has seen a patient with eye problems after wearing novelty contact lenses[i]

With Halloween approaching, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) offers advice for buying and wearing contact lenses safely – as thousands choose spooky eye wear as a finishing touch to their costume.

1. Get your lenses fitted by a professional, not the Internet

If they are not fitted and cared for properly, contact lenses carry a risk of eye infections, causing blindness in some rare cases. It’s not worth putting your eyes at risk, so get the best advice and make sure your contact lenses are fitted by an eye care professional.

2. Like swapping gruesome germs?

We didn’t think so. Never share or swap contact lenses with anyone else – the chances of getting a nasty infection, such as bacterial conjunctivitis, is much more likely. This can make eyes uncomfortable, pink or red, and create a yellow or green sticky discharge, and has the potential to lead to corneal ulcers, corneal scarring and blindness.

3. Can you trust the supplier?

Novelty lenses are often available in joke and fancy-dress shops and can be purchased online but these suppliers are often unregulated. It is illegal to sell contact lenses without the supervision of a registered professional like an optometrist or contact lens optician because of the risk to your eyes.

4. Don’t keep lenses in all night, or you’ll wake up with a fright

Unless specifically designed for extended use, contact lenses should not be worn overnight. Not only can extended use increase the risk of eye infections, it can starve your eye of oxygen and cause the lens to bind itself to the front of your eye.

5. Keep lenses clean but never with water

When wearing any type of contact lenses, make sure they are clean by using the recommended contact lens solution. Never use tap water to clean lenses because this can lead to serious, and potentially blinding, eye conditions. And always wash and dry your hands before inserting your lenses.

6. Don’t re-use your lenses, they’re better as a one-night stand

You should never re-use contact lenses unless they are specifically designed for repeat wear, as it increases the likelihood of infections and keratitis, which is a very painful inflammation of the cornea. Re-useable lenses must be kept in fresh contact lens solution, in a clean contact lens case too.

7. Put your lenses in before putting your face on

If your costume involves a full face of make-up remember to apply it after putting your contact lenses in.

8. If in doubt, take them out

If you suffer from any redness, irritation, swelling, pain or an aversion to light, remove your lenses immediately. Consult an optometrist or contact lens optician for advice as soon as possible.

A long-lasting legacy to be proud of’ – tributes paid to departing BCLA chief executive.

October 2019

The outgoing chief executive of the British Contact Lens Association has been praised for her work to “transform, modernise and enhance the member experience” as she prepares to leave her role.
Cheryl Donnelly has stepped down from her BCLA role after six years at the helm of the organisation, having overseen a period of unprecedented change and bolstered its reputation as a hugely respected global body on contact lenses, the anterior eye and the ocular surface.
She said: “The BCLA has always played a huge part in my career – it is fundamental to anyone who has an interest in contact lenses and the anterior eye. I have been hugely privileged to work alongside so many incredible people over the years and I can look back with an enormous sense of pride on everything we have achieved together.
“It will continue to be a major part of my life ¬– ICheryl Donelly will be watching on as a member and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.
“The organisation is in a good place, with a global reputation for excellence. We have a passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic council full of ideas for how to take the BCLA to the next level.

“The BCLA has always been keen to embrace change and be receptive to new ways of working. Now is the time for the BCLA to put that into practice and to write an exciting new chapter for itself as I prepare for my next challenge and adventure.”

During her time as chief executive Cheryl achieved an increased worldwide reach for the BCLA, including the launch of a new conference in Asia. She was responsible for the organisation’s 40th birthday celebrations and oversaw a number of hugely successful BCLA Clinical Conferences and Exhibitions, most recently in Manchester earlier this year.

She played a pivotal role in the launch of a new suite of exclusive member resources, including the acclaimed ‘No Water’ stickers and ‘Contact Lens Dos and Don’ts’ factsheets, and paved the way for innovative, 21st century communication – which culminated in the launch of webinars and live-streamed lectures to allow more members than ever before to access exclusive BCLA content no matter where they are in the world.

President Jonathon Bench said: “Cheryl Donnelly has been a titan of the BCLA who has a long-lasting legacy to be proud of. She has been a true pioneer and embraced the culture of change and innovation that lies at the heart of the association.

“Cheryl has worked tirelessly to transform, modernise and enhance the member experience and all of us who have benefited from her infectious enthusiasm and determination owe her a huge debt of gratitude.

“The challenge is now on for us to ensure her legacy lives on. We must channel her energy and her can-do attitude to ensure the BCLA continues to push boundaries and reach a new generation of eye care practitioners to guide the optical profession through what promises to be a hugely exciting period of change in the years to come.”

The post of chief executive is due to be advertised in the coming days. For more information, visit

Product recall: Acuvue daily disposable for astigmatism contact lenses

October 2019

The Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has urged users of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Acuvue daily disposable contact lenses for astigmatism to check their lenses, after J&J initiated a voluntary product recall of specific lots.

J&J is recalling specific lots of lenses which might have particles that could cause eye redness or discomfort or corneal abrasion if not noticed before insertion into the eye.

The MHRA says there have been no reports of serious adverse events to date.

J&J has also confirmed it has notified affected opticians and optometrists, recalling the affected lots and has instructed them to contact patients who may have received the affected product.

You can check if your products are affected, by checking the lot number of the lens boxes against the list published by Johnson & Johnson in the company’s field safety notice (FSN).

BCLA members help shape programme content for Pioneers & Visionaries conference

October 2019

Registration is now open for the eagerly-anticipated Pioneers & Visionaries conference – a one-day event featuring a programme shaped by BCLA members themselves.

The event will be returning to the popular Royal Society of Medicine in London on Tuesday, 26 November. BCLA members are encouraged to bring along a non-member as a guest to the event, to give them exclusive access to one of the premier dates in the organisation’s calendar.

The 2019 BCLA Pioneers Lecture, entitled ‘Understanding Contact Lens Discomfort’ will be presented by Professor Michel Guillon - Honorary Professor in The School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University.

He said: “Contact lens discomfort (CLD) is the major problem associated with contact lens wear. It leads to a substantial reduction in the benefits of using contact lenses as a vision correction modality for many wearers and is the leading cause of contact lens discontinuation.

“This lecture will critically review questionnaires used to determine CLD and demonstrate that CLD symptomatology is unlike dry eye symptomatology without contact lenses.

”It will identify the ocular and contact lens related factors influencing CLD and produce supporting evidence that the key to managing individual patients’ CLD is not simply quantifying CLD overall severity but characterising its occurrence, associations and consequence, with a view to establishing the unique CLD profile of individual patients upon which to develop a personalised management programme for an impactful clinical outcome.”

In keeping with the tradition of previous Pioneers and Visionaries events, the day will feature lectures presenting current and new thinking on key topics of relevance to everyday contact lens practice and ocular surface management.

BCLA President Jonathon Bench said: “This year’s programme has been shaped by BCLA members. Suggestions put forward as part of the ‘Members – You Decide’ survey have been incorporated into the programme, including a series of shorter presentations as part of a wider discussion. It promises to be an exciting, vibrant conference full of up-to-the-minute thinking around some of the biggest issues in contact lenses and the anterior eye.”

Sessions will cover all the key subject areas facing those working within contact lens and anterior segment practice and for those want to increase their specialism.

Highlights include ‘Is OrthoK for Myopia correction or myopia control?’ and ‘Is there a place for mini sclerals?’ while the Dry Eye management session will consider the views of both optometrists and ophthalmologists to discuss the NHS changes to Dry Eye product prescriptions and how this will affect patients.

The day will close with a glimpse into the future as Reena Chopra from Moorfields along with others will examine the role of Artificial Intelligence and Anterior Segment Grading.

The event, which also features an exhibition showcasing the very latest technology, is being staged in conjunction with BCLA partners Alcon and CooperVision, platinum sponsors Johnson & Johnson Vision, gold sponsors Menicon and SEED with UltraVision, technology sponsor Topcon and premium sponsors mark’ennovy and Visioneering Technologies.

To register for the event, click here For anyone wanting to bring a non-member along to the event as a guest, email the guest’s details here

BCLA President urges members to ‘be ready for change’

October 2019

David Quigley
The new President of the BCLA has called on eye care professionals to ‘inspire generations of patients’ and ‘be ready for change’ as part of his annual address to members.

Jonathon Bench used his Presidential Address at The Royal College of Nursing in London on Wednesday, September 25 to look back at the 42 years of the BCLA, to better understand the differences between the generations and to appreciate the advances provided for eye care professionals through technology and research.

The lecture looked at the very real challenges that exist in consulting rooms and how the profession can work together to address and overcome them. Jonathon also looked at the way in which patients continue to be the engines for change in the profession.

He said: “Each generation offers something different to those who have gone before. There’s never a more receptive brain than the one that’s been trained to learn. By making sure they are better educated than us we have so much learn from the generation that follows us.

“We are on the cusp of contact lenses going mainstream and it’s an exciting time for all of us. Patents are being filed for lenses which monitor different biological markers, such as glucose levels.

Contact lenses are being considered for integration into the management system of patients in the healthcare industry. Drug delivery via contact lenses is being talked about and we need to be ready for the change.”

Jonathon added: “The BCLA has committed itself to be a conduit for education and best practice sharing from peer to peer, creating a community of contact lens and ocular surface advocacy and bringing the cutting edge and novel insights and developments from academia/R&D to the practice.

He also called on BCLA members to focus on the positives and remember the impact eye care professionals have on patients’ lives. “Celebrate yourselves on a daily basis and think about the difference you make, remember how special the service you provide is. Think about those moments where you changed someone’s life.”

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