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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, April to June 2020




IACLE reports an exceptional year as membership grows
Avizor’s £9,000 eye drop donation will help ‘the heroes of the NHS’
BCLA produces "Contact Lens Wear and Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance" for practitioners and wearers plus advice on the restart of business
‘No evidence’ to suggest any contact lens concerns during COVID-19 outbreak
IACLE’s flagship resource – ICLC2020 – goes live today
New BCLA webinar to examine what coronavirus lockdown means for your practice
IACLE salutes the achievements of its 2020 Award winners
"Contact lenses can be at the forefront of a new era in eye health’ - BCLA chief excited for the future
'The end of an era' - BCLA bids a fond farewell to Cheryl Donnelly
IACLE makes resources available to all contact lens educators during COVID-19 pandemic
ACLM Year Book Now Available Online on New Website
Read Last quarter's Contact Lens Stories

IACLE reports an exceptional year as membership grows

May 2020

IACLE at Kolkata

More contact lens educators worldwide are enjoying the valuable benefits of belonging to the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE). Membership grew by 11% in 2019 as IACLE celebrated its 40th Anniversary with events around the world.

At the end of the year, the association had a total of 938 active members, compared to 845 at the close of 2018. IACLE was represented in 78 countries, with the highest numbers in China (276), India (139), Colombia (47), United Kingdom (46) and South Korea (43). More than a third of members (35%) were Fellows of IACLE (FIACLEs).



Key achievements for IACLE in 2019 included:

• Annual increase in membership of 11% as at 31 December
• 40th Anniversary events at major international, regional and national meetings
• Total attendance of 8,359 at IACLE’s own meetings, training and events
• Launch of new website with enhanced ease of use and design
• Completion and translations of the New IACLE Contact Lens Course (ICLC)
• Fully updated Distance Learning Program to align with New ICLC
• 1,585 students at 42 institutes completed the Student Trial Exam
• 44 news items and features on IACLE published during its 40th year

President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘2019 was an exceptional year for IACLE. We celebrated our 40th Anniversary around the world with friends old and new. We are grateful to our sponsors who supported our various initiatives in 2019. We have big plans for the rest of 2020 and new resources planned for 2021.’

Avizor’s £9,000 eye drop donation will help ‘the heroes of the NHS’

May 2020

Frontline staff at a number of hospital trusts around the UK have benefitted from the donation of hundreds of bottles of eye drops from Avizor.

The global eyecare manufacturer has handed over almost 1,000 bottles of Lacrifresh Ocu-Dry Eye Drops – a product designed to provide prolonged relief of dry eye symptoms.

The donation, worth almost £9,000, will help ease any dry eye symptoms being experienced by healthcare staff.

Avizor UK General Manager Gary Daniels said: “Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak we have been looking at and admiring the work being done by those on the frontline of the NHS and asking ourselves, ‘how can we help?’.

“Those working on the frontline to help combat this awful virus are doing an incredible job and it’s vital we all do what we can to protect their health as they strive to protect ours. We wanted to do our bit to allow the heroes of our NHS to focus on saving lives, giving them peace of mind and day-long comfort.”

The products were donated to staff working on the wards of hospital including Northampton General Hospital and the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
Brian Tompkins, director of Tompkins, Knight & Son Optometrists which assisted with the donation to Northampton General Hospital, said: “We were delighted to assist Avizor with this very generous donation and we hope it eases any eye irritation experienced by staff at NGH.”

Avizor has been developing and manufacturing contact lens care and ocular health products for more than 35 years, with a range of contact lens solutions and dry eye preparations now available in more than 70 countries worldwide.

BCLA produces "Contact Lens Wear and Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance" for practitioners and wearers plus advice on the restart of business

May 2020

In response COVID-19, public health organisations and government health officials are putting in place plans to ensure that people receive the right advice, care and support and that you have the best information, environment and equipment to do your job. The BCLA have issued the two statements below, one for Eye Care Practitioners (ECPs) and the other for Consumers.

Contact Lens Wear & Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance - ECPs*

Contact Lens Wear & Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance - Consumers*

The BCLA has compiled a set of recommendations based upon the latest available research and guidance from a number of professional associations. This document should be used in conjunction with local country/regional regulatory advice and/or professional body guidance.

Returning to Practice in Covid-19 Guidance*

*Download all pdf.s here

‘No evidence’ to suggest any contact lens concerns during COVID-19 outbreak

May 2020

Luke Stevens Burke CEO BCLA
The chief executive of the British Contact Lens Association has reiterated that contact lenses are safe to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite a number of recent articles in national media outlets suggesting lenses should be ditched in favour of wearing glasses, to date there remains zero clinical evidence to suggest there is an issue with wearing contact lenses during the current coronavirus outbreak.

BCLA chief executive Luke Stevens-Burt said: “We are concerned about the spread of ill-informed opinion regarding the subject of contact lens safety and COVID-19. I am keen to set the record straight on this and give much-needed peace of mind to the millions of contact lens wearers in the UK and around the world.

“There is simply no evidence to date that contact lenses should be avoided by healthy individuals, or that contact lens wearers are more at risk of developing COVID-19 symptoms compared to those wearing spectacles.



“Additionally, there is currently no evidence to suggest any correlation between the usage of contact lenses and the spread of COVID-19.

“We have produced clear guidelines for both eye care practitioners and the general public to ensure contact lens wearers continue to follow good hygiene practices and keep themselves safe from any potential infection, as they should do at all times.”

The BLCA has issued the following advice:

• Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses and lens cases.
• Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before applying a contact lens, even if the lens is new and directly from the packaging.
• Always wash and dry your hands before removing your contact lenses.

The BCLA has produced two dedicated fact sheets detailing advice for the wearing of contact lenses during the COVID-19 outbreak. They can be downloaded here

IACLE’s flagship resource – ICLC2020 – goes live today

April 2020

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators has today announced the release of the latest version of its most valued and important resource, the IACLE Contact Lens Course (ICLC), which is used by educators in institutions worldwide.

ICLC

ICLC2020 has been fully revised and updated by the world’s leading authorities in contact lenses. The course is now available exclusively to IACLE members via its website. From this year the course will be updated every 2 years to keep pace with the latest developments in the contact lens field.

ICLC2020 covers all aspects of contact lens education – from the anatomy of the cornea to the business of contact lens practice – in six modules and 33 lectures in PowerPoint format. The course provides educators with the materials needed to teach a high-quality contact lens course, and is also suitable for students and practitioners. A sample lecture is available free via the IACLE website.

Professor Lyndon Jones, of the University of Waterloo, Canada, is among the 27 Editors of ICLC2020 and commented: ‘The IACLE Contact Lens Course is a “one-stop shop” that covers every relevant aspect of modern contact lens practice in a thorough, easily readable manner. I highly recommend ICLC2020 to students and experienced practitioners looking for an up-to-date and comprehensive resource on contact lenses.’

The previous version of the course – the New ICLC – will now be known as ICLC2015. This version will continue to be available to members in Chinese (simplified), Korean and Spanish, with some lectures translated into French and Italian. The 2013 version of the ICLC is freely accessible as a student aid and can be found on our website under Free Resources.

‘Achieving excellence is a continuous process,’ said Director of Educational Programs, Nilesh Thite, who led the project. ‘As we approached the symbolic year 2020, updating the IACLE Contact Lens Course was an obvious step.

‘The diversity of the topics and the vastness of the information make this a difficult task to execute. However, with outstanding support from the international experts, the course is updated and is ready for members to access. We present ICLC2020 and thank all the Editors for their timely inputs and expertise!’

New BCLA webinar to examine what coronavirus lockdown means for your practice

April 2020

Covid 19 Webinar by BCLA

The impact of the coronavirus crisis on eye care professionals will be the subject of the next BCLA webinar, with the session shining a light on what the COVID-19 outbreak means for contact lens practitioners.

Dr Shehzad Naroo, Editor of the BCLA’s journal Contact Lens and Anterior Eye (CLAE), will be joined by co-presenter Dr Fabrizio Zeri for the webinar at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 19 May, titled ‘Contact lens practice in the time of COVID-19’.

The webinar will explain more about how COVID-19 can be transmitted, what precautions practitioners should take throughout the outbreak, what types of contact lens appointments should be considered an emergency and what advice practitioners should give to contact lens patients concerned about the impact of coronavirus.

Dr Naroo said: “The year 2020 will be remembered as the year the world was held to ransom by the coronavirus and the severe acute respiratory syndrome that it causes, known as COVID-19.
“Many parts of the world have gone into lockdown to prevent the transmission of this disease, which for some could be fatal. Most contact lens practitioners have offered an emergency-only service during this time – but what does that actually mean? Furthermore, what precautions should practitioners take and what advice should they give their patients?

"This outbreak is evolving rapidly, the impact to the public health risks to be massive with huge economic and social disruption. As contact lens practitioners we have the responsibility to minimise the transmission of COVID-19 in practice based on current scientific evidences."

The webinar is the latest resource made available to BCLA members since the start of the outbreak, following on from newly-published guidelines for both professionals and patients.

Dr Zeri added: “We have tried to gather the currently available, reliable, information to give an informed opinion on safe contact lens practice. We want to provide our colleagues with the best evidence about how to continue to work but minimising the risk for both the eye care practitioner and patient."

The online session will be held between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Tuesday, 19 May. To register, and to find out more, visit www.bcla.org.uk.

IACLE salutes the achievements of its 2020 Award winners

April 2020

Contact lens educators from six countries – India, Malaysia, South Africa, the US, UK and Venezuela – are celebrating their success in the 2020 IACLE Awards. The meetings they will attend to receive their awards will be confirmed once COVID-19 restrictions allow.

The IACLE Contact Lens Educators of the Year – awarded by the International Association of Contact Lens Educators – recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. Sponsored by CooperVision, and supported by the American Academy of Optometry, these prestigious awards are presented each year to an individual from each of IACLE’s global regions.

The 2020 winners are:



Renee Reader • IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year


Professor Renée Reeder


University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry, USA


Bariah Mohd Ali IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year


Professor Bariah Mohd Ali


Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

o Underwood

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


Jo Underwood



Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) College, Godmersham, UK



Professor Reeder commented: ‘This is such exciting news and such and incredible honor. I am so thankful to know that I have colleagues all over the world with the same struggles who are always willing to share and help. I hope that I can serve as a resource for them as well.’


The IACLE Travel Awards enable IACLE members to travel to international contact lens meetings and are funded by all the Industry Sponsors of IACLE (Alcon, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Bausch + Lomb and Euclid).

These Awards are also supported by the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators and by the American Academy of Optometry.

The 2020 recipients are:


Elizabeth Chetty


• Dr Elizabeth Chetty
University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Elizabeth will attend the 2021 Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) Annual Workshop, with kind support from AOCLE.



Martin Guzman


• Professor Martín Guzmán


Universidad Nacional Experimental Romulo Gallegos, Zaraza, Venezuela




Nirav Mehta

• Associate Professor Nirav Mehta




Hari Jyot College of Optometry, Navsari, India



Professor Guzmán commented: ‘I am immensely honored to be chosen as the recipient of this award, taking into account the times we are currently going through and the relevance of knowledge in the different areas of health and the potential contribution that we have ahead. It is our duty to continue studying in order to better serve our patients. This award will be fully used for that purpose.’

2020 IACLE Awards winners: will each receive a bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending a major international meeting where they will receive their certificates.

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo added his congratulations to this year’s winners and acknowledged the support of the sponsors and supporters: ‘Each year the competition for the IACLE Awards gets stronger. Thank you to CooperVision for continuing to sponsor the Educator Awards. We are pleased to be able to offer three Travel Awards too and we have three worthy recipients. We are grateful to be able to make these awards with the support of all our sponsors,’ said Dr Naroo.

"Contact lenses can be at the forefront of a new era in eye health’ - BCLA chief excited for the future

April 2020

The new chief executive of the British Contact Lens Association will focus on the organisation’s “exemplary commitment to high standards and guidelines for practice” as part of a drive to ensure the brand is synonymous with career and professional development.

Luke Stevens BurkeLuke Stevens-Burt will join the BCLA later in April, taking over from long-serving predecessor Cheryl Donnelly. Having started his career in the Armed Forces, he has forged a professional background in membership associations across the healthcare, information, education and public sector industries.

In an open letter to BCLA members announcing his arrival he said: “The BCLA exists within a similar ecosystem to all other membership bodies and professional associations. They face similar challenges and share experience across the professional spectrum.

“I intend to tap into the wide amount of knowledge from across this ecosystem to implement positive change and introduce tried and tested solutions and strategies to enhance the standing of the BCLA and build a valuable experience for all members.

“I foresee the BCLA achieving success through the brand being synonymous with career and professional development and raising the profile of the profession. It needs to be seen as a leading stakeholder by both the profession and the public.

“The former, through BCLA's exemplary commitment to high standards and guidelines for practice, and an active partner in key initiatives for the benefit of optometry. The latter, through a growing base of patients that receive the highest of care - in both practice and information - with a reduction in non-clinical dropout rates and improved ocular surface and anterior eye health.

“With the ongoing convergence of advanced technology, information systems and biology, the profession is at the cusp of truly amazing opportunities. Smart contact lenses are a leap into the 21st century and herald the real possibility of our specialism being at the forefront of a new era in eye health.”

Mr Stevens-Burt has pledged to bolster membership support, engagement and development through member and sector-responsive design, while also bolstering the BCLA’s standing in overseas markets, specifically South East Asia.

He takes over from Cheryl Donnelly, who departed the association on 27 March after more than six years at the helm. 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 last year.

She played a pivotal role in the launch of a new suite of exclusive member resources, including promoting 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. She also oversaw the introduction of the popular Dry Eye certificate and the soon-to-be-launched Myopia Management certificate.

President Jonathon Bench said: “Cheryl Donnelly has been a brilliant ambassador for 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.

“We now look forward to a new era with Luke at the helm. He is someone with huge passion and drive and his knowledge of growing membership organisations gives us the opportunity to push the BCLA even further.”

'The end of an era' - BCLA bids a fond farewell to Cheryl Donnelly

March 2020


Cheryl Donnelly Past CEO of BCLA
By anyone’s standards this has been an extraordinary week. Never has the word ‘unprecedented’ been so widely used.

As we all come to terms with the impact the global coronavirus pandemic is having on our daily lives, here at the BCLA we are also going through a period of huge change.

Last week marked the final day in position of our long-serving Chief Executive Cheryl Donnelly and we wanted to take the chance to say one final ‘thank-you’ for all Cheryl has done for the BCLA throughout her six years in the role.

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 last year.


Cheryl has played a pivotal role in the launch of a new suite of exclusive member resources, including promoting 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.

She also oversaw the introduction of the popular Dry Eye certificate and the soon-to-be-launched Myopia Management certificate.

Our President Jonathon Bench said: “Cheryl Donnelly has been a brilliant ambassador for 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."

A warm welcome to Luke Stevens-Burt

Luke Stevens BurkeCheryl’s successor is due to join us next month and we look forward to welcoming Luke Stevens-Burt to the BCLA family. Having started his career in the Armed Forces, Luke has forged a professional background in membership associations across the healthcare, information, education and public sector industries.

He said: "The BCLA is a world-renowned organisation and it is a real privilege for me to have been given the responsibility of ensuring this well-respected association continues to grow, thrive and inspire.

"I’ve seen and heard so many good things about the BCLA and I would like to place on record my thanks to my predecessor Cheryl Donnelly who has done such an incredible job throughout her six years in the role. We wish her well. She will be sorely missed and we look forward to seeing her at future BCLA events.

"I formally take the reins in April but before then I would like to outline my vision for the BCLA and explain more about how I see us progressing together on our journey to bolstering this Association’s position as a truly global beacon for excellence in the ocular surface and the anterior eye. Keep an eye on your inbox and I will be in touch soon."

IACLE makes resources available to all contact lens educators during COVID-19 pandemic

March 2020

WeChat
The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) is offering all educators access to online resources for remote teaching during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The IACLE Case Reports Series is now in the ‘Free Resources’ area of the IACLE website www.iacle.org. It provides 23 illustrated, interactive case reports with multiple-choice questions, for non-members and members alike to share with their students.

This resource is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean and simplified Chinese.

IACLE Resources
The 2013 version of the IACLE Contact Lens Course (ICLC) comprises 10 modules in 55 parts in PowerPoint format and is also available under 'Free Resources' as a student aid.

The latest version of the course – ICLC2020 – will be launched next month and is among a wide range of online resources for IACLE members. The IACLE Education Team is currently developing a series of narrated lectures as additional support for its members worldwide.

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘While many countries are facing a lockdown situation and most universities have closed already, it is important to ensure that the academic year is not wasted for our students.

IACLE is making available some great online teaching resources for all educators to share with students in these unusual global circumstances.’

ACLM Year Book Now Available Online on New Website

March 2020

ACLM Year BookThe product manual of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers has now been published online as part of our newly launched website www.aclm.org.uk. In easily searchable form 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 is the most comprehensive online dynamic interactive directory of contact lenses and contact lens care products available to the optical profession. The Year Book has become an essential product guide and handy reference for contact lens practitioners and is now available on computers, tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.

The website is a completely new version, aimed at encouraging new wearers, supporting existing ones and with a restricted area for eye care practitioners.

There is a separate restricted area in which the Year Book tables are available in easily searchable form and which can be viewed on the full range of electronic devices.

Access to these tables is free for all those who have purchased the latest hard copy Year Book version, as well as BCLA members and selected students at the various training establishments.

Practitioners can offer their patients the finest and most appropriate products available today by obtaining the latest copy of the Year Book and then choosing how they access the tables. 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 order the Year Book from the Home Page of the ACLM website at www.aclm.org.uk. Alternatively, join the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and receive free access to the Year Book Online as part of its membership package (conditions apply)

 

 
 
 
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