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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, April to October 2021




AOP campaign tackles illegal supply online
Manufacturer bags deal with leading practice to give patients the ‘ultimate’ contact lens welcome kit
Call for papers ahead of rescheduled NCC conference
‘Let’s get comfortable talking about contact lens discomfort’
New BCLA President - ‘ECPs can adapt and thrive in a post-pandemic world’
Save the date for ‘BCLA Vision’ - a new conference coming soon
BCLA Presidential Address to look at how ECPs can adapt in a post pandemic world
Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election
IACLE announces Ophtecs as a new sponsor
Webinar to ‘fix the itch’ of allergies and contact lenses
Global audience tunes in as BCLA Clinical Conference goes virtual
Hundreds of practices take part in national awareness campaign
IC Specialist - A New Website and Service Launch from No7 Contact Lenses
IACLE recognizes and applauds the achievements of its 2021 Contact Lens Educator Award winners
ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2021 Now Available
CooperVision unveiled as sponsors of BCLA Myopia Management certificate
BCLA relaunches national contact lens campaign
Webinar to "plot the process" of detecting and managing keratoconus
Contact lens and dry eye support for independents
Essilor to Present New Results for its Stellest Lens for Children With Myopia
Nominations open for 2021 BCLA Awards
Read January to March 2021 Contact Lens News Here

AOP campaign tackles illegal supply online

October 2021

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is launching a new national campaign – designed to highlight the risks of illegal supply in the UK.

The campaign Know your lenses, is in response to AOP optometrist members reporting a consumer shift during the pandemic – as more patients buy their prescription contact lenses online.

In a survey of over 1000 optometrists, over half (56%) of AOP members, said they saw as many as nine patients in a month who’ve experienced problems as a result of lenses they’ve purchased online with problems spanning from poor fitting lenses (57%) which can damage the eye, blurred vision (57%) to eye infections (36%) and sight threatening conditions (12%) – with eye irritation, redness and discomfort (80%) being the most likely issues.

In the UK, contact lenses can only be supplied under the general direction or supervision of a registered practitioner. But the AOP are highlighting how some UK websites are run by companies based overseas and fall outside UK jurisdiction, meaning some products are sold illegally. The research found that over half (55%) of its members reported seeing evidence that the law is being broken by suppliers. Yet almost half (45%) of the public are unaware of this legal loophole.

Adam Sampson, Chief Executive at the Association of Optometrists said: “Illegal supply is a longstanding issue for the sector, and we’ve often reported what we suspect are illegal suppliers to the General Optical Council (GOC) to investigate. But it’s time that there is more in place to protect the public – particularly, as the trend for consumers to buy online is only set to grow. We cannot possibly afford for people to trust unregulated sites over the skills of trained eyecare professionals."

Mr Sampson added: “The GOC is currently considering a draft protocol on illegal practice. As part of that process, we urge them to rightly clamp down on suppliers that provide products that are a real risk to UK consumers.”

The Association of Optometrists is calling on the government to close the loophole which enables online suppliers to operate outside UK safety laws and suggest that suppliers carry an approved kitemark to make it clear to consumers they are buying a trustworthy and safe product.

The Know Your Lenses campaign launches on 20 October 2021. As part of the campaign, the AOP are calling on optics to support by sharing the campaign pack, www.aop.org.uk/knowyourlenses

The AOP jointly produced an information leaflet Do you know the law on selling contact lenses? which sets out the facts and the GOC’s legal remit in this area. The leaflet can be used by optical practitioners who wish to advise suppliers of the law, www.aop.org.uk/ZPL-leaflet

Manufacturer bags deal with leading practice to give patients the ‘ultimate’ contact lens welcome kit

October 2021

Avizor Bag for Tomkins Knight and Son


Contact lens patients at an award-winning optometry practice are being given the “the perfect package” to help them look after their lenses thanks to a partnership with a leading manufacturer.

Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists in Northampton has teamed up with eye care solutions company Avizor to commission specially designed zip-up bags containing everything a patient needs to ensure happy and healthy contact lens wear.

All new contact lens patients receive the washbag-style kit containing their lenses as well as bottles of Avizor’s Unica Sensitive solution and easy-to-understand leaflets outlining how to safely wear contact lenses.

Brian Tompkins Gary Daniel and Dr Patel Brian Tompkins, director of Tompkins Knight & Son, said: “We want our patients to love their lenses. By presenting the lenses to them in a luxury bag with a high-quality product and clear and concise information on how and when to wear them, we are giving them the perfect package.”

The collaboration aims to enhance the patient experience and minimise drop-out rates among contact lens patients, while encouraging safe contact lens wear.

Gary Daniels, County/General Manager for Avizor UK, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with TK&S to provide patients with the ultimate kit to start their contact lens journey. These co-branded bags elevate contact lenses to a new level and will encourage long-term care.”

Image Brian Tompkins, Garry Daniels and Dr Patel


Call for papers ahead of rescheduled NCC conference

October 2021

Abstracts can now be submitted for an eagerly anticipated collaborative research symposium that had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dutch Contact Lens Congress (NCC) will be held in NH Koningshof in Veldhoven on Sunday 13 and Monday 14 March 2022.

The NCC and BCLA’s collaborative research symposium is being run as part of the event,
designed to showcase world class, cutting edge, clinically relevant research and nurture new researchers, clinicians and young academics to present at this level.

Submissions for the symposium should be in the form of abstracts and can be a paper or digital poster (to be allocated by the BCLA Academic Committee) with case reports also encouraged.

A pre-screening service will be available until October 24 ahead of a final submissions deadline of November 14.

The two-day conference focuses on education, innovation, news and developments and, since its first edition in 2006, has grown into one of the largest contact lens-related conferences in Europe.

For more details, visit www.bcla.org.uk or https://contactlenscongress.com/home.php

‘Let’s get comfortable talking about contact lens discomfort’

October 2021

Phil Morgan
The latest BCLA webinar will urge eye care professionals to proactively address the issue of contact lens discomfort in practice as part of a drive to reduce drop-out rates.

Titled ‘Optimising contact lens comfort for wearer success’ - the session – sponsored by Alcon – will be held online from 6.30pm on Tuesday, November 23 and will be presented by Professor Philip Morgan.

He will discuss how eye care practitioners can go about reducing the number of people discontinuing contact lens wear by proactively addressing the issue of contact lens discomfort in practice.

The session will also ask which change to the contact lens landscape could have the most dramatic impact on wearer satisfaction in the coming years.


Professor Morgan said: “When confronted with this question, ECPs tend to migrate to sophisticated improvements in contact lens designs such as a novel multifocal lens or some form of complex ‘smart’ contact lens.

“Of course, such innovations would open up new opportunities and probably drive new fits. But the most important change which would increase the number of wearers is largely in the hands of ECPs: reducing the number of contact lens wearers who stop using their lenses. In other words, to minimise ‘drop-outs’ or ‘discontinuations’.

“ECPs have considerable influence over this phenomenon and the key to success in this area is to understand the key influence of contact lens discomfort (CLD) on drop-out rates, to appreciate the causes of CLD and to then consider how it can best be managed.”

Philip Morgan is a Fellow of the BCLA. He is Professor of Optometry, Head of Optometry, Deputy Head of the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, and Director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester. His main research interests relate to the clinical performance of contact lenses and he teaches on the same subject area at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

He is President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and Vice President of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators. He is an honorary member of the UK Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the UK College of Optometrists.

He has authored over 200 papers, primarily relating to the clinical performance of contact lenses and the nature of the UK and international contact lens markets, and has spoken about his work in more than 30 countries worldwide.

To register for the session, which is worth one interactive CET point and open only to BCLA members, visit www.bcla.org.uk.

New BCLA President - ‘ECPs can adapt and thrive in a post-pandemic world’

September 2021

Neil Retallic President BCLA The new President of the British Contact Lens Association has highlighted the opportunities that exist for eye care professionals in a post-pandemic world, with a renewed appetite for getting back to life in lenses.

Neil Retallic, Global Professional Services Manager for Menicon, formally took over as President from Indie Grewal following the BCLA’s AGM on Thursday, 9 September and used his inaugural address to issue a rallying call to members.

The session - entitled ‘The person behind the contact lens - through a pandemic and beyond’ – was held as an online webinar and looked at how eye care professionals can best use the experience of COVID-19 to prepare themselves for the months and years ahead.

He said: “COVID-19 has prompted an unprecedented degree of change for contact lens wearers and eye care professionals. Together we have climbed a new unknown mountain, responding well by maximising ways to communicate remotely, and adapting our clinics to respect COVID-19 guidance on PPE, hygiene, ventilation, and social distancing measures.

“The journey of digital transformation in health care, including tele-optometry, is helping us reach the top of that mountain but now, as restrictions are easing, the question is which path do we follow?

“As ECPs we need to understand the emotional consequences of COVID-19 and the resulting mental health crisis. We must go the extra mile and adopt a holistic person-centred health care approach to maximise our contact lens wearer’s performance, ocular and mental health.

“To keep our patients happy, healthy, and successful with contact lens wear, we need to think about the person behind the lens.”

Neil is an assessor and examiner for the College of Optometrists. His previous roles include Professional Services Manager for CooperVision, Learning and Development Manager for Vision Express and Optometry Teaching Fellow for the University of Manchester.

He has been involved with various organisations across the sector and is currently part of the GOC Education Committee, Chair of the BCLA Education Committee and a Past Chair of the British and Irish University and College Contact Lens Educators. He has been awarded fellowships from the BCLA and IACLE.

Save the date for ‘BCLA Vision’ - a new conference coming soon

August 2021

Neil Retallic President BCLA
Eye care professionals will be able to hear from world-leading experts on how to integrate tele-optometry into their everyday post-pandemic business as part of a new conference being staged by the BCLA.

‘BCLA Vision’ will be held online on Sunday, 7 November and will feature a number of keynote speakers, including the BCLA Medal address to be delivered by Professor James Wolffsohn and the Pioneers lecture.

A live lecture stream will include sessions on tele-optometry in anterior eye practice, technology that has been accelerated due to the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lecture will discuss how ECPs can integrate tele-optometry into their practice permanently to help care for contact lens and dry eye patients.

Other sessions will look at the ‘business’ of contact lenses and dry eye, exploring the secrets of making them profitable and suggesting business model options practices could employ.

The fully virtual event, which is open to members and non-members of the BCLA, follows on from the live-streamed BCLA Clinical Conference. Everyone who registered for that event will automatically have access to BCLA Vision so will not need to re-register.

BCLA chief executive Luke Stevens-Burt said: “We are delighted to be adding BCLA Vision to our annual calendar of events, following on from the Clinical Conference and once again bringing the expertise of leading global figures to a worldwide audience.


“We have carefully curated a programme featuring the very latest research, with a focus on the innovation and technology available to us today that we should not ignore and that can play a huge part in how we look after contact lens and anterior eye.”

Registration for the event, featuring partner sponsor Alcon and platinum sponsors CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, will be opening in early August with full details on www.bcla.org.uk

BCLA Presidential Address to look at how ECPs can adapt in a post pandemic world

July 2021

Neil Retallic President BCLA
The President elect of the British Contact Lens Association will use his inaugural address to look at how eye care professionals can best use the experience of COVID-19 to prepare themselves for the ‘new’ post-pandemic world.

Neil Retallic, Global Professional Services Manager for Menicon, will formally take over as President from Indie Grewal following the BCLA’s forthcoming AGM on Tuesday, 7 September.

His first engagement will see him present an online webinar session entitled ‘The person behind the contact lens - through a pandemic and beyond’.

He said: “The pandemic has given us an opportunity to think differently and reflect on how we utilise technology as eye care professionals, to keep pace with the evolving needs and behavioural changes of our patients.

“Mental health related issues have doubled in 2021 compared to before the pandemic and this presentation discusses how we can best relate, influence, motivate and maximise success for our contact lens patients in this "new" world.”


Neil is an assessor and examiner for the College of Optometrists. His previous roles include Professional Services Manager for CooperVision, Learning and Development Manager for Vision Express and Optometry Teaching Fellow for the University of Manchester.

He has been involved with various organisations across the sector and is currently part of the GOC Education Committee, Chair of the BCLA Education Committee and a Past Chair of the British and Irish University and College Contact Lens Educators. He has been awarded fellowships from the BCLA and IACLE.

Nominations open ahead of BCLA Council election

July 2021


BCLA Nominations

The BCLA is looking for “committed” and “passionate” members to put themselves forward to represent their peers and shape the future of the global 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 Luke Stevens-Burt said: “A BCLA council member has a passion for contact lenses and anterior eye health. Council members are expected to know, understand and support the Association’s mission, goals, policies, programmes, services, strengths and needs.

“Council members represent eye care practitioners from a multi-disciplinary profession and industry, covering all aspects relating to contact lenses and anterior eye.

“You would be joining council at an extremely 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.

All council members are expected to provide top level leadership for the organisation, promote and actively encourage membership of the BCLA, attend council meetings, CPD events and conferences.
Only UK-based full members of the BCLA are eligible to apply and be nominated for election.

The closing date for receipt of completed nominations is 5pm on Tuesday, 27 July.

IACLE announces Ophtecs as a new sponsor

July 2021

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) has a new Bronze Sponsor – Ophtecs Corporation, a contact lens care solution manufacturer based in Japan.

IACLE President Professor Philip Morgan welcomed the Association’s new sponsor, saying, ‘It's fantastic news for IACLE and our members that we welcome Ophtecs as a new sponsor. The sponsors are an integral part of IACLE activity, and the Executive Board regularly speak with our sponsor colleagues to update them on our work, and to discuss issues facing our members. With this in mind, we look forward to working with our colleagues at Ophtecs and all our sponsors to continue our work towards IACLE's mission of developing outstanding contact lens educators.'

Founded in 1981, Ophtecs aims to provide comfortable lens wear for all types of contact lens wearers. This has led to the company developing unique and innovative contact lens care solutions which are distributed in over 15 countries. The company’s corporate mission is to ‘Contribute to the Global Ophthalmic Field’ and they continue to develop new products by having the care for contact lens wearers at heart.

CEO and President of Ophtecs Joe Yoneda commented, ‘We are very excited to be a part of IACLE’s activities and we look forward to working closely with the Association.’

CTO and Executive Director Mr Fumio Saito said, ‘We are happy and honoured to be a part of this worldwide organization. We are looking forward to working with IACLE and its members for a long time.’

IACLE Vice President Dr Shehzad Naroo also said, ‘IACLE is very pleased to announce our new sponsor. Ophtecs are a provider of contact lens care products based in Japan with a global reach. This comes at an exciting time for IACLE as we start our plans to grow our membership and develop more educational resources. Partnerships like this are the key to our success.’

Webinar to ‘fix the itch’ of allergies and contact lenses

June 2021

BCLA Fixing the Itch Webinar

The latest BCLA webinar will see look at the potential for allergic reactions to contact lenses and tips to help manage the condition to ensure happy and healthy long-term wear.

Titled ‘Fixing That Itch: Allergies and Contact Lenses’ - the session will be held online from 6.30pm on Wednesday, July 14 and will be led by the 2021 BCLA Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year Dr Keyur Patel and Zachary Cairns.

It will feature an informal and fun look at the aetiology of hypersensitivity reactions, how to manage them and the effect on contact lens wear. The expert presenters will discuss everyday allergic presentations (complete with case studies) and explain the strategies used to manage these scenarios.

The pair will examine how to best manage allergy-related complications including changing modality and therapeutic options.

Dr Keyur Patel is the Clinical Director at Tompkins Knight and Son Optometrists, with special interests in therapeutics, dry eye, sports vision and contact lenses, as well as continuing regular Glaucoma days in community clinic.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometrists, College of Optometrists and the British Contact Lens Association.
Zachary Cairns is a specialist optometrist currently working in the United Arab Emirates. He is currently the Deputy Head of Moorfields Optometry department and specialises in contact lenses, anterior segment and glaucoma.

He has worked across disciplines such as specialist contact lenses, emergency cornea, glaucoma and all core optometry clinics.

To register for the session, which is worth one interactive CET point and open only to BCLA members, visit www.bcla.org.uk.

Global audience tunes in as BCLA Clinical Conference goes virtual

June 2021

Eye care professionals from around the world enjoyed 30 hours of live-streamed lectures as part of an innovative virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition held by the BCLA.

COVID-19 guidelines meant this year’s flagship event could not be held in person, but the BCLA switched to an online platform giving presenters the chance to reach a truly global audience – with the conference programme shown to 1,000 delegates from 50 different countries across multiple time zones.

This year’s programme was dominated by the ground-breaking BCLA Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR) – a research project sponsored by Alcon and CooperVision that will shape contact lens practice for years to come.

The report’s globally respected lead authors presented their findings in dedicated sessions across the programme, giving delegates the chance to learn the latest information in the field and highlight potential opportunities for future research.

Luke Stevens-Burt, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “We are a truly international association, as evidenced by our growing worldwide membership, and online events such as this allow our community to come together and share the latest learning around contact lenses and the anterior eye.

“Moving to a virtual platform for this year’s Clinical Conference allowed us to rethink how the whole event works and we were able to reach eye care professionals who otherwise would not have been able to join us.

“Attempting to get all the BCLA CLEAR lead authors to present their findings as part of our packed programme was ambitious to say the least but has really brought this extensive piece of research to life. It has enabled us to bring BCLA CLEAR to every single nation, benefitting both practitioners and patients around the world.”

The report was published in April in CLAE journal and distributed in hard copy to BCLA members and CLAE subscribers. It is also available as open access through the Elsevier website.

The conference also featured the BCLA award lectures.

Marta Blanco-Vazquez, a PhD student at IOBA, University of Valladolid, received the Da Vinci Award and presented her session on corneal nerve plexus in patients suffering from chronic ocular pain and dry eye disease.

Associate Professor Stephen Vincent from Queensland University of Technology was presented with the Dallos Award following his session entitled ‘Impact of short-term fenestrated scleral lens wear on intraocular pressure’.

Dr Orla Murphy, assistant lecturer at Technological University Dublin presented the Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture on Demodex Blepharitis - detection and management in clinical practice.

BCLA President Indie Grewal, who staged a live ortho-k fitting as part of the event, said: “This year’s programme was arguably our most comprehensive yet, covering practically every conceivable subject area within contact lenses and the anterior eye.

“The findings of BCLA CLEAR will determine how we practice for years to come so to have access to this information at such an early stage will stand all our delegates in good stead as we begin to adopt the recommendations contained in the research.”

The Conference also featured the coveted BCLA awards. Dr Keyur Patel was named Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year, Sabrina Sheik picked up the award for Young Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year while John Pruitt and Erich Bauman from Alcon won the Industry Award.

Andrew Jelly, Jonathan Jackson, Joanne Logan won the award for best poster while Marco Tovaglia was named the winner of the Diane Gould Photography Competition.

Delegates also enjoyed an interactive quiz held via a mobile phone app, took part in live polls during lectures and presentations while an exclusive session brought together new and existing BCLA Fellows.

Alcon were Partner Sponsors for the event while CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Vision were Platinum Sponsors.

Hundreds of practices take part in national awareness campaign

June 2021

Love Your Lenses
Optical practices across the UK and beyond have backed a national campaign aimed at raising the profile of contact lenses – reminding patients about safe practices and that it’s #TimeToTry.



Organised by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), the Love Your Lenses Week campaign aims to increase safety awareness of contact lenses and open glasses wearers’ eyes to the benefits of a new lifestyle filled with freedom, choice and comfort.

The awareness week, from 14-20 June, features a strong focus on the importance of compliance and good contact lens hygiene while also promoting the BCLA’s #StopTheSteam message to prevent the problem of spectacles fogging up in the age of facemasks.

Indie Grewal, President of the BCLA, said: “The BCLA is proud to bring back Love Your Lenses week. Contact lenses can change lives for the better. We are passionate about the role they play in eye health and we know eye care professional around the country are too.

“The campaign is putting contact lenses firmly in the public eye and inspiring eye care professionals to get talking about contact lenses and encourage their patients to consider giving them a try.

“With mask-wearing becoming an essential part of our daily routine during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to make the switch from spectacles to contact lenses.

“Love Your Lenses Week is an opportunity to remind patients of the importance of happy and healthy contact lens wear and a chance to give simple, practical advice such as ‘no water’ messaging to ensure compliance and create good long-term habits.”

More than 200 individual practices registered for the campaign, supported by Alcon, Mark’ennovy, Johnson and Johnson Vision, ASDA Opticians and the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers.

The campaign was officially launched at the BCLA Virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition and practices have been getting involved across social media using the #TimeToTry hashtag, displaying campaign posters in their practice and wearing official Love Your Lenses t-shirts.

IC Specialist - A New Website and Service Launch from No7 Contact Lenses

June 2021

No7 Contact Lenses are excited to announce a new website and service launch, IC Specialist - www.icspecialist.no7contactlenses.com.

IC Specialist Website
Free to all No7 customers, IC Specialist will support ECPs interested in fitting lenses for irregular corneas. At launch, IC Specialist includes a range of comprehensive educational courses, a contact lens design selector, key product information and beta access to new IC designs.

“The products featured on the IC Specialist website are exclusively from No7 - but this is not a marketing platform,” stressed Katie Harrop, Professional Services Director & UK Commercial Lead for No7 Contact Lenses. “We have created a way to share our knowledge, expertise and experience with customers in an accessible and convenient manner. Ultimately, our goal is to help more patients with irregular corneas to live happier lives with healthier vision.” Katie concluded.

With new site developments in the pipeline for late 2021 - including a Blog/Vlog and a Contact Lens Knowledge-base - and more features planned for 2022, No7 want to create an indispensable resource and tool for their customers.

Using IC Specialist, No7 believes ECPs can build their product knowledge, increase their fitting choices and enhance their practice offering. This enhanced offering, they’ve concluded, will lead to better patient outcomes and an improved patient experience.

Furthermore, No7 see IC Specialist as an essential internal training tool, helping clinical leads and practice owners to keep their teams up-to-speed and supplementing their professional development.

No7 customers who wish to register to the IC Specialist website can visit www.icspecialist.no7contactlenses.com. Registration and membership are free to all No7 account holders.

IACLE recognizes and applauds the achievements of its 2021 Contact Lens Educator Award winners

June 2021

Byki HuntjensContact lens educators from three countries – Colombia, China and the United Kingdom – are celebrating their success in the 2021 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards. The meetings they will attend to receive their awards will be confirmed once COVID-19 restrictions allow.

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. Sponsored by CooperVision, these prestigious awards are presented each year to an individual from each of IACLE’s global regions.

The 2021 winners are:
• IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Dr Johanna Garzón
Universidad de La Salle, Bogota, Colombia

• IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Wei Xu
Jinling Institute of Technology, Nanjing, China

• IACLE Europe/Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year
Dr Byki Huntjens
City, University of London, UK

Dr Huntjens commented (pictured above), ‘IACLE provides immeasurable support for any contact lens educator worldwide, and particularly during the global Covid-19 pandemic. The Association comprises of an extraordinary group of professionals who, like me, have a passion for contact lenses and are willing to share their knowledge to enhance our educational provision. Because in the end, everything we do is for the next generation of eye care practitioners. Thank you IACLE, for this awesome award; I cannot wait to share this news with my students!’

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo added, ‘It’s that time of year for IACLE to announce the winners of the Educator of the Year Awards. The winner for the Asia Pacific region is Wei Xu; for the Americas is Johanna Garzón; and for Europe Africa and Middle East is Byki Huntjens. Thank you to CooperVision for continuing to sponsor the Educator of the Year Awards.’

ACLM Contact Lens Year Book 2021 Now Available

June 2021

ACLM Report 2021
The 2021 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 is an essential product guide and handy reference for contact lens practitioners, and is also supported by its own online version.

The online version is 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 up to 12 months for all those who have purchased the latest hard copy Year Book, as well as BCLA members and selected students at the various training establishments.

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 www.aclm.org.uk.

Alternatively, join the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and receive a free copy of the Year Book as part of the membership package (conditions apply).

CooperVision unveiled as sponsors of BCLA Myopia Management certificate

May 2021

CooperVision has given its backing for the BCLA’s highly regarded Myopia Management Certificate, agreeing to sponsor the programme for an initial 12-month period.
Hundreds of eye care practitioners have signed up to work towards the certificate since it was launched as part of the BCLA’s refreshed education programme.

MM Certificate The Myopia Management certificate from the BCLA focuses on clinical skills and evidence-based practice in myopia management.

Luke Stevens-Burt, BCLA chief executive, said: “We are always keen to help our members improve their clinical expertise which in turn improves patient care; the Myopia Management Certificate does exactly that and we are delighted to have CooperVision’s support for the next 12 months.”

The structure of the certificate is designed to provide eye care professionals with expert knowledge in the three main areas of myopia management: spectacles, contact lenses and pharmacological interventions.

BCLA members taking part in the programme work through an education resource to allow clinicians access to new specialised knowledge supported by training and peer assessment.

Krupa Patel, Head of Professional Services at CooperVision, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the BCLA for this course. Provision of high-quality education round myopia management is essential, and this qualification ensures practitioners are best placed to deliver up-to-date knowledge and best practice in this ever-evolving area.”

The Myopia Management certificate can be achieved by any optometrist or contact lens optician who attains seven credits and a final oral (viva voce) examination.

It is a requirement of the certificate that each of the five online modules and one relevant workshop/ peer review is passed in order to progress and there are no optional modules within this certificate.

This certificate will need to be renewed every three years. BCLA membership must be maintained throughout this period. The course is available to full members of the BCLA and is free to complete including access to all course materials and additional resources.

BCLA relaunches national contact lens campaign

May 2021

The BCLA is bringing back the national ‘Love Your Lenses’ campaign, with eye care professionals urged to sign up to spread awareness of the benefits of lenses.

BCLA Love your Lenses

The campaign, previously run by the General Optical Council, has been taken over and revitalised by BCLA after lying dormant last year partly due to the pandemic.

Taking place from Monday, 14 June, to Sunday, 20 June, the focus of this year’s Love Your Lenses campaign will be on safety and compliance, urging practitioners to suggest to patients that it’s ‘time to try’ contact lenses – reinforcing the message that lenses are safe to wear, highlighting them to new wearers and bringing back former wearers.

There will also be a secondary message this year – looking at how wearing contact lenses rather than spectacles can stop the problem of glasses steaming up in the age of facemasks.

Luke Stevens-Burt, Chief Executive of the BCLA, said: “Love Your Lenses Week is about loving your lenses so that you love your eyes, with safe practice comes safe wear. Contact lenses can change lives for the better. We are passionate about the role they play in eye health.

“The BCLA is proud to bring back Love Your Lenses week and we are now inviting practices to sign up and support a campaign that raises awareness of safe contact lens wear and the benefits of wearing contact lenses.

“There has never been a better time to make the switch from spectacles to contact lenses. We believe this campaign can act as a catalyst for change – driving people towards contact lenses and a new lifestyle filled with freedom, choice and comfort.”

The campaign will be officially launched at the most anticipated contact lens virtual event of the 2021 optometry calendar, the BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, which will take place Saturday, June 13, to Sunday, June 14.

Luke added: “With mask-wearing becoming an essential part of our daily routine during the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone wearing glasses will have experienced the all-too-regular frustration of ‘steaming’ or ‘fogging’ whenever they step inside a shop. Contact lenses can eradicate that problem immediately.”

Registration to the campaign is free to eye care professionals. Participants will receive a printed resource pack, including t-shirts, posters, pens and stickers. An online resource pack, containing digital animations, social media graphics, factsheets and a checklist, will also be shared to provide participants with everything they need to stage their local campaign.

Love Your Lenses is a UK campaign but practices outside of the UK are welcome to spread the message in their countries and/or regions. BCLA cannot provide printed materials internationally, but practices can use the digital resources.

To register, visit: www.loveyourlenses.com

Webinar to "plot the process" of detecting and managing keratoconus

May 2021

Phil Thompson at Positive Impact

The latest BCLA webinar will see senior representatives of a corneal, surgical and contact lens team "plot the process" of first detecting keratoconus and treating the condition through to potential surgical management.

The interactive online session, sponsored by Menicon, will be held from 6.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday, 12th May and will be presented by Prof Jonathan Jackson, Dimple Patel, Michael O’Gallagher and Dr Deirdre Burns of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Titled "Keratoconus: From detection to management, experiences of a multi-professional team in Northern Ireland"’ the webinar will examine in detail the non-inflammatory corneal thinning disorder characterised by localised corneal protrusion and thinning on the corneal apex.

Prof Jackson, Head of Optometry at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, said: "The prevalence of Keratoconus (KC) is approximately 1:2000 although there are ethnic and other systemic disease differences. Presentation is generally symptom driven and suspicions are highlighted by otherwise unexplained increasing irregular myopic astigmatism."

"Presentation is most likely during teenage years or in early to mid 20s. Late onset disease does occur and may also be associated with unilateral or markedly asymmetric disease. Many patients, on presentation, show atopic tendencies and admit to being aggressive eye rubbers.

"In early disease visual correction can be achieved through spectacle correction although painstaking accurate refraction is essential. Advice about the importance of allergic management and desisting from eye rubbing is essential."

Miss Patel, a consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon specialising in anterior segment and corneal diseases, added: "As the condition progress specialist rigid gas permeable contact lenses are the correction mode of choice as they optimise VA through correction of ametropia and irregular astigmatism. They also resolve any issues with anisometropia. Intolerant patients may benefit from specialist soft toric or hybrid CLs. In advanced cases mini-scleral or scleral CLs are very useful providing these are fitted by those with experience with these lenses, and that patients can handle them."

An established consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Mr O’Gallagher said: "Over the last 10 years great developments have occurred in the management of KC with the availability of corneal crosslinking. This treatment is highly effective and with the exception of some corneal haze and associated blur, which usually resolves within 3/12, complications are rare."

Dr Burns, an experienced independent prescriber who currently works in the Regional Corneal Service as well as Eye Casualty, the Glaucoma Service and Contact Lens Clinics Complex, added: “Cases may in <10% of cases progress to the point where corneal grafting is required. Surgical approaches range from partial to full thickness keratoplasty. Other surgical management options including the insertion of corneal ring segments, may be suitable in specialist cases. Post-surgical visual rehabilitation often involves a return to specialist CL use and once again involves ongoing shared care management.”

To register for the Menicon-sponsored session, which is worth one interactive CET point and open only to BCLA members, visit www.bcla.org.uk.

Contact lens and dry eye support for independents

April 2021

Positive Impact is introducing weekly ‘drop-in’ surgeries for contact lens and dry eye queries. The online meeting sessions will provide opportunities for practitioners to discuss general non-urgent clinical and technical queries and to obtain tips and troubleshooting advice on contact lenses or dry eye, especially associated with the company’s extensive portfolio.

Phil Thompson at Positive Impact
The sessions will be hosted by Positive Impact’s Head of Professional Services, Phil Thompson and held on Wednesday lunchtimes between 1-2pm, initially running through April and May.

The surgeries are free to join, with no appointment necessary and no need to attend from the beginning to the end. The sessions are being run online via GoToMeeting and practitioners simply click through during the session opening times to join the event.

Positive Impact’s Director of Marketing and Professional Services, Nick Atkins, said: “We’ve all had more general contact lens or dry eye technical or clinical queries, either product or non-product related.

"You know the sort of thing, not something you desperately need to phone professional services about, but a question that it would just be good to finally know the answer to.

“Phil is a mine of information on contact lens fitting and dry eye so we thought it would be great to make him regularly accessible to practitioners.”


Mr Thompson said: “If you want to know more about a specific product such as NaturalVue 1-day Multifocal contact lenses, the new electronic eyelid hygiene device NuLids, or our next generation periocular cleanser, Purifeyes, then this is a convenient way to find out what you need to know between patients.”

Essilor to Present New Results for its Stellest Lens for Children With Myopia

April 2021

Essilor will unveil pivotal 2-year clinical trial results of its Stellest lens for myopia. The 2-year results demonstrate that Essilor Stellest lenses slow down myopia progression by 67% on average, when compared to single vision lenses, when worn at least 12 hours a day,1 according to Essilor.

The presentation of the research, entitled “Myopia control with spectacle lenses with aspherical lenslets: a 2-year randomized clinical trial,” will be delivered at the annual meeting of the ARVO, on May 6, 2021, by BAO Jinhua,2 Associate Professor at Wenzhou Medical University, China.

In 2018, Essilor’s research and development team initiated a 3-year clinical trial on 167 myopic children3 in its joint Research and Development Center shared with key partner, the Wenzhou Medical University, in China.

Key outcomes include:

● After 2 years, children wearing Essilor Stellest lenses saved 0.99 diopters of myopia degree on average (67% slow-down in myopia progression on average), compared to single vision lenses, when worn 12 hours or more per day every day.
● After the first year, the eye growth of 9 out of 10 children wearing Essilor Stellest lenses was similar or slower than non-myopic children.1
● Two out of 3 children who wore Essilor Stellest lenses did not need a prescription change after the first year1.
● 100% of children wearing Essilor Stellest lenses had clear vision, 100% of children adapted to their new lenses within a week; 91% of children fully adapted within three days; and 94% of children felt comfortable with Essilor Stellest lenses, demonstrating that Essilor Stellest lenses were comfortable, and easy to adapt for children.1

“With such impressive results, Essilor’s Stellest lenses will truly be a catalyst to stem myopia progression and to help children, who continue to be at risk of sight-threatening eye conditions associated with myopia,” Norbert Gorny, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Essilor International, said in a company news release. “Essilor is proud to be at the forefront of myopia management and we will continue to be focused on bringing such innovative advances to move the needle on the fight against myopia.”

The Essilor Stellest lenses provide myopia correction through a single vision lens, which allows for sharp far vision and myopia control through H.A.L.T.4 technology, which consists of a constellation of aspherical lenslets spread on 11 rings and was designed to create for the first time, a volume of signal that slows down the elongation of the eye. The power of lens lets on each ring has been determined to guarantee a volume of signal always in front of the retina and following its shape, to achieve consistent myopia slowdown.

Nominations open for 2021 BCLA Awards

April 2021

Nominations are now open for the 2021 BCLA Awards, with the nation’s leading eye care practitioners vying for some of the profession’s most coveted crowns.

C2019 Winner Saleel  Jivraj
Held as part of this year’s Virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition, the awards will honour those who have a track record for excellence in eye care and a passion for pioneering new techniques that are transforming everyday practice.

The flagship event is being held online due to COVID-19 restrictions, with a groundbreaking live-streaming service beaming coverage around the world across multiple timezones.

BCLA chief executive Luke Stevens-Burt said: “Recognition from your peers is arguably the ultimate accolade and the BCLA Awards are held in incredibly high esteem across the profession.

“We look forward to receiving a high standard of nominations and submissions and the competition is sure to be strong.”



Categories include the BCLA Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year Award, to be given to an individual working in practice, with a proven record in managing dry eye. It is aimed to honour and recognise the work of an eye care professional who has set up and runs a successful dry eye clinic.

The BCLA Young Contact Lens Practitioner Award will be given to an individual working in practice, just starting out in their career. It is aimed to honour and recognise the work of an eye care professional who has been qualified for no more than five years operating within the field of contact lenses.

Eleanor Hill Young 2019 winner The BCLA Industry Award will be given to an individual or team working within industry who has made an outstanding contribution to the contact lens profession either in relation to a product/technology or a concept. It is aimed to honour and recognise the entrepreneurial work being carried out by individuals working in contact lens science, research and technology within the industry.

Entries are also invited for the Diane Gould Photography Competition, with submissions able to feature in an online image gallery open to BCLA members.

The deadline for submissions to all categories is 3rd May, 2021. Further details on entry criteria and how to make a nomination for either yourself or a fellow professional can be found online.

As well as the awards, the virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition will feature a host of passionate speakers who can inspire eye care professionals to make a real difference to patients’ lives, including the lead authors of all papers contained in the CLEAR reports.

Alcon are Partner Sponsors for the event while CooperVision and Johnson & Johnson Visioncare are Platinum Sponsors.

For more information on registering for the BCLA’s virtual Clinical Conference and Exhibition, visit www.bcla.org.uk

Photos from the previous awards are also attached, showing Saleel Jivraj and Eleanor Hill collecting their awards for Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year and Young Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year respectively from former BCLA President Professor Sunil Shah.

 

 
 
 
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