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Opchat Magazine Contact Lens PagesContact Lens News, October-December 2015

IACLE launches 2016 awards for achievements in contact lens teaching.

Anvisa registration for Safilens to sell fusion and open in Brazil

Optometry Tomorrow 2016 to offer contact lens stream with BCLA

BCLA sets out to Inspire All Practitioner’s To Have Confidence in Contact Lenses.

Optoms Join Myopia Control Roadshow

Building RGP Knowledge with New BCLA Course.

ORTHO-K to be highlighted with consumer marketing

An End to Reading Glasses Leads to Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851


IACLE launches 2016 awards for achievements in contact lens teaching.

November 2015

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) is offering educators around the world the chance to become IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year.

The 2016 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards will recognise and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. The awards are sponsored by CooperVision.

IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year will be awarded to three individuals, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions:

• Asia Pacific

• Europe / Africa – Middle East

• Americas

The three winners will each receive:

• A bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending a major international conference during 2016, thanks to generous sponsorship from CooperVision. This year recipients will have a choice of events to attend:

• NCC 2016 (Veldhoven, The Netherlands) – 13-14 March

• The 10th Asia Cornea & Contact Lens Conference (Hong Kong) – 28-29 April

• American Academy of Optometry (Anaheim, USA) – 9-12 November

• Permission to use the title 2016 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year for their region.

• A certificate to mark the award, to be presented at the event attended.

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards are open to all IACLE members from any country, with preference given to members who are active FIACLEs (Fellows of IACLE) or have attempted the IACLE Fellowship Exam.

The awards will recognise work by those who are established contact lens teachers. Equally, the award may be given in recognition of a useful educational contribution by an Associate Member, actively involved in IACLE and in contact lens education.

‘The journey was not mine alone and it belongs to all the people in IACLE who educated me,’ says Professor Monica Chaudhry, the 2015 IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year.

An IACLE member for 20 years, Monica describes joining IACLE as ‘a turning point’ in her career from clinician to educator that led to her becoming a key opinion leader in contact lenses in her country.

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo urges all IACLE members to consider entering. ‘2016 will be a little different from previous years in that the recipients will have a choice of international events to attend to receive their awards. We are pleased that CooperVision is continuing to support these awards through its generous sponsorship,’ he adds.

‘Reflecting our long-standing commitment to advancing the profession, CooperVision is proud to partner with IACLE for the Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards, recognizing the sizable effort and achievements made by contact lens educators worldwide,’ commented Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President, Global Professional & Clinical Affairs at CooperVision.‘

The IACLE Travel Award, offered for the first time in 2013, is a travel bursary for an IACLE Educator Member starting out on his / her career who would not otherwise be able to attend a major international conference.

The 2016 IACLE Travel Award is sponsored by IACLE and the winner will receive a bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending one of the three international conferences selected for 2016.

The deadline for entries for the 2016 awards is midnight on Thursday 31 December 2015. Entries should be submitted by email to IACLE Regional / National

Coordinators using the application forms to be found at (Awards).

Anvisa registration for Safilens to sell fusion and open in Brazil

November 2015

Safilens, a leading Italian company that has revolutionized the contact lens sector with its innovative fusion technology™ and that is about to take over the Brazilian market too, has scored another huge success. After being approved by the Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), its Fusion and Open lenses can now be sold to customers and patients in Brazil.

Fusion 1 Day PackagingThe authorization from ANVISA, a regulatory body for medical and health products sold in Brazil, removes all barriers to the distribution of Safilens products in the country.

“We are very proud of this more-than-deserved success”, said Vincenzo Bruno, Managing Director of Safilens.

“There are just two key words to maintaining market competitiveness: research and innovation. Our R&I investments have enabled us to introduce Fusion and Open to the Brazilian market.”

Guaranteed wellbeing for all Brazilian wearers of contact lenses who can benefit from extended protection of the surface of the eye thanks to the fusion technology™ patented by the company. fusion technology™ incorporates a co-polymer made from Tamarind-Seed Polysaccharides (TSP) and hyaluronic acid (HA).

This combination enhances the well-known properties of TSP and HA in hydrating, lubricating and protecting the eye surface from the mechanical stress caused by wearing contact lenses, thus promoting the re-growth of epithelial microvilli.

This technology improves wearer comfort by normalizing the tear film and works in harmony with the eye to continuously, and in a controlled manner, release natural tear film substitutes and mineral salts from the lens to the tear film.

Optometry Tomorrow 2016 to offer contact lens stream with BCLA

November 2015

The College of Optometrists and the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) have teamed up to offer dedicated contact lens sessions at Optometry Tomorrow 2016, the College’s two-day annual conference.

The organisations have worked together to develop content for a dedicated contact lens stream, resulting in engaging, informative sessions, all offering contact lens CET points.

As a result, members of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) who can’t attend both days of Optometry Tomorrow, will be able to attend the contact lens stream for a discounted rate of £165.

The contact lens stream will feature six seminars including: Little eyes, big vision problems; Contact lens clinical decision-making; Multifocal lenses; Keratoconus in a nutshell; Bugs, bugbears and contact lenses!; and How do you manage dry eye in contact lens patients?.

“Our partnership with the College of Optometrists and our support of the contact lens stream at Optometry Tomorrow are part of our ongoing mission to educate, interact and promote growth within the field of contact lenses and related areas,” said Cheryl Donnelly, BCLA CEO. “This event will provide a great opportunity for practitioners to update their knowledge on a wide range of contact lens related topics.”

Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services and Communications at the College of Optometrists, said: “We are delighted that BCLA is supporting the contact lens stream, which brings brand new content for Optometry Tomorrow 2016.

“A partnership approach to delivering these events is a great way to ensure we can offer the widest range of competencies to all of our members, leaving practitioners informed, inspired and ready to apply what they have learned about contact lenses back in practice.”

The conference will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole from 13-14 March 2016, and offers cutting-edge lectures, seminars, peer discussions, and skills and discussion workshops. It is set to attract over 500 of the UK's optometrists, making it a great way to engage with decision-makers and a wide range of eye care professionals who are keen to learn more about developments in the industry.

The programme and further information, is available at

College members booking before 14 December 2015 can benefit from 50% off their ticket rate. BCLA members will benefit from a reduced rate for the contact lens stream.

BCLA sets out to Inspire All Practitioner’s To Have Confidence in Contact Lenses.

November 2015

BCLA UK LOGOThe BCLA is delighted to announce a new event for 2016 - BCLA UK. Taking place on 12-13 June at the Belfry Hotel in the Midlands, this meeting will bring together UK eye care practitioners (ECP) for a programme aimed at giving them the confidence and practical skills to discuss and fit contact lenses to all patients who visit their practice.

The conference will show how promoting best contact lens practice will maximise success with modern contact lenses and care maintenance systems. It is suitable for all levels of ECP with a strong emphasis on interaction and importantly hand-on workshops to improve confidence in contact lenses.

“We have created BCLA UK to support practitioners in developing their skills and confidence in prescribing contact lenses,” said Brian Tompkins, President BCLA “It will provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of how to improve all elements of a contact lens patient’s journey from initial identification and fitting to meeting their changing needs as their vision requirements change. Doing this effectively results in reduced drop outs and happy, loyal patients. ”

Key outcomes from the conference include the ability to:
• Identify the best contact lens journey and work with the practice team to execute it for every patient that enters the practice
• Identify potential contact lens wearers and fit the lenses that best meet their needs.
• Manage future contact lens expectations by offering alternative options to meet changing visual needs and changing technology
• Understand the commercial benefits of including contact lenses in the practice business model and how to execute.

Cheryl Donnelly CEO BCLA


“We are delighted to announce BCLA UK and believe it provides a unique opportunity for attendees to build their skills and develop a more in depth knowledge of contact lenses,” said Cheryl Donnelly, CEO, BCLA.

“For employers, it provides an ideal opportunity to build their team’s confidence in managing potential and current contact lenses wearers and will help them grow their business.”

Event registration will be open in early 2016.

Optoms Join Myopia Control Roadshow

November 2015

 No 7 Ortho dayOptometrists from the Midlands gathered at No7’s Ortho-k and Myopia Control Roadshow at the NEC last week, gaining four CET points.

Many were surprised to see how easy it is to fit Ortho-k lenses, with minimal chair time, no trial sets and all measurements taken with a topographer.

Katie Harrop, No7 Professional Services Manager, explained, “With the topography images emailed to No7’s lab, nothing could be easier, as the decisions of lens design rest with the technical team in Hastings. We have the experience and knowledge to know what powers to produce. The only real decisions for the optometrist to make is if they are looking for a monovision approach to reading with 40+ age group patients. The lab technicians just need to know which eye requires the lower prescription. Monovision works very well with Ortho-k and provides a very quick adaptation with most patients,” said Katie.

Learning from the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of RGPS, with extensive support and experience, the delegates gained much about all aspects of topography. Katie provided many insightful tips into fitting Ortho-k lenses –

*Lid position affects the quality of the topography maps

*Topography measures tears, so poor tears will mean poor images, which is easily rectified with drops

*Ortho-k lenses need to be worn for just six hours a night but bring dramatic results

*The modality is suitable for myopes of up to -5.00D and cyls of no more than -2.5D

*No7’s reverse geometry Ortho-k lenses are made from high Dk material

*Prescription powers on the front surface enable lenses to be worn during active time, as the rear surface of the lens reshapes the cornea

*Lenses are easy to handle and stay at home during the day so are less likely to be lost

*Replacement lenses are provided every six months to ensure good hygiene and correct shape

Katie added, “Many of our practitioners are offering the modality to children who are at risk of advancing myopia, and to adults who are looking at laser surgery and even those who have been rejected for laser because their prescription is not stable.
“Ortho-K is a great way to lower the age profile of the practice. Data shows that nearly one third of patients are fitted between 8-18 years, while some practices say 70% of their patients are children,” she added.

As the most effective means of reducing the progression of myopia, according to the late Brian Holden, and a host of international studies, Ortho-k has won favour with many practitioners, said Katie, adding “As rates of myopia increase so does the burden in healthcare with associated conditions including retinal detachment, glaucoma, choroidal neovascularization, and myopia maculopathy. If we can reduce the level of myopia we can reduce the risk factors. Although lagging behind the Far East in their exponential rise – with over 80% of children being myopic in Hong Kong, when just 5% of their grandparents were - we are heading in the same direction here in the UK.”

Jeff Jacobs, Independent optometrist owner of Oculus in Norwich, praised the event. “Over the years I have been to many contact lens events and have to say that this was one of the best. I felt that the day gave me the information and confidence to be really proactive in regards to Ortho-K. The session on topography was very informative and will give more confidence in fitting specialist lenses.”

Building RGP Knowledge with New BCLA Course.

October 2015

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has announced a new training day focusing on rigid gas permeable lenses. Taking place on Sunday 6 December at Aston University, it will offer practitioners of all levels the opportunity to learn about RGPs for the first time or to update their knowledge on the latest advances with these lenses and their place in modern contact lens practice.

Andrew Elder Smith, BCLA Education committee chair commented, “This newly developed course offers a unique opportunity for practitioners at all stages of their career to enhance and develop their gas permeable lens fitting skills. About 1 in 12 contact lens wearers are wearing GPs and more could benefit from the latest mini-Scleral and OrthoK designs. The course will give attendees the knowledge and practical skills and confidence to build their contact lens practice.”

The day will open with an overview of GP lenses and how they fit into modern practice. The course will then divided into two tracks, both with a high degree of interactivity and hands on content.

Track 1 is designed for practitioners wishing to develop their core GP skills and is aimed at pre-regs, student CLOs, newly qualified and those returning to GP fitting after a break. It will focus on revising GP fitting skills including indications for GP contact lenses, design materials and fitting theory, aftercare, patient management and practical tips.

Track 2 is for more experienced practitioners wishing to develop skills in topography, OrthoK, fitting irregular corneas and Sclerals. It will look at OrthoK and myopia control, scleral and mini-scleral lenses, GP lenses for presbyopia and topography to the limbus and beyond.

ORTHO-K to be highlighted with consumer marketing

October 2015

No7 Contact Lenses, who consider themselves the UK’s market leader in Ortho-k, is embarking on a six month regional consumer marketing drive to raise awareness of the modality amongst children and adults.

This will see successful case studies highlighted in the local Press with publicity for the practices involved.

The “epidemic” of poor vision amongst children is a primary reason for optometrists to introduce Ortho-k, believes No7 Contact Lenses, which quotes the late Brian Holden who described the modality as “the best available option to stem the progression of myopia”.

Katie Harrop at No 7Katie Harrop, No7 Professional Services Manager, agreed, “The potential for Ortho-k is enormous, there are unlikely to be better ways to secure patient loyalty and to promote an independent practice with such specialist knowledge. The biggest barrier to wear is a lack of awareness.”

International Studies

Citing five studies* completed in the past three years into the effectiveness of the night time vision correction, the company believes there is clear evidence to put before parents and their children. Alarmingly, the University of Ulster’s April 2015 study shows that 23% of British 12 and 13 year olds are myopic compared with 10% fifty years before.

Studies into the effectiveness of Ortho-k in Dublin, Hong Kong, Spain, Australia and the US all indicate that the opportunity to arrest the progression of myopia is significant.

Aston University is starting a myopia clinic in 2016, providing consultations for parents about their children being myopic, stated Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Dean of Life Sciences at Aston University.

“I have been involved in myopia for 20 years and am jointly supervising PhD students in Hong Kong to look at corneal changes. In clinical practice Ortho-k is the most effective treatment for myopia that we have.”

Bringing less than 6 microns of change to the cornea, the system is freeing youngsters and adults from wearing specs and contact lenses during the day, and bringing a host of liberating lifestyle benefits.

Apart from the liberating benefits of night time vision correction, which leaves the patient free of glasses and contact lenses all day, Ortho-k’s reported ability to arrest the progression of myopia has significant other plus points, as Professor Wolffsohn highlighted –

“The association of myopia with other eye disorders has not yet reached the UK’s public perception, with rates of other conditions rising even with low levels of myopia, so it is really worth treating if we can,” he said.

Associated Benefits

Halting myopia progression is likely to bring other long term benefits, the Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, indicates. It reports on the effect of myopia in relation to glaucoma and retinal detachment, “Myopia represents a major risk factor for ocular disease that is comparable with the risks associated with hypertension for cardiovascular disease. The myopia risks for glaucoma and cataract were also comparable with the risks of stroke from smoking >20 cigarettes per day. For retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy, myopia carries a risk far in excess of any identified population risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

It was previously thought that the risk of eye health issues was highest in people with prescriptions higher than -6.00D, but even 1-3D of myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment fourfold. Up to -3.00D there is a two-fold increase in the risk of developing myopia and any reduction in myopia is beneficial in all respects.

UK produced lenses

No7’s production facility for Ortho-k, and other specialist contact lenses in Hastings, has developed a specialisation during the past decade which now ensures the company is the leading UK provider of this modality of vision correction. Some 25,000 different specifications of Ortho-k lenses have been produced at the Hastings laboratory for thousands of UK users, and the business is confident of moving the modality forward.

“We have a tremendous amount of experience and provide unrivalled support to our practitioner-partners. By manufacturing here we have great control and, backed up by our support desk and emphasis on customer service, we can react very quickly to our customers’ demands,” said Danny Pepper, No7 Sales and Marketing Manager.

An End to Reading Glasses Leads to Industrial Fellowship from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

October 2015

An end to reading glasses – developing a lens implant that stops the ageing process of eyes, giving clear vision in old age.

Along with The University of Leeds and The University of Manchester, UltraVision CLPL has successfully collaborated to support and fund Mr Devesh Mistry in a doctoral project, “Development of liquid crystal based ophthalmic devices with switchable focusing of ageing eye”.

This has resulted in Devesh Mistry being awarded an Industry Fellowship from the ROYAL COMMISSION FOR THE EXHIBITION OF 1851.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 awards some 25 postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships a year, for advanced study and research in science, engineering, the built environment and design. It also makes a small number of Special Awards to support projects consistent with its overall aims. Many of these are focused on raising the awareness of the young to the opportunities presented by science and engineering. The total annual disbursement is some £2m a year, funded from the Commission’s investment portfolio.
previously funding luminaries such as Nobel Laureates Professor Peter Higgs, Sir James Chadwick and Paul Dirac.

UltraVision CLPL has an ongoing commitment to bringing contact lenses and related products to market, both directly and with industrial partners. In collaboration with academic institutions and public and private companies across the globe, UltraVision CLPL’s R&D team is constantly working to develop new visionary products and technologies. This specific awarded project involves incorporating liquid crystals into intraocular lenses to address presbyopia without compromise. This is building on work between UltraVision CLPL and The University of Manchester which started in 2010 involving creating and patenting technology incorporating liquid crystals into contact lenses, again for addressing presbyopia without compromise.

John Clamp, COO of UltraVision CLPL said “Working with Devesh has been inspirational and we are thrilled that all the hard work has resulted in Devesh being awarded the prestigious Fellowship from the 1851 Royal Commission. We are continuing to partner with academic institutions and business partners to support translating innovative concepts into commercial products: contact lenses and intraocular lenses.”

Bernard Taylor, Chairman of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said: “Britain is renowned for carrying out world leading research but often we have fallen behind in turning that expertise into commercial applications. These Fellowships have been designed to identify research with potential to solve current problems in a commercially viable way. In doing so, we continue the spirit of the Great Exhibition of 1851 which showcased the inventive genius that led the world in innovation”.

UltraVision Pictured, left to right are:

Mr J Keith Lomas Group CEO, UltraVision CLPL
Professor Helen Gleeson OBE Cavendish Professor of Physics, University of Leeds
Mr Nigel Williams Secretary, 1851 Royal Commission
Mr Devesh Mistry Industrial Fellow, PhD Student, University of Leeds
Mr John Clamp Group COO, UltraVision CLPL
Dr Kevin Critchley Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor, University of Leeds



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