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BCLA supports IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards

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Once again, the BCLA is pleased to support the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) Contact Lens Educator of the Year awards, recognising and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide. The awards are sponsored by CooperVision and supported by the BCLA. IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Yearwill be awarded to three individuals, one from each of IACLE’s three regions: Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle-East and Africa; and the Americas. The awards will be presented at the the 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition (#BCLA2015) to be held from 29-31 May at th...

Search for 2015 BCLA Industry Award winner commences

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Our global search is now on for the recipient of the 2015 BCLA Industry Award – and for the first time we will be inviting members to cast a vote from the list of nominees. Launched in 2013 to honour and recognise the entrepreneurial work being carried out by individuals working in contact lens science, research and technology, the inaugural recipient of the BCLA Industry Award was Dr Paul Rose – inventor of the Rose K lens for keratoconus. Dr Rose, renowned throughout the world for his outstanding contribution to the field of contact lens research and development, was announced as the winne...

BCLA Optical Assistants course is back

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Recognising the important role that frontline staff play in successful contact lens practice, we're delighted to be once again teaming up with optometrist and staff development consultant, Sarah Morgan, to launch a new series of one-day courses for optical assistants – with an early bird booking deadline of Saturday 31 January. Kicking off on Thursday 19 March at the Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel in London, ‘Contact lenses – the ins and outs’, is ideal for staff wanting to increase their confidence with contact lenses. Key approaches and tips for teaching the new wearer, and promoting patient ...

New BCLA Student Reps sought

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After a successful year in post for our first-ever Student Rep, Shivani Madhavji, we are now looking to recruit a Student Representative from each of the UK and Ireland optometric training institutions to act as an advocate for the Association amongst their peers. Optometry students in the second year of a three-year course, or the third year of a four-year course, or those currently enrolled on a contact lens optician course, are invited to apply by the closing date of Monday 2 March. “This is a very exciting opportunity for our future contact lens experts,” said Andrew Elder Smith, BCLA Co...

In the news: extended wear study, latest prescribing report, Google Glass sales halted and more

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Vision Direct has launched a £2m ad campaign for its contact lens delivery service, via a ‘Plastic Monsters’ film short, reports The Drum.  Google is ending sales of its Google Glass eyewear (pictured) – insisting that it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product, but will stop producing Glass in its present form, reported BBC News. Daily cleaning of contact lenses with a multipurpose disinfection solution did not significantly reduce ocular adverse events with extended wear, according to a study published in Optometry & Vision Science. Researchers who eval...

Association Partnership with Optrafair announced

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We are pleased to confirm that the BCLA is an Association Partner of Optrafair, the annual trade fair of the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians (FMO) which next takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 18-20 April 2015. BCLA CEO, Cheryl Donnelly, said: “We are delighted to be an Association Partner of Optrafair 2015, and are looking forward to having a strong presence at the event. “As well as catching up with our existing members who will be attending the show, we are keen to meet with those eyecare practitioners who don’t fit contact lenses to discuss how, alongside spectacle wear, offeri...

FDA Microbiology and Contact Lenses Workshop report by Dr Joseph Barr

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Dr Joseph Barr OD, MS, FAAO, FBCLA, reports on the outcomes and actions the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be focusing on regarding the impact to contact lens care products for the industry and the ECP, following its recent Microbiology and Contact Lenses Workshop. On 12 September 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the American Academy of Optometry, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists (CLAO) co-sponsored a one-day workshop entitl...

#BCLA2015 to mark new chapter: registration now open

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The 39th British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference and Exhibition, to be held at the ACC Liverpool, UK, from 29-31 May, is expected to signify a new chapter for the Association and its members. With booking channels now open via our newly refreshed website, BCLA members are being invited to make the most of the Association’s Member Loyalty Scheme to obtain the best discounts on delegate packages by the early bird deadline of 31 March.  BCLA President, Susan Bowers, commented: “Kicking off with a dedicated myopia management day on Friday 29 May, #BCLA2015 in the heart of cos...

Spotlight on myopia control at BCLA evening meeting

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Learn how to integrate myopia control strategies into everyday contact lens practice at our February evening meeting to be held at Keele University, Staffordshire, on 2 February. Following her highly successful lecture at the inaugural BCLA Pioneers & Visionaries Conference in London last November, Dr Nicola Logan will re-deliver her presentation, ‘Myopia control: where are we?’, for the benefit of BCLA members within reach of the Staffordshire-based venue. The presentation is approved for one CET point for both optometrists and contact lens opticians (Contact Lenses and Communication). ...

In the news: lipid supplement study, 'circle lenses' warning, Vision Direct merger and more

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The Daily Mail writes that ‘circle lenses’ are set to be one of the New Year’s biggest beauty trends in 2015, “However, doctors have warned that the cosmetic lenses, which cover up the whites of the eyes in order to make the irises appear larger, can cause serious infection and even blindness.” A University of Michigan study reports that patients with Graves’ disease had a significantly reduced risk of developing thyroid eye disease after taking statins or undergoing surgical removal of the thyroid.  Lipid supplements may improve comfort levels when wearing contact lenses, according to a stu...

Teifi on Tour: Tuesday 6 January 2015

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Hull-ward bound BCLA Council member (medical representative) and BCLA Faculty Speaker, Teifi James, will be presenting a lecture on 'Sight-threatening uveitis' at the East Yorkshire, North and North East Lincs Local Optical Committee Study Day taking place at the Village Hotel in Hull, East Yorkshire, on Tuesday 6 January 2015 (8.30am-5.15pm).  This clinically-based conference is aimed at optometrists and dispensing opticians and will cover topics relevant to everyday practice, such as myopia control, low vision in practice, and modern treatments for glaucoma, through lectures and hands-on w...

In the news: surgeons seek CDC retraction, 3D printed CLs, AK patient group report and more

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The Refractive Surgery Alliance has formally demanded that the Centers for Disease Control retract a November 2014 report that linked nearly one million practice visits each year to poor contact lens care, reported Business Wire. As part of a project demonstrating new 3D printing techniques, Princeton University researchers have embedded tiny light-emitting diodes into a standard contact lens, allowing the device to project beams of coloured light (photo by Frank Wojciechowski shows light-emitting diode printed on curved glass). A recent focus group for patients with Acanthamoeba keratitis a...

3rd IACLE Congress timed to precede #BCLA2015

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The 3rd International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) World Congress on Contact Lens Education has been timed to precede the 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition (29-31 May) – and will take place at the University of Manchester from 24-28 May.  More than 100 delegates are expected to attend the IACLE Congress, including contact lens educators from IACLE’s three global regions, Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe/Arica – Middle East. As many IACLE delegates are expected to travel on to the BCLA Clinical Conference, transport will be provided for the onwards journey to Liver...

New year-round BCLA app available to download now

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Keep abreast of programme updates, speaker details, exhibitor information and social events in the run-up to the 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition – as well as other BCLA events – with our brand new, year-round mobile app – free to download now. Unveiled at our inaugural Pioneers & Visionaries Conference, held on Monday 17 November in London, the new app builds on the success of the first-ever BCLA app launched earlier this year ahead of the 2014 BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham. “After the successful pilot launch of a mobile conference app for #BCLA2014, ...

Newly-qualified CLO rewarded for scoring top marks

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A full year’s BCLA membership and £200 in cash has been awarded to Gary Riggs – winner of the 2014 BCLA Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) Examination Prize for gaining the highest mark in the Aftercare Section of the Contact Lens Certificate Diploma. BCLA CEO, Cheryl Donnelly, is pictured presenting Gary with his prize at the ABDO Graduation and Prize Giving Ceremony held at the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral on the evening of Wednesday 26 November.   Described by Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) Deputy Master, Chris Hunt, as a “magical evening” conjuring up i...

In the news: lipid layer study findings, illegal CL sale spotted, global market reports and more

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Australian researchers, led by 2015 BCLA Medallist Professor Fiona Stapleton, have found that Liposomal spray may ease contact lens discomfort. Writing in Optometry & Vision Science, Stapleton et al found that among contact lens wearers, degraded lipids and a lower mole percentage of wax esters in the tear film may be associated with a lower non-invasive surface drying time (NISDT). Lipid supplements may improve ocular comfort during lens wear by increasing NISDT, they wrote. Online deal website Groupon was forced to remove one of its offers for contact lenses following swift action from ...

BCLA President becomes American Academy of Optometry Fellow

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BCLA President, Susan Bowers, has become a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). Susan was was presented with her award at the AAO's 93rd Annual Meeting held in Denver, Colorado, USA, from 12-15 November, the theme of which was 'Today's research, tomorrow's practice'. She was the meeting's only British delegate out of 242 optometrists. Professionals who become Fellows of the Academy must complete a rigorous candidacy process. Candidates submit extensive written work and must also pass an oral examination. A panel of leading optometrists and vision scientists must approve both the...

11th BCLA Pioneers Lecture Awarded at inaugural Pioneers & Visionaries Conference

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BCLA President, Susan Bowers, presented the 11th BCLA Pioneers Lecture Award to Professor Harminder Dua at the inaugural BCLA Pioneers & Visionaries Conference in London this week (Monday 17 November). In his presentation, entitled ‘The novel pre-Descemet’s layer (Dua’s layer): its discovery, characterisation, clinical implications and surgical applications’, Professor Dua told delegates how the discovery of a distinct layer in the pre-Descemet’s stroma had considerably improved current understanding of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) and endothelial keratoplasty, and had made ...

GOC outlines new illegal sales strategy at BCLA Pioneers & Visionaries Conference

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The General Optical Council (GOC) has set out its strategy for tackling illegal practice in the optical sector, such as online contact lens sales that do not comply with UK law, the unlawful supply of cosmetic contact lenses and the misuse of protected titles.  The GOC statement, issued on Monday 17 November, coincided with the BCLA’s inaugural Pioneers & Visionaries Conference, held at the Royal College of Physicians, at which GOC Director of Policy and Communications, Alistair Bridge, was a guest speaker. He told BCLA members that the GOC could no longer “sit on its hands” and that it w...

Clearlab is first to support BCLA 'No water' stickers campaign

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Global contact lens manufacturer, Clearlab, has become the first supplier to put the BCLA ‘No water’ warning stickers on its contact lens packaging at the point of manufacture. Launched in 2013, the BCLA ‘No water’ stickers are designed to remind contact lens wearers not to allow water to come into contact with their lenses or case. The symbols on the stickers are a modification of those used to mark lens boxes as right or left eye and include a ‘no water’ graphic designed by contact lens wearer, Irenie Ekkeshis, who contracted acanthamoeba keratitis. They are designed to be placed on contact...