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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...

BCLA Fellowship makes passage to India

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BCLA members residing in India will be able to sit their BCLA Fellowship examinations in their home country next year, thanks to a new initiative to expand contact lens skills, knowledge and esteem in the region. Full BCLA members who apply for BCLA Fellowship before 21 December 2014, and who satisfy the criteria, will be able to sit their viva voce examinations during the Masterclass Optometry Knowledge Fest to be held at Le Meridien Hotel in Pune, India, from 2-4 February 2015.  Masterclass Optometry is a unique educational initiative, which works to upgrade the optometry profession in Ind...

In the news: CDC CL awareness campaign, Federal arrests and Fusarium findings

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with partners from clinical, public health, industry, and regulatory sectors, is promoting the first annual Contact Lens Health Week from November 17 to 21, 2014, reported Contact Lens Spectrum. This year’s theme is: ‘You only have one pair of eyes, so take care of them!’ Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is inviting practitioners to an exclusive launch event showcasing the science behind ‘the natural eye-enhancing benefits’ of its new 1-Day Acuvue Define contact lenses, reported Optometry Today. Fusarium is associated...

Contact has the scoop

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Log in to download the October 2014 issue of Contact to read about our brand new Pioneers & Visionaries Conference happening this month – on 17 November at the Royal College of Physicians in London – an exciting stand-alone Myopia Day, which will kick off next year's three-day Clinical Conference and Exhibition on 29 May 2015, and how you can submit and nominate for our prestigious BCLA research awards. All these plus other stories and events updates can be found in our quarterly newsletter, Contact – now available online only. DON'T FORGET: the deadline for submitting educational course...

In the news: Halloween cosmetic lens use warnings, 3D printed facial prostheses and more

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South West Wales contact lens practitioner, Loveleen Browes, was interviewed by the BBC Wales consumer rights programme X-Rayin the run up to Halloween about the increase in sales of unlicensed cosmetic contact lenses, reported Optometry Today. The programme aired last night, and can now be watched on BBC iPlayer (scroll to 15.09). This week the Daily Mail also highlighted the risks of wearing novelty contact lenses not fitted by an eyecare professional, as did the Mirror. The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued its annual warning to the public against wearing costume contact lenses pur...

New timings for prestigious BCLA research awards

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In line with our new biennial Clinical Conference and Exhibition schedule, we have made some changes to the timings of our prestigious research awards nominations and applications schedule. For the foreseeable future, the BCLA Medal will be presented during the BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition on a biennial basis. Nominations for the 2017 BCLA Medal will be called for during 2015. The 2015 BCLA Medal Award recipient is Professor Fiona Stapleton of the University of New South Wales, Australia (pictured). The Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture will be delivered in the non-conference year at t...

Don't give your peepers the jeepers creepers this Halloween

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Ghosts, ghouls and vampires completing their Halloween outfit with scary contact lenses this year might be in for a fright if they don't buy, and wear, their contact lenses with care. Wearing cat or vampire eyes may seem like harmless fun, but these lenses can pose serious risks if not used properly. BCLA President Susan Bowers says: "Consumers should understand that decorative and novelty contact lenses, like contact lenses intended for the correction of vision, present serious risks to eye health if they are distributed without proper fitting by a qualified eyecare professional, careful ins...

In the news: World Sight Day data, Google Glass addiction and more

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The Florida Department of Health put 47 businesses on notice last week to stop the sale of designer coloured contact lenses, including nine in Central Florida, reported Biz Journal. Scientists have treated a man they believe to be the first patient with internet addiction disorder brought on by overuse of Google Glass, reported the Guardian. Cataract operations carried out at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton in May left some with blurred vision, reported the BBC. Cognoptix, an emerging medical device company that is developing the SAPPHIRE II eye test designed to identify Alzheimer’s Disea...

Call for scientific abstracts and case reports + top tips

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Online submissions for scientific abstracts, and case reports in poster format, to be presented at the ACC Liverpool, UK, from 29-31 May 2015, are now open – with a submission deadline of Friday 16 January 2015.  Authors submitting scientific papers and/or posters before 30 November 2014 will be able to take advantage of a pre-screening service. This complimentary service gives authors the chance to obtain feedback about their paper/poster from the BCLA Academic Committee, who have a high level of expertise in writing submissions for clinical conferences. Scientific abstracts are considered ...

In the news: CL microbiology workshop, bionic eye and more

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Optometry Times reported on the Food and Drug Administration’s contact lens microbiology workshop, held in early September as a follow-up to its May meeting to discuss updating recommendations for contact lens and lens care guidance documents. The goal is safer contact lens wear for patients. The University of Waterloo, Canada, has released a research brief on the prevalence of myopia. Download the brief. Optician reported the release by ClearLab of its new Clearlab Clearcolor Phantom range of cosmetic contact lenses, ahead of Halloween. Optometry Today featured an interview with Johnson &a...

ALL NEW Pioneers & Visionaries Conference: bookings now open

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Bookings are now open for our all-new Pioneers & Visionaries Conference, to be held from 11am to 7pm on Monday 17 November at the Royal College of Physicians, London. Building on the success of the Association’s annual Pioneers Conference, this new members-only conference will feature an exhibition and full programme of presentations, including event sponsor updates on the latest industry products, with a total of five CET points applied for. Commenting on the launch of the event, BCLA CEO, Cheryl Donnelly, said: “We’re really excited about this new, annual BCLA event for members. We’ll ...

BCLA announces move to biennial Clinical Conference and Exhibition

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From 2015, the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) will hold its Clinical Conference and Exhibition every two years. Announcing the decision on behalf of the BCLA Executive, Chief Executive Officer, Cheryl Donnelly, said: “Over the past few years, listening to our members, delegates, partners and sponsors, the desire for a biennial Clinical Conference and Exhibition has become increasingly apparent. “Following an internal financial review in 2013/14, and exploring all the options available, the BCLA Executive is pleased to confirm a new two-yearly schedule for the BCLA Clinical Conferenc...