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Optometry Tomorrow Highlight – Is flexibility the key to clinical decision making?

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In the second conference highlight, we feature a presentation by Judith Morris, FCOptom, senior optometrist at the Institute of Optometry. For the majority of contact lens patients, fitting lenses is straight forward and their experience (with support and advice) is usually positive.  Those that don’t fit into this category present more of a challenge and, if alternative solutions are not explored, they can dropout of lens wear. Judith will present a number of case studies seen at the Institute of Optometry in her lecture “Flexibility – is this the key to clinical decision making?”.  She wil...

BCLA UK - The most anticipated event of 2016!

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With less than a month until bookings for BCLA UK (12 - 13 June) open on 1 March 2016, it’s time to look at some of the questions that we aim to answer at this brand new meeting: Is there a perfect patient journey to include contact lenses and dry eye? Does your practice team know how to work together to best execute this journey for every patient who enters the practice? How can you maximize contact lens wearer retention and reduce dropout rates by ensuring they always have the contact lenses that match their evolving lifestyle needs? How can you identify new contact lens wearers, ensur...

Education Key To Prevent CL Linked Infections

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The first BCLA evening meeting of 2016 took place on 28 January at the Royal College of Nursing with Professor John Dart, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, examining “When and why does the cornea become infected in CL users?”.  Around 100 professionals heard Professor Dart explore the causes of infection. Contact lens associated keratitis has been responsible for up to 60 per cent of cases of MK in healthy eyes in developed countries since the 1990s.  Can this be avoided? He emphasised that it is up to eye care professionals to ensure patients are educated on the risks a...

Seeking Our 2016 Student Ambassadors

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Last year the BCLA launched our Student Ambassador Programme which saw representatives from universities help develop and deliver successful initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the BCLA among students.  As the new year gets well underway, we’re beginning our search for this year’s Ambassadors from each of the UK and Ireland’s optometric training institutions to act as advocates for the BCLA amongst their peers, who will help us to continue their great work and enhance the programme further. We’re looking for optometry students in the second year of a three-year course, or the third yea...

A life in the day of a practice - a student's view

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BCLA Ambassador, Cemma Ramful (pictured) experienced a few days at an optometry practice. Here is her blog: Mid December I started working at Tompkins Knight and Son Optometrists for a few days before Christmas. Nervously I stepped into the practice unaware of how the week would unfold. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by the manager who introduced me to the rest of the lovely staff members, who throughout my stay made me feel the most welcome, and showed me around the practice itself.  Now on the outside a contemporary Victorian house with beautiful exterior features, however inside thi...

Optometry Tomorrow Highlight – Satisfying the Pesky Presbyope

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In our first conference highlights, we feature a presentation by Caroline Christie BSc(Hons), FCOptom, DipCLP, FIACLE, FBCLA, FEAOO, who will update attendees on the current status of presbyopic contact lenses.  Her lecture will cover lens designs, assessment techniques and clinical practices that can help simplify the fitting of presbyopes. Caroline will look at how to choose the best lens, delivering optimal outcomes in terms of visual performance and satisfaction, for each patient.  She will illustrate how to understand the limitations of a contact lens’s design and how you should change o...

January Evening Meeting: When and why does the cornea become infected in CL users?

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January evening meeting with Professor John Dart  On 26 January, we will be meeting at the Royal College of Nursing to hear from Consultant Ophthalmologist, Professor John Dart from Moorfields Eye Hospital, on when and why the cornea of contact lens wearers becomes infected. An expert in infectious and inflammatory corneal and external eye diseases, Professor Dart will explore how microbial keratitis is more common in societies where contact lenses are widely used for for correcting vision and that its causes have broadened in the last three decades. He will present data and identify what we...

Online Membership Renewals

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Updates to the BCLA website & membership renewals The BCLA has been working on updating it's current database and website to bring you an improved service in 2016. The updates will include an improved web navigation, making it easier for you to search for information and resources and book for events directly online. In order to transfer the database, there will be a short period where you will be unable to renew your membership online. This will take affect from week commencing 21 December. However, if you still need to renew for December or January, you can do so in the following ways:...

BCLA Christmas opening times

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The BCLA office will be closed from the 23 December 2015 until the 4 January 2016. If you have any queries or need to speak to a member of the BCLA team, we will be available on Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 December during office hours 9.00am-5.00pm (GMT) 020 7580 6661 or email adminbcla@bcla.org.uk. Please note, any email queries received after the 22 December will be dealt with week commencing 4 January 2016.   Updates to the BCLA website & membership renewals The BCLA has been working on updating it's current database and website to bring you an improved service in the new year. The upd...

December Edition of CLAE now available

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The latest edition of CLAE (the Journal of the BCLA and free to BCLA members) is now available online and in printed format.   In this issue’s editorial, Editor Shehzad Naroo looks back at 2015 highlighting the BCLA’s conference (and meetings taking place next year), the inauguration of the new BCLA president, achievements by CLAE editorial board members and pays tribute to Prof Brien Holden, who’s obituary is included in this issue. This month’s topics range from articles on the production and care of ocular prostheses to fitting contact lenses in children to a comparison of devices measuri...

Pioneers lecture 2015 - Forecasting the Future

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In 1957 Norman Bier stated that the ‘basics are done!’. What would he have said today with the evolving new technology? Can one predict the future of the contact lens industry? With these questions, Professor Philip Morgan began his Pioneers Lecture.  Looking at where we are at the moment, he illustrated how far we still need to go to get more people into contact lenses, with around 7% of the UK population wearing them when approximately. 50% need vision correction.  With patient’s mainly satisfied with the vision from spherical and torics (although comfort remains an issue), he explained wit...

BCLA Visionaries 2015 - Meeting Report

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Visionaries 2015 kicked off with BCLA President, Brian Tompkins, welcoming attendees to the day, promising a day of exciting topics and news. The first lecture came from Professor James Wolffsohn, Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences at Aston University, who asked if we really understand contact lens drop-outs?  He began by looking at the issue as a whole, highlighting that studies continue to report drop out rates of between 16 and 51%, with many of these being permanent. When polled, 50% of the audience claimed a drop out rate of 10% with 14% claiming up to 50%He pointed out t...

PRESS RELEASE: Optometry Tomorrow 2016 to offer contact lens stream with BCLA

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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 str...

PRESS RELEASE: New conference BCLA UK - Announced

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Inspiring All Practitioner’s To Have Confidence in Contact Lenses The 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 ...

Eye Drops Database to Expand

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The ADP consultancy has announce the expansion of its eye drop database (www.eyedropsdatabase.co.uk) to include: The creation of a Dry Eye Referral Directory for eye care and healthcare providers to enable them to refer dry eye patients to specialist colleagues more easily. An expansion in pharmacy products Guest articles www.eyedropsdatabase.co.uk is a web based directory of over 250 ocular health products.  It provides detailed information and support on products to eye care and other healthcare professionals.  It is continually expanding in scope and depth; is fully searchable, and ...

BCLA Visionaries 2015 Highlight – Managing Keratoconus – Community or Hospital?

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In the second of this week’s highlights around Visionaries 2015, we look at the management of keratoconus.  In their lecture “Where would you rather be treated? Management of keratoconus in the community & the hospital”, optometrists John Davidson and Chris Steele (pictured) will compare their experiences of managing keratoconus in the hospital eye service and private practice. They will contrast their experiences and opinions regarding where keratoconic patients’ needs and expectations are best served and initiate debate between themselves and the audience by exploring their differences ...

BCLA Visionaries 2015 Highlight – Fight For Sight Update: Corneal Stem Cell Transplants & Bandage Contact Lenses

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In the first of this week’s highlights around Visionaries 2015 we look at the exciting research being presented on behalf of Fight for Sight by Alex Shortt and Professor Rachel Williams. Alex will be reviewing the causes of corneal limbal stem cell deficiency, a severe and blinding condition that results from damage to the stem cells that generate the corneal epithelium.  He will discuss current treatment options including surgical and non-surgical therapies as well as looking at the role of stem cell technology in treating these patient.  This will include the current state of research and c...

BCLA Visionaries 2015 Highlight: "It's not what you say, it's the way that you say it"

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In our fourth in the series of highlights around Visionaries 2015 we look at Sarah Morgan’s lecture “It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it”.  Sarah will explore the influence of how we talk to patients during their contact lens journey impacts outcomes.   As she explains “From the point of making the appointment through to ongoing aftercare, I will dissect the experience of the new wearer to investigate where we can enhance our phraseology to best effect.  Not only are the words we choose important, but also the mindset and approach to our advice and recommendations.” “Front of...

Don't Harm Your Sight On Halloween Night

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Halloween is coming! It’s time for the vampires, witches and ghouls to appear. While cat eyes or black out contact lenses are a great way to enhance a costume, they can pose serious risks if not use properly.  The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has these tips about buying Halloween lenses. Have the lenses properly fitted by a qualified professional Follow all the lens wear and care advice given Have regular check-ups Never share or swap lenses Only buy your lenses where there is a registered optometrist, dispensing optician, contact lens optician or medical practitioner on the ...

BCLA Visionaries 2015 Highlight: 'Do we really understand contact lens dropouts?' Professor James Wolffsohn

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In our third in the series of highlights around Visionaries 2015 we look at Professor James Wolffsohn’s lecture “Do we really understand contact lens drop-outs?” Drop-outs from contact lens wear continue to be a major issue for growing contact lens business.  While traditionally comfort is thought to be the main driver of drop outs, James will take a look at recent studies that suggest that factors such as clarity of vision are contributing the 16-51% drop-outs reported by a range of studies. He will discuss how age, patient’s with low hypermetropic prescription and presbyopes fitting with m...