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In the news: telescopic contact lenses, solar eclipse warning and more

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After getting in touch with the BCLA, CNN spoke with Professor James Wolffsohn for a report on the development telescopic contact lenses.  BBC News is just one of the many outlets citing College of Optometrists eyecare advice ahead of the partial solar eclipse tomorrow (20 March). International research performed by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas has discovered that when each eye separately has a different level of blur, our brain uses as sharp reference the image projected through the less aberrated eye. Read more. A smart phone app designed to guide blind and partiall...

Nominations open for new BCLA Council Reps

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Full BCLA members are invited to nominate six new representatives to sit on the BCLA Council by the closing date of Friday 3 April. Vacancies exit for two contact lens optician representatives, two optometrist representatives, one medical representative and one technical representative. The successful candidates will officially join the BCLA Council at the Association’s 2015 AGM, to be held at 8am at the ACC Liverpool on Saturday 30 May during its 39th BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition. Council members offer guidance on education and professional and industry developments, for the long...

Free places @ #BCLAComeTogether for trainee contact lens opticians

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STOP PRESS: We're giving away 50 free places for this year's BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, being held at the ACC Liverpool from 29-31 May, to first and second year trainee contact lens opticians... How to apply and #BCLAComeTogether with the global contact lens community.... Q. Are you a BCLA member? Y/N Q. Are you a trainee contact lens optician in your first or second year of studies? Y/N Q. Do you love contact lenses? Y/N Q. Do you enjoy celeb spotting? Y/N Q. Do you want to stand out from your peers? Y/N Q. Do you like freebies? Y/N If you answer YES to the first two que...

In the news: new contact lens campaign, ortho-k study and more

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The Irish College of Ophthalmologists has published new guidelines on refractive surgery, reports the Irish Independent. InternetOptics, the company behind Lensza, an Indonesia-based online contact lens retailer, has closed a round of seed funding from investors based in Indonesia, Singapore and the Netherlands, reported Tech in Asia.  Optician covered Alcon’s recent public campaign to promote coloured contact lenses via a pop-up stand in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre. Regeneron Pharmaeuticals announced that Eylea (aflibercept) Injection has been approved by the European Commission ...

Attention all 'hot shots': our 2015 Photo Competition is now open

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We're inviting all ‘happy snappers’ to now submit their entries online for this year’s BCLA Photographic Competition, by the closing date of Friday 24 April. The prestigious BCLA photographic competition culminates during the Association’s Clinical Conference and Exhibition and attracts entries from contact lens practitioners across the globe. As well as receiving the accolade of best photograph of the year and a great prize, all winning entries are subsequently published in the BCLA peer-reviewed journal, Contact Lens & Anterior Eye. Last year’s winner was Antonio Calossi from Italy wi...

Have you applied for your BCLA Fellowship?

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BCLA members have until 31 March to submit their applications for this year’s prestigious BCLA Fellowship Awards. Since the scheme was launched in 2006, 200 members of the global contact lens community have become BCLA Fellows following viva voce assessment at the BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition – this year being held from 29-31 May at the ACC Liverpool (official hashtag #BCLAComeTogether). The Fellowship scheme is open to full BCLA members of all disciplines – including those working within industry – and allows successful candidates to use the affix FBCLA. For the first time earlie...

Great minds, big ideas, new insights: conference programme launched

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We are pleased to announce a bold new style programme for our 39th Clinical Conference and Exhibition – and call on all eyecare practitioners (ECPs) to ‘Come Together’ for three extraordinary days of research, hands-on sessions, posters, education and products and technology dedicated to contact lenses and the anterior eye.  Following a review of past events, the programme for this year’s conference – at the ACC Liverpool from 29-31 May – will offer a highly accessible menu of bite-sized sessions enabling delegates to achieve a full complement of CET points ahead of the 31 December deadline f...

Insights into corneal stem cell therapy

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Corneal stem cell therapy and tissue engineering will be the ‘hot topics’ of our next scientific evening meeting on Monday 30 March at the Royal College of Physicians, London. Sharing her expert knowledge and current research findings in the exciting field of corneal stromal stem cell transplantation will be Julie Daniels, Professor of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapy at the Institute of Ophthalmology UCL Centre for Stem Cells and Degenerative Medicine. Her presentation is entitled, ‘Stem cell therapy and tissue engineering in the cornea: the aims, challenges and the options’, and i...

In the news: latest on telescopic contact lenses, myopia research and more

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Telescopic contact lenses that let the wearer switch between normal and magnified vision are coming into focus, reports New Scientist. New computer-simulated prescribing strategies for glasses may improve the vision of individuals with Down’s syndrome, thanks to a team of University of Houston researchers who received a US$1.67m grant from the National Eye Institute. According to a report in the Clarion Ledger, 1-800 Contacts wants the US state of Mississippi to adopt a law to prevent suppliers and manufacturers from setting a minimum price for contact lenses. Researchers in the Cedars-Sina...

10 reasons to love your contact lenses this Valentine's Day

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1. Contact lenses offer natural all-round vision and are a great alternative if and when you don’t want to wear glasses  2. Contact lenses are simple and convenient to use and expand your lifestyle choices 3. Contact lenses are ideal for sports and leisure activities 4. Contact lenses can be worn every day, part-time or just for going out and special occasions 5. Vision with contact lenses can be as good, or better than, with glasses 6. Contact lenses offer a safe, effective, stable and reversible alternative to laser eye surgery 7. Contact lenses can correct almost all eyesight problems...

New BCLA Fellows in India welcomed

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The BCLA has welcomed 20 new BCLA Fellows after holding its first-ever Fellowship examinations in India. In a new initiative designed to strengthen and expand BCLA Fellowship internationally, BCLA members residing in India were able to apply for Fellowship and sit their viva voce examinations during the Masterclass Optometry Knowledge Fest held in Pune from 2-4 February. Masterclass Optometry is a unique educational initiative, which works to upgrade the optometry profession in India. As well as hosting the BCLA Fellowship examinations, the Knowledge Fest included a BCLA session including ...

Obituary: Michael Jaggs (1938-2015)

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By Tim Bowden It is with sadness that we report the death of one of the founding fathers of the BCLA and Past President, Michael Jaggs, on 30 January at the age of 77. Michael Jaggs was born in November 1938. Although Michael felt he had a calling to the church, his father, himself a priest, recommended that he should not go into the church straight away but to make his way in the world first, which would make him a better priest later on. When Michael left school at 16, he already had a place at medical school lined up but they didn’t want him before 18 years of age. The medical school sug...

Download the January issue of Contact

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Log in to download the January 2015 issue of Contact  Top stories: #BCLA2015 highlights Optical Assistants course is back - early bird deadline 31 January Evening meeting at Keele University Monday 2 February NEW Industry news round-up 2015 Industry Award opens for nominations BCLA Student Reps sought New partnership with Optrafair Email your news stories for Contact to bcla.comms@btinternet.com...

In the news: Contamac deal with BHVI to customise myopia control lenses and other stories

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Using simulation to walk in the shoes of a person who is blind, such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks, has negative effects on people’s perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a University of Colorado Boulder study. Contamac and the Brien Holden Vision Institute have entered into a multi-year license, which enables Contamac to commercialise and distribute customised silicone hydrogel and GP contact lens products based on utilising Background Intellectual Property on myopia control from the Institute (photo source: Contamac). CooperVision was among four indust...

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 Friday 20 February. 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 r...

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...