‘A truly global gathering’ - BCLA Conference hailed a success by eye health experts from around the world
A worldwide focus on myopia control is starting to take effect, with audiences at the BCLA Clinical Conference more engaged with the concept than ever before.
Speaking to a packed crowd at the event in Manchester, keynote speaker Jeffrey J Walline from Ohio State University said: “When I first started talking about myopia control there would be 10 people in the audience. Five would be my family and the other five would be in the wrong room. Things have changed now.”
A dedicated track on the second day of the three day conference focused solely on the issue of myopia control, with Dr Walline chairing a session which explored the myths and misconceptions in myopia management, compared the benefits of myopia management over putting children into contact lenses and questioned whether or not you could be successful in myopia management without measuring axial length.
As part of the discussion, Dr Walline concluded that spending time outdoors at an early age can delay the onset of myopia but it doesn’t necessarily slow its progression.
The conference saw hundreds of eye care professionals from across the world descend on the Manchester Central Convention Centre to enjoy a packed programme of lectures, workshops and peer discussions.
Day One saw keynote speaker Professor Eric Papas address the issue of contact lens comfort and chair a session looking at the types of lenses being prescribed and maintaining ocular health.
Professor Lyndon Jones from the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo in Canada was awarded the coveted BCLA Medal and used his address to focus on 30 years of research in contact lens deposition, corneal staining and ocular drug delivery.
The prestigious Irving Fatt Memorial Lecture was delivered by Dr Nicole Carnt, who focused on the topic of Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK), while Dr Eef van der Worp chaired a mini Global Speciality Lens Symposium and Professor Philip Morgan studied the relationship between the tear film and contact lenses.
A highlight of the programme saw Professor James Wolffsohn, Associate Professor Jennifer Craig and Dr Sruthi Srnivasan stage a live on-stage Dry Eye Tech session hosted by Professor Lyndon Jones, showcasing the state-of-the-art equipment available to delegates interested in setting up a specialist practice treating Dry Eye Disease.
Outgoing BCLA President Sunil Shah, who officially handed over the chains to Alcon’s Jonathon Bench at the event’s gala dinner, said: “This conference was a truly global gathering featuring the very best speakers on the subjects that matter most to 21st century eye care professionals. To see so many countries from around the world represented in both delegates and speakers proved the enduring international appeal of the BCLA.
“For three days people were given an exclusive insight into the very latest research, data and analysis into the conditions they see in practice day in, day out – giving them invaluable information to take away and use to provide potentially life-changing results for their patients.”
The event culminated in the BCLA Awards, with Dr Saleel Jivraj named BCLA Dry Eye Practitioner of the Year Award, Eleanor Hill winning the BCLA Young Contact Lens Practitioner Award and a team from CooperVision landing the BCLA Industry Award.
The Diane Gould Photography Competition was won by Fazeela Umar for her image ‘Lattice Corneal Dystrophy’ while Marta Blanco-Vasquez won the BCLA Poster award.
A total of 24 new BCLA Fellowships were awarded while five people were awarded Dry Eye Fellowships and 14 people were presented with their certificate for Dry Eye Management and Contact Lens Retention.
It was announced during the conference that a new BCLA certificate in myopia management will be launched later this year.
Alcon and CooperVision were Partner Sponsors for the event while Johnson & Johnson Visioncare were Platinum Sponsors. Gold Sponsors were Menicon and SEED with UltraVision. Technology Sponsor was Topcon.