Association News

Inaugural BCLA Asia hears of ‘huge opportunities’ to grow contact lens usage 

The first ever conference of eye care professionals organised by the BCLA in Asia has heard of the ‘huge opportunities’ available to grow the industry in the region.
More than 240 delegates attended the two-day BCLA Asia conference at the Cordis Langham Place hotel in Hong Kong, to hear from a host of high profile guest speakers reveal the latest research and discuss how the contact lens industry can grow in the future.

The event, titled “Correction for the Future”, was a partnership between the BCLA and the Hong Kong Cornea and Contact Lens Society.
A series of workshops and lecture streams gave delegates the chance to experience the latest technology and techniques, while networking sessions allowed eye care professionals to share best practice with colleagues from around the world.

BCLA president Brian Tompkins said: “Asia is an emerging market, with significant growth in contact lenses. That represents a huge opportunity for us as an industry and BCLA Asia has been a superb way to bring eye care professionals together and formulate a plan for the future.
“Everyone will be going home with new ideas to move both their business and the wider industry forward.”

Call for papers is now open

Eye care professionals have been encouraged to submit proposals for a series of educational courses, lectures and workshops to be held at next year’s BCLA conference.

The conference, due to be held in Liverpool next May, is the biggest of its kind within the contact lens industry and offers delegates the chance to keep up to date with the latest research, trends and best practice.

BCLA leaders are now looking to put together a programme of workshops, science streams and case reports focusing on the key trends within modern contact lens practice.

A call has now been issued for submissions on any topic related to contact lenses and the anterior eye. Suggested topics for lectures and workshops this year include the fitting of contact lenses in children, cataract management and the challenges and opportunities offered by anterior eye practice in the future.

Lecture and workshop submissions should be made by Friday, October 28. The science stream is assessed in the form of abstracts that can be submitted as a poster only or as a paper/poster (allocated by the Academic Committee). Paper talks are usually 15 minutes or six minutes rapid fire. Case reports will be in poster format. Only one abstract can be submitted for each first author. Submission deadline is Friday, January 20.  

Full information on the submissions criteria and how to submit can be found here.

Member Spotlight

Katie Griffiths, an optometry
 student at Plymouth University and BCLA
 Student Ambassador, tells us about starting

 Q. What’s it like treating real life patients for the
 first time?

 It’s a steep learning curve! Being responsible for the
 patient, it is necessary to be able to listen to their
 needs, assess the problems clinically and then go
on to form an appropriate management plan.
Q. What did you do to prepare?
I found the resources on the BCLA website
invaluable and strongly recommend them. They
offer concise prompts of what to ask on history
and symptoms allowing you to fully appreciate how
your patient is living with their contact lenses. I also
found the resources of how to formulate a flowing
and thorough slit lamp examination specifically
for lenses very helpful, as I had been struggling to
keep to the allocated time frame for these initial
Q. Anything else?
The BCLA conference was also a big help and
if given the chance I would definitely encourage
students to attend.
Q. What did you find useful at the conference?
The exhibition gave me a better understanding of
available products including contact lenses that
meet different patient needs and dry eye and lid
hygiene treatments. Understanding how they work,
it is so much better to be able to confidently and
clearly explain how they work and how a patient
should use them.
Q. Would you recommend going to the
conference or other BCLA meetings?

Yes! I found the lectures to be hugely helpful in
getting a better understanding of the clinical side of
assessing the anterior eye. It is great to hear experts
speak about these topics, reinforcing and adding
to the knowledge gained in the first years of the optometry degree.