The first-ever joint meeting of two leading associations focused on contact lenses and anterior eye has been hailed as a “triumph of teamwork” with more than 150 delegates enjoying a range of lectures on a wide range of key topics.
The Pioneers and Visionaries Conference was staged jointly by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association (MCLOSA).
Held at the Royal College of Physicians in London, the meeting saw Associate Professor Jennifer Craig from the New Zealand National Eye Centre at the University of Auckland deliver the annual Pioneers Lecture – exploring new studies and emerging data to shed new light on the development of Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) in Dry Eye Disease.
Entitled ‘In the blink of an eye: exploring drivers of MGD development’ the lecture examined a series of age and environmentally-controlled cross-sectional studies that compared the ocular surface and tear film between the south east Asian eye (where MGD is more common) and the Caucasian eye.
The MCLOSA Kersley Lecture, presented by Professor Christopher Liu OBE, looked closely at how contact lenses can be deployed in cornea and external eye disease, issues surrounding sequential bilateral cataract surgery and the use of artificial corneae or keratoprostheses.
Other highlights included a session looking at myopia management in children delivered by Professor Phillip Morgan and Dr Nicola Logan and chaired by Professor Sunil Shah and a session examining ocular surface disease.
A multi-disciplinary debate discussed the respective merits of contact lenses and surgical intervention for refractive correction in keratoconus, with contact lenses coming out on top.
BCLA President Professor Sunil Shah said: “The annual Pioneers and Visionaries conference is always a highlight and I am delighted to have staged it jointly with MCLOSA and bring our two organisations ever closer. It was a triumph of teamwork.
“A closer relationship between optometry and ophthalmology can only be a good thing for both professions. It will ensure a greater awareness of both roles and it will engender a mutually beneficial spirit of collaboration – to the ultimate benefit of patients.”
As part of the event, MCLOSA awarded the coveted Bron Award to Dr Harry Roberts for his work in researching epiphora and chronic tarsal conjunctivitis associated with make up remover wipes.
Outgoing MCLOSA President, Alex Shortt, said: “For 25 years MCLOSA has served to bring together optometrists, medical contact lens practitioners and ocular surface disease specialists with common interests and overlapping patient groups.
“It is therefore fitting that we mark our 25th anniversary year by teaming up with the BCLA to deliver an all-encompassing meeting which further strengthens the collaborative approach that modern management of our patients requires.”