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HomemieyecareICCLC: Connecting Eyes to Life

ICCLC: Connecting Eyes to Life

Close your eyes and picture… a weekend up north, organic honey, tea tree and macadamia oils, IPL, some R&R, less time indoors on screens, more time in the sunshine, soaking up some Vitamin D… Sound like heaven? Or a wonderful health retreat? No. Well, not really. In May 2015, the CCLSA will take you on a journey to the sunny Gold Coast. Leading this journey will be the delightful Jennifer and Pauline. Associate Professor Jennifer Craig and Professor Pauline Cho, that is.

What do the aforementioned have to do with the Cornea and Contact Lens Society? Are we trying to tempt you with sunshine and fun to come to our conference?

No, this is not the CCLSA resorting to cheap tricks to lure you to our conference. Honey, tea tree oil, IPL, sunshine, R&R are all actual scientifically proven techniques to manage common, everyday problems of the eyes… I’m talking myopia, and I’m talking dry eye. Two of the most common presentations we see in clinical practice as optometrists.

How do these factors affect myopia and dry eye? Well… you’ll just have to come to the 15th International Cornea and Contact Lens Congress to find out.

ICCLC takes place this month from 22–24 May, on the Gold Coast…

A Fresh Approach to Conferencing

Today conferences around the world seem to have peaked in numbers, with attendees on the decline. The general ‘feel’ is that we have too many options for CPD, there are too many conferences and I keep hearing this phrase ‘conference fatigue.’

I just attended the CCLS New Zealand, and wow, what a conference! Probably the best and most balanced line-up I have ever experienced. Yet only 138 people came. What a shame. Not for the CCLS – they were brilliant… a shame for everyone who missed out, because it truly was something special.

Is that you I hear saying, “But I’m not a contact lens specialist, why do I want to go to a conference dedicated to the cornea and contact lens?”

The answer is simple: you don’t need to be a contact lens specialist to prescribe contact lenses and manage the cornea. You simply need to be an optometrist… but really, you do need to prescribe contact lenses and manage the cornea if you are an optometrist.

Myopia and Dry Eye

Two of the biggest epidemics that we face as optometrists are myopia and dry eye, and the prevalence as well as the severity of both of these conditions is increasing. Fortunately, as optometrists we are at the forefront for diagnosing, managing and controlling these conditions. Saying you’re not interested is saying you’re not interested in a large portion of your potential patients.

Myopia is one of the fastest growing epidemics in the world, with prevalence of myopia up to 98 per cent in some countries. Australia’s myopia is also on a rapid rise. Today, approximately half of Australia’s population suffer from this condition. Pauline Cho will be presenting the latest findings of myopia control research. For those of you who don’t know her, Pauline Cho is a professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She also happens to come from a city that is leading the world in myopia prevalence. That’s probably not going to make it onto a tourism advert any time soon, however they’ve got the myopia, we’re bringing their Professor.

We also have our own Professor Helen Swarbrick who is a leading myopia researcher.

And then leading the dry eye charge, there’s the lovely Jennifer Craig from the University of Auckland. Jennifer is recognised as one of the leading voices in dry eye. She is the Vice Chair of the next TFOS. Haven’t heard of TFOS? Have you been living under a rock? Book your ticket to ICCLC now.

Managing Dry Eye

TFOS is the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society – a committee of experts worldwide who gather together to form a consensus on the definition, diagnosis and management of dry eye. A whole committee dedicated to dry eye? Still unsure which lubricant to use when, and wondering why it doesn’t work for those dry eye patients? Unfortunately dry eye isn’t as simple as: ‘let’s just add some drops and keep trying until one works’. Dry eye is a multi-factoral, complex condition, which has taken experts countless hours of research and studies to explore the aetiology and proper treatment, and guess what? TFOS has done the research, read through all the literature, spent all the time and effort to consolidate it all into something meaningful, and produce a definitive guide to dry eye diagnosis and management. Oh, and did we mention we have the vice chair of TFOS at ICCLC? Think you don’t have time for ICCLC? Think of all the hours you’ll have saved by attending Jennifer’s lectures.

Dry eye. Our population is aging, the prevalence of dry eye is increasing and it is not going away. Approximately half of our contact lens wearing population suffers from dry eye, and up to 30 per cent of our non-contact lens wearing population does as well. That’s almost one in every three people! Can you afford to leave all these patients untreated?

Wait There’s More

Our lecture program is jam packed with so many speakers – Professor Nathan Efron, for one, recipient of the Kenneth Bell award, will present a new perspective on contact lens after-care. I’ve seen the teaser, I want the rest.

I can’t begin to list all the other speakers because my word count for this article isn’t high enough. But rest assured, the topics will cover everything from identifying patients suitable for contact lenses to managing the abnormal cornea, upskilling on specialty contact lens fitting, the cutting edge new surgical techniques for the anterior eye, and practice building.

Fun-tivities, Fun-ducation

Concerned that this will be just another conference? Ours won’t be – and anyway, don’t worry… the social programming will be jam-packed with fun-tivities. Fun-tivities? Did we just make up a word? Yes we did. Because at the CCLSA we’re all about fun-ducation. Fun, and education? Together? Absolutely. They do not need to be mutually exclusive. We will bring you the education, and we will make sure you will have a good time doing it.

Aside from that, we have a fantastic trade display. This is a great opportunity for you to catch up with industry and find out what new products they have on offer. We thank our sponsors, with a particular mention to our platinum sponsors, Alcon, Johnson and Johnson and CooperVision,

When else will you get the opportunity to bump shoulders with the coolest cats in the cornea and contact lens field? All jokes aside, what a fantastic opportunity to network – to meet new people, form new relationships and strengthen old bonds. I wasn’t joking about the fun though, there will definitely be fun. I promise.

Sign Up Now

ICCLC will be held at the beautiful QT Hotel on the Gold Coast from 22–24 May. This time of year is simply magic in the Gold Coast, particularly if you are flying from down south where the climate is not nearly as agreeable. There is plenty of opportunity to escape for a mid-winter holiday to bump up that Vitamin D, take the kids on a family holiday or simply have the opportunity to attend the largest conference dedicated to cornea and contact lenses in the Asia Pacific.

Register online at: www.cclsa.org.au/icclc-2015/registration.php

Jessica Chi obtained her Bachelor of Optometry degree with therapeutic endorsement at the University of Melbourne. She is the director of Eyetech Optometrists, an independent optometry practice in Melbourne with a strong focus on contact lenses. She is the current Victorian and National President of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia, a clinical supervisor at the University of Melbourne and on the Therapeutics Advisory Board for Optometry Australia.