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HomemieventsICCLC 2017 Attracts Record Numbers

ICCLC 2017 Attracts Record Numbers

Despite a 2017 calendar packed full of optometric conferences, the 16th International Cornea and Contact Lens Congress (ICCLC) in Sydney attracted a record number of delegates keen to sharpen their knowledge on topics including custom lens fitting, dry eye, myopia control and more.

An impressive 350 eye care professionals attended ICCLC during September (up from 250 in 2016), demonstrating optometry’s increasing interest in expanding their scope of practice beyond spectacles and lenses.

Speakers from Australia and overseas, including Professor Pauline Cho (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Dr. Arthur Back from CooperVision in America, and Australia’s Dr. Greg Maloney, Dr. Colin Chan and Dr. Daya Sharma, presented in depth information over the three-day conference. Significantly, outcomes from the Tear Film and Ocular Society Dry Eye Workshop Two (DEWS II) were presented for the first time in Australasia by Auckland University’s Associate Professor Jennifer Craig, who served as Vice Chair of the TFOS DEWS II Steering Committee as well as Harmonisation member and subcommittee Co-Chair.

Resounding Success

Optometrist and conference speaker Mr. Clark said the calibre of speakers and the high number of delegates in attendance were evidence of the conference’s resounding success. “In an era with increasing competition in the optometry marketplace, ICCLC celebrates a brand of optometry which specialises in contact lenses, dry eyes and diagnostic techniques. I believe that many optometrists attended this conference as an opportunity to upskill in these fields.

We heard about world-first corneal surgical procedures, saw patients fitted with contact lenses and assessed for dry eye on stage and in workshops, and of course had an in depth presentation of the TFOS DEWS II outcomes

“My highlights were the lectures on myopia management, Alan Saks’ and Paul Rose’s workshop on kerataconic lens fitting options and speaking to like-minded optometrists about case studies in between lectures.”

Margaret Lam, a program committee member and speaker, said many attendees had commented that “this was the best conference they had attended for years based on the program, the speakers and content.”

“We heard about world first corneal surgical procedures, saw patients fitted with contact lenses and assessed for dry eye on stage and in workshops, and of course had an in-depth presentation of the TFOS DEWS II outcomes, all of which really made the conference an exciting event for delegates,” said Ms. Lam.

An Ideal Forum for DEWS II

Associate Professor Jennifer Craig said ICCLC was the ideal forum to present outcomes from the TFOS DEWS II Workshop. “Dry eye is an important topic for all optometrists and especially those with an interest in the ocular surface and those involved with contact lens fitting, so ICCLC seemed an obvious choice for a first presentation of the results.”

A/Prof. Craig introduced the session on DEWS II and led a presentation on the outcomes of the Definition and Classification Subcommittee. Additionally, she explained how her subcommittee’s refined definition and classification of dry eye could help practitioners better understand the ocular surface status of patients sitting before them in the consulting room. Professor Fiona Stapleton, Chair of the TFOS DEWS II Epidemiology subcommittee discussed prevalence as well as relevant modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for dry eye disease. Professor Craig Woods, TFOS DEWS II Clinical Trials subcommittee member, described the diagnostic criteria practitioners should be adopting to confirm the presence of dry eye in their patients along with the tests that help differentiate aqueous deficiency from evaporative dry eye to best direct treatment. An outline of the various treatments was then provided by Dr. Laura Downie, member of the TFOS DEWS II Management and Therapy subcommittee.

Through patient cases, optometrist Jim Kokkinakis demonstrated the applicability of the TFOS DEWS II report outcomes to clinical practice. Finally, rounding off the session, and proving popular with the delegates, was a live demonstration of a DEWS II diagnosis by A/Prof. Craig and Prof. Woods on the Society’s own, and very obliging David Stephenson. Together they showed practitioners just how easily the new criteria could be applied in clinical practice, while the remaining session participants formed a discussion panel and fielded questions from the audience.

A/Prof. Craig said the feedback received following the dry eye presentation was positive. “Delegates particularly liked the live demonstration, with many practitioners expressing surprise at how easy it could be to incorporate the latest TFOS DEWS II outcomes into everyday clinical practice, for better managing patients with dry eye.”

Changing Guard

This was the last ICCLC for CEO Dorothy Carlborg who has retired after nine years in the role in a voluntary capacity. David Stephensen, Chair of the ICCLC 2017, tendered his resignation as Honorary Vice President of the board.

Speaking of Ms. Carlborg and Mr. Stephensen, CCLSA President Damien Fisher said, “Dorothy and David have been stalwarts of the Society through their many years of service. We said goodbye to these two champions at ICCLC. Their levels of commitment and dedication have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“Dorothy joined the society in 2008 and under her leadership, the CCLSA has grown and evolved. She’s spent many countless hours ensuring all the administrative and logistical tasks have run smoothly. We have been privileged to have someone of her calibre as our CEO.

“David Stephensen became Qld Chapter President in 1999, was National President in 2004 and is a Fellow of the CCLSA. In 2008/9, he and Luke Arundel re-wrote the Fellowship program and a Fellowship Faculty was appointed. David remains the Chair of Case Reports. From there he was invited to remain on the Board as Honorary Vice President of Education. He has organised the program for our Masterclasses series and was the chair of the program committee for our last two ICCLC’s.

“David’s contributions to the success of the CCLSA have been significant. He has gone to great lengths behind the scenes to help the evolution of our society. Both Dorothy and David will be greatly missed by our Board but through their efforts they’ve given us a platform for future endeavours. Many thanks from myself and the Board to Dorothy and David and we wish them well for the future.”

Ms. Carlborg along with Adjunct Professor Charles McMonnies and Associate Professor Anthony Phillips were awarded Life Membership of CCLSA at ICCLC 2017.

Professor Jennifer Craig, Professor Fiona Stapleton and Lachlan Scott-Hoy were inducted as CCLSA Fellows at the conference, and the Kenneth W. Bell Medal was presented to John Mountford.