Professor Jennifer Craig from the New Zealand National Eye Centre at the University of Auckland delivered the annual Pioneers Lecture at the Pioneers and Visionaries Conference last week.
The professor 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 and the Caucasian eye.
The conference was hosted by the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and the Medical Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Association (MCLOSA) at the Royal College of Physicians in London on 30 November.
Over 150 delegates attended the event which also featured a lecture from Professor Christopher Liu on how contact lenses can be used in cornea and external eye disease.
During the MCLOSA Kersley Lecture, Professor Liu also explored issues surrounding sequential bilateral cataract surgery and the use of artificial corneae or keratoprostheses.
A debate on the merits of contact lenses and surgical intervention for refractive correction in keratoconus was held, with contact lenses coming out on top.
The president of the BCLA, Professor Sunil Shah (pictured with Professor Craig), chaired a session on myopia management in children that was delivered by Professor Philip Morgan and Dr Nicola Logan.
MCLOSA awarded the Bron Award to Dr Harry Roberts at the event for his work in researching epiphora and chronic tarsal conjunctivitis associated with make-up remover wipes.
Speaking about the event, Professor 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,” Professor Shah added.
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.”