18th International Cornea & Contact Lens Conference

Last week Jillian, John, Jacinda and I attended the 18th International Cornea & Contact Lens Conference (ICCLC) in Sydney. This is the biennial conference of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) and it is without a doubt the biggest contact lens conference held in Australia. This year there were over 260 optometrists in attendance.

One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the Kenneth W Bell Medal to Charles McMonnies. Charles retired from private practice over 10 years ago, however he remains very active writing and reviewing papers and he retains a strong interest in areas such as keratoconus and dry eye. In 2013 Charles and I were co-editors of the special issue of Clinical and Experimental Optometry that was entirely devoted to keratoconus.

There were many interesting lectures and workshops presented during the three days of the conference. One of the highlights was an outstanding talk from Professor Nicole Carnt who is a world-renowned authority on the topic of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). You will recall that in a previous blog I spoke about AK, which is associated with the use of tap water on contact lenses and often leads to a severe and permanent loss of vision. Titled ‘Water and Contact Lenses Don’t Mix’, Professor Carnt’s excellent presentation included clinical data that clearly showed there was a higher rate of AK when water was used on contact lenses. In addition, it was revealed that using daily disposable lenses – as compared to two weekly and monthly lenses – decreased the risk of getting AK by about 50%.


- Richard