Contact lens conference in Las Vegas
My colleague Andrew Huhtanen recently attended the Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) in Las Vegas. This is now probably the biggest contact lens meeting in the world and – as the name implies – there is an emphasis throughout the meeting on the contact lens management of conditions such as keratoconus, post-graft, high myopia, astigmatism and paediatric aphakia. This year over 800 contact lens specialists from all around the world travel to Las Vegas to attend the GSLS.
All the recent developments in contact lens designs and materials were featured at the conference. This included new daily disposable contact lenses, new multifocal contact lens designs, the latest on mini-scleral and scleral contact lenses, and contact lenses for myopia control. I find it truly amazing when I think of all the innovations and changes that have occurred in the field of contact lenses over the last 30 years and this trend looks like continuing in the future. At the end of the day, all our contact lens patients benefit from these changes, especially when one considers that there are many people today wearing contact lenses who – quite simply – would not have been able to wear lenses 10 or 20 years ago.
The other highlight of the conference for Andrew was all the new equipment featured in the industry trade show. We really are very spoilt with all our ‘toys’ and they certainly make our job a lot easier. When I started practicing optometry back in the last century, you crudely measured the shape of the cornea by means of a very antiquated device known as a keratometer and then you used your slit-lamp (biomicroscope) to assess the fit of the contact lens on the eye. These days we are able to obtain a very accurate measurement of both the corneal and scleral shape with instruments that precisely map out the contour of these structures. We can then closely scrutinize the fit of a contact lens by using techniques such as optical coherence tomography, which provides us with an incredibly stunning picture of how the contact lens is aligning with the eye.
I never thought I would say this but, “ahhh, technology!” :)