BLOG: Is there a home on the High Street for mini scleral lenses?

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Our shopping streets are changing. Big name brands we have grown to love over the years are disappearing before our eyes, consigned to a virtual graveyard sponsored by Amazon and powered by Google. 
But while the surge in online shopping has accelerated the decline of traditional but outdated ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers who failed to keep pace in an increasingly digital world, it has opened the doors for a new generation of bright young innovators prepared to take risks and do things differently.
They have very quickly become the go-to destination when you need that new dress, and you need it NOW. The need to jump in the car and head into town on a Saturday afternoon is long gone. It’s now simply a case of swiping, clicking and waiting for the doorbell.
These retailers know their audience. They know how they live and how they think. They understand what makes them tick. And click.
So, while the high street as we knew it is changing before our eyes, does that represent an opportunity for other retailers and professions to step in and occupy that territory? Could, for example, optometrists increase their presence in our town and city centres to offer an expanded range of products and services, bringing an enhanced patient experience to the masses?
Is the demise of Woolworths, BHS and Thomas Cook a signal that we could see the emergence of a new era in eye care, beyond that of just frames, sunglasses and mainstream lenses?
Shreeti Lakhani and Dr Vijay Anand of Moorfields Eye Hospital will look at whether there is home on the high street for one particular lens type – mini sclerals – at the BCLA’s forthcoming Pioneers & Visionaries conference.
They said: “Scleral lenses are designed to bear solely on the sclera with little or no corneal contact and, therefore, can be fitted to virtually any corneal topography.  This is one of the many reasons why they have retained a unique position in specialist contact lens practice.
“Mini-scleral lenses remain a very viable option in the management of keratoconus or other primary corneal ectasias, irregular corneal surfaces and post-transplant. They can also be successfully applied for a range of therapeutic or protective purposes. 
“The indications for fitting and outcomes for the patients at Moorfields will be discussed. When and how to fit mini-scleral lenses will also be discussed, including assessment of the lens on the eye and any modifications which may be necessary to optimise fit.
“We hope this presentation will inspire you to go forth and fit mini-sclerals, whichever practice you may be in.”
The session will be just one of several to be delivered over the course of the BCLA’s Pioneers & Visionaries conference. 
Registration is now open for the eagerly anticipated one-day event, which is being held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Tuesday, November 26.

Find our more and register for the event here!

Photo Credit: Krisztina Papp on Unsplash