“Every successful revolution is well prepared. We need to understand our enemy, get organised and tool up.”

BCLA President Keith Tempany means business. When it comes to myopia management and the successful fitting of contact lenses in children, there’s no messing about. Short-sightedness is a global epidemic and it’s not going away any time soon. The time to act is now.  

Keith’s hotly anticipated Presidential Address – ‘The Only Constant is Change – Vive La Revolution’ will tackle this issue face on. It will be a chance for you to find out more about the biggest eye health problem in the world and sign up to help fight it. 

“The contact lens industry has undergone a total revolution in the past 40 years” said Keith. “It is almost unrecognisable from the profession it was back in 1977 when the BCLA was first formed. 

“Technology has changed the way we work and will do again in the future, I want to make sure we are best placed to prepare for what is going to be thrown at us in years to come.”

The Presidential Address will turn back the clock to track the key milestones in contact lens development over the past four decades, such as the emergence of soft lenses, the development of RGP materials, corneal topography and daily disposables.

He added: “There’s no doubt in my mind the next stage in our story will be myopia control, the retardation of myopic progression. It has the potential to be a game changer and is something we all need to be on board with from an early stage. “Myopia is on the increase globally. Here in the UK one in five teenagers are myopic and the prevalence of myopia is twice what it was in the 60s. We need to be looking at who is at risk and devising different strategies for the ‘at risk’ emmetrope and the young myope.

“Progression of myopia decreases with age. The earlier we start the better the result can be, and that means treating children, the younger the better.
“But before we even try myopia control we have to get comfortable fitting kids with contacts. We simply have to focus on changing our communication and fitting styles when fitting kids with contact lenses, drawing on various professional bodies and professionals and pulling out key points that we all can use.

“There’s a battle ahead. By coming together as a profession with a clear strategy and a consistent approach to tackling our ‘enemy’ – it’s a battle that can be won.”

Keith Tempany’s Presidential Address will be held at The Royal Society of Medicine from 6pm on Thursday, September 21. The event is free for members and you can register here. If you are currently not a member of the BCLA and would like to find out more about BCLA membership or join, click here.