NCC 2014

I arrived at the hotel after an hour’s flight from Glasgow and a one and a half hour drive from Schipol. The hotel and conference centre is an old monastery, a giant place with rooms looking onto a lovely square and a clock tower. On arrival, I got a goody bag with some contact lens solution (quite handy since I didn’t pack mine), a tin of waffley biscuity things, a can of energy drink and a fortune cookie. I had no idea what the fortune says since it was in Dutch. The congress started early the next morning, leaving me the evening to catch up with some of the guys from Coopervision and enjoy a nice meal.

The expo part of the NCC had some interesting exhibitors but I struggled to find information in English. Also, there seems to be quite a focus on scleral lenses. I wouldn’t even know where to start with sclerals and, since the lecture on scleral lenses coincided with the myopia control one, there’s a chance I’ll never know. It was interesting to hear that base curve has nothing to do with the fit of a soft contact lens. Apparently the limbal-scleral junction is key to fitting but it’s something I can’t really assess since you need an OCT.
I also attended an interesting workshop on the Meibomian glands, where, as the only person with severe dry eye and MGD, I was poked and prodded for a while. I discovered a notch on my right lower lid a few weeks ago, which I found a bit depressing, and today it was confirmed that those glands are long gone. Warm compresses and lid massage every night for me from now on.

The myopia control lecture was good but we don’t see a lot of high myopes in the east end of Glasgow so I’m not sure if controlling myopia with multifocals is something I would be doing in the future.

The final day of the conference was a bit of a disaster for me. I woke up late (I blame the gala dinner and the music and dancing that went on to 3am the previous night), missed breakfast and missed my first workshop, which was on technology (it was one I was really looking forward to). I went to the next one I had been booked into which was about contact lens complications. Unfortunately, the whole session was in Dutch. Upon discovering this, I quietly headed out the door (after apologising profusely to the ladies running the workshop).

I randomly asked a Danish optom about scleral lenses and how to fit them. He said he would fit a scleral rather than an RGP in most cases since it gives better comfort. Having been an RGP guinea pig for the last couple of years, I am actually thinking about investigating sclerals. When I get home, I’ll try to get more info on where to get a fitting set and maybe post a link. The Danish optom said that you adjust the central fit like an RGP, then look at peripheral fit.

It would be nice to able to fit all types of lenses!

The last lecture series of the day was about contact lens care systems. The first part went through the parts of a MPS, SICS (some interesting theories on this), rub and rinse and other issues associated with care regimes.

I was surprised to hear one of the speakers mention that his CL practice is 65% daily wearers and he’s hoping to increase this to 85%. This has gotten me thinking about our own contact lens patients. I might see if I can find out what percentage of daily wearers we have.

So, it was an interesting yet tiring few days (I was back at work bright and early the next morning). I feel energised, though, and I have quite a few questions buzzing around in my mind. All in all, a great conference which has made me want to be a better contact lens practitioner.

I’d like to thank CooperVision for giving me the opportunity to attend this wonderful event and I hope to see everyone at NCC 2016!

/Michelle Snowball

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