I know that most of you that read my blog aren’t in the eyecare industry, but I’d love you to keep on reading. This is only a short post and it’ll give some insight into my work as an optometrist outside of the consulting room.
So last week I went to the Essilor Academy at the ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham. (Essilor is a company that designs and manufactures spectacle lenses). It was a two-day event available to optometrists and dispensing opticians who work in an Essilor practice.
The programme consisted of workshops, lectures and presentations. Day one started with a lecture from Professor Mo Jalie about the latest generation of progressive power lenses, (also known as PPLs and varifocals). Mo’s a legend in the world of ophthalmic lenses. He’s a world-renowned expert and his book about ophthalmic lenses is every student’s bible. We were enthralled, (and a little star struck), with his encyclopedic knowledge and sense of humour.
Next was a peer discussion about PPL dispensing cases. This provided an excellent opportunity for optometrists and dispensing opticians to combine their knowledge and draw on their areas of expertise. This rarely happens in practice because of time limitations. I found it very useful indeed.
The day ended with an uplifting, motivating and inspiring presentation by Steve Head. It offered advice and take-home tips on how to maximise potential and stay strong under pressure. It was universally well received and consequently became THE topic of conversation for the remainder of the event. I’ve heard a few motivational speakers, but Steve is the best. His tips will work for parents, employers, employees, partners, everyone. I wish every person I know could see him.
We stayed at the Hyatt Hotel and dinner was a five-minute walk away at The Book Rotunda. It’s a stunning venue as you can see from the photos. This, along with excellent food and plenty of wine, made for a super evening and a great opportunity to socialise and network with fellow eyecare professionals.
(Take a look at this post for details of my outfit)
Day two of the Essilor Academy began with a relevant and informative presentation by Bradford University lecturer Cheryl Swindells. She dispelled some misunderstandings and clarified certain issues which surround the topic of compensated powers. It was something I knew little about, so I gained valuable knowledge and CET points from this. (Eyecare professionals who are registered with the General Optical Council must undertake continuing education and training, and gain a minimum number of CET points every year).
Essilor is known for innovation and differentiation. Professional relations Manager Dr Andy Hepworth spoke about Essilor’s pioneering AVA, (advanced vision accuracy), technology. Members of the Essilor team demonstrated the Visioffice X and the Vision-R 800. The Visioffice is a machine which accurately measures the parameters needed to provide a bespoke spectacle lens. The Vision-R 800 is a phoropter that allows optometrists to determine a spectacle prescription in 0.01dioptre steps. Currently, we measure the power of spectacle lenses in steps of 0.25 dioptres, so this is groundbreaking.
The final CET session was a multi-disciplinary look at why people drive when they can’t see clearly. Optometrist Amy Hughes delivered what proved to be a very thought-provoking topic.
The event was a huge success with delegates enjoying the CET provision and Essilor’s outstanding hospitality. There are plans to make the Essilor Academy a biannual event from 2020.
More blog posts about similar topics:
- A Review of Essilor X4D Varifocal Lenses. (See how I got measured for my bespoke varifocals with the Visioffice)
- The Optical Equipment Used During A Sight Test
- Dry Eyes And How To Manage Them