Chris Bennett: On trend for 25 years
Author: Chris Bennett
It was kind of Professor Philip Morgan to name check Optician in his quarter century Contact Lens Trends Survey. His impressive body of work reminds us again that it is people that make a difference in optics.
Over time the CL Survey has built into an impressive body of work providing an evidence base for the sector to build upon. Its genesis dates from the editorship of Alison Ewbank, one of a generation of people whose careers have been dedicated to the development of, and education in, the contact lens sector. Alongside Morgan names such as Efron, Wood, Young, Donnelly, Davies, Jones, McParland, Sulley, Ruston and many, many more trip off the tongue – apologies to those not mentioned. This generation has helped the development of a sector that is fantastically researched and constantly evolving.
We can see the development, not just of dailies, silicone hydrogels, torics, multifocals and myopia control lenses but the life cycle of extended wear and the durability of rigid gas
permeables. September’s survey sees an important first for toric lenses which overtake spherical lenses in soft fits showing how messages are getting through to patients.
A launch back in 2006 reminds me how long ideas can take to mature. In the most memorable CL launch I can recall the grande dame of optics, PR Janice English, secured a seat for me on a plane to New York with Clearlab for the launch of its AquaSoft Singles. This totally unexpected flat packaging for contact lenses was launched amid the kind of razzamatazz rarely seen in optics. Flown in specially from Brisbane was Professor Nathan Efron, also a key player in Optician’s CL Trends Survey. The technology has subsequently been taken on by Menicon. This week we hear how that technology is now being applied to package toric lenses.
Long may the legacy Ewbank started remain in Optician.