By all measures, the 2nd Annual ICSC 2017 was a big success!

Over 170 doctors from countries as far as Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Italy and Spain convened in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the all-day event July 28, 2017. Truly an international conclave. 

A wide range of topics were covered on subjects such as “The Scleral Landing Zone”, “Pain with Scleral Lenses”, “New Technologies in the Field of Sclerals”, “Managing Surface Wetting Issues” as well as several more. Experts such as Lynette Johns, Muriel Schornack, Michael Lipson, Langis Michaud, Christine Sindt, Elise Kramer and Bill Trattler were keynote speakers. Many other experienced scleral experts served as panelists contributing to the conversation and knowledge base.

Jan Bergmanson (University College of Optometry), a noted anatomist, presented verification that the architecture of the limbus is not well defined. This important region of stem cells which replenish the epithelial surface of the cornea is always a topic of concern amongst scleral lens practitioners. Its importance in maintaining a clear, healthy, functioning cornea is widely accepted and fitters strive to avoid insulting it when selecting scleral lens designs.  Christine Sindt (University of Iowa) presented evidence taken from impression molding studies that not only is the limbus an oval, additionally it is a hyperbolic paraboloid (no, not the same as your crazy patient).  This unique three- dimensional structure was illustrated by Dr. Sindt as a Pringles potato chip:

The implications of this are that the limbal curves on scleral lenses should also be oval, not circular and even 3-D, as is now standard. Impression technologies, wave-front imaging, correction of higher-order aberrations (HOA), scleral mapping with topographers/tomographers will continue to improve and innovate rapidly. 

More highlights from the meeting…

Another popular event at ICSC was the series of wet labs featuring major scleral lens laboratories. Blanchard Lab, Bausch & Lomb Specialty Vision Products (Zenlens), Boston Sight Scleral, X-Cel Specialty Contacts, AccuLens and Luneau Technology held thirty-minute sessions that all the participants had the opportunity to rotate through.

All who attended enjoyed the intimate setting and an opportunity to really get to know the features and benefits of the products presented. In almost all instances, the actual laboratory owners and designers were present. Knowledge was dispensed straight from the “horse’s mouth.”

A keynote presentation by corneal specialist Bill Trattler from Miami gave the ophthalmology perspective on how scleral lenses are an important adjunct for patients with advanced corneal irregularities. With optometry’s expertise in the area of contact lens design and application, OD’s are perfect partners to the surgeon specializing in the anterior segment. Sclerals can serve as a bridge between the professions for the ultimate benefit of patients everywhere struggling with vision.

Here are a few quotes from attendees:

“Absolutely top notch with so much research and clinical pearls.” – New York

“Perfection on topics, speakers, and venue. I will be there next year. Attending ICSC is a MUST for anyone serious about seeing patients with corneal irregularities.” – Maryland

“I love experiencing the OD/MD collaboration at this event. Such a wonderful event and group of professionals.” – Indiana

ICSC 2018 will be held July 27th at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Editorial Comment by Elizabeth Christoff, OD, Macha Eye Care, Anderson, IN

I had the pleasure and privilege to attend the 2nd annual ICSC on July 28, 2017. After attending the inaugural event in 2016, I knew I wouldn’t want to miss this year’s meeting! I was not disappointed! ICSC 2017 not only met my expectations but exceeded them. The format of the conference is dynamic, with abundant opportunities to engage hands on in the wet labs and through Q&A with expert keynote speakers and industry reps. I also enjoy and value the opportunity to meet so many helpful and friendly colleague scleral contact lens fitters from around the world who are all willing and eager to share tips and pearls. The sense of camaraderie is unparalleled. 

I was pleased to see a variety of new industry vendors with innovative products in attendance with familiar faces from last year, as well. These reps are a valuable source of knowledge and experience, offering great support to both the new and seasoned scleral fitter. I continued to be encouraged by the fact that the most experienced fitter faces the same challenges as the novice, but that we all appreciate the great sense of fulfillment that comes from persevering through these challenges to help these grateful patients achieve life changing vision and ocular comfort.

Tom Arnold, Nate Schramm, and Bryn Mawr Communications chose wisely to make the W Fort Lauderdale the venue location. Top notch food and beverages were plentiful throughout the event in comfortable meeting rooms with excellent AV presentation. My room was beautiful and I enjoyed the pool, fitness room, and several restaurants and social areas in the hotel. Top notch choice!

I plan to attend ICSC 2018 and highly recommend this event to anyone interested in sclera contact lenses!