Global Specialty Lens Symposium 2020

26 March 2020

Pooja Bhindi

The annual Global Specialty Lens Symposium (GSLS) was held in Las Vegas in January this year. The GSLS is the leading international contact lens conference, bringing together optometrists, ophthalmologists and researchers alike from over 35 countries. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend this year’s conference, together with Lachlan Hoy.

The three-day conference focused on the latest research and technology in the areas of specialty contact lenses, myopia control and ocular surface dysfunction. Lectures were given by speakers from all over the world, including; United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. Listening to industry leaders debate and discuss the latest views and research was a fantastic way to learn!

The research presented on Myopia was particularly interesting, given that the prevalence of high myopia is increasing so dramatically that the World Health Organization considers it an epidemic. While previously considered a childhood condition, it is now known that 30% of myopic people actually become myopic after 17 years of age! Another interesting take home message was that the eye shows accelerated growth two years before any signs of myopia manifest clinically. This highlights the importance of regular monitoring of children even if they don’t yet have symptoms.

Pictured: Dr. Jeff Walline discussing the current interventions for myopia control.