The biggest issues facing dispensing opticians

From understanding how lens design can influence fitting decisions to the risk factors around AMD, dispensing is high on the agenda at this year’s Optrafair Exchange.

A series of in-depth sessions will give delegates the opportunity to hear from selected experts who will explore the biggest issues facing dispensing opticians in your day-to-day working life.

On Day One, Professor Mo Jalie – an internationally renowned optician, author, scholar and lens designer – will discuss the best form lenses for near vision and explain how a new lens design could be a ‘game-changer’.

He said: “With the advent of free form manufacturing technology, it has become possible to correct off-axis aberrations of spectacle lenses to a far more accurate degree.

“This talk describes the difference between the aberrations exhibited by a lens in distance and near vision. It describes the methods by which the usual best form lens for distance vision can be modified to fully correct the aberrations in near vision and an exciting new design which has combined both corrections in a single lens.”

The role of a dispensing optician is wider ranging than ever before. There is a need to be aware of the risk factors determining eye health, with age-related macular degeneration becoming a growing epidemic.

Dr Scott Mackie’s session, ‘Nutritionals for the Eye: Fact or Fiction’ will highlight the importance of good nutrition on eye health and disease – in particular, the role of antioxidants and essential fatty acids in the pathogenesis of AMD and Dry Eye Disease.

An optometrist himself, Dr Mackie will highlight a number of recent evidence-based studies relating to commercial products available on the UK market. This will give delegates the chance to reach their own informed opinion based on published, peer reviewed evidence rather than relying on marketing claims.

He said: “The prevalence of both AMD and Dry Eye Disease, along with associated risk factors, will be fully explored before moving onto management options to include advice on smoking cessation, increased exercise and changes to diet and/or use of nutritional supplements.

“The presentation will also discuss case studies to reveal the effect of all nutritional supplements on the eye, particularly AMD and Dry Eye.”

Protecting the eye from long-term photo-chemical damage is key to staving off the threat of AMD and Dr Shelby Temple will take a closer look at this subject on Day Two – particularly the ways patients can take lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of long-term retinal damage from HEV light.

Guests will also gain invaluable advice on reducing remakes from Kieran McGrath, a DO from Specsavers.

This session will focus on common spectacle complaints and how you can avoid an unnecessary remake. You will gain an understanding of how different lens designs can influence fitting decisions and the resulting troubleshooting process.

Register for this year’s Optrafair Exchange, being held at the NEC in Birmingham from March 30 to April 1.

Optrafair is brought to you by the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and MA Exhibitions, combining some of the most respected organisations serving the optical market.


The FMOs mission is to provide a national platform for optical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and business service providers to communicate, educate and innovate. FMO plays a key role in educating the public about the importance of looking after their sight and having regular eye examinations.

MA Exhibitions

Optrafair is organised by MA Exhibitions (MAX), an award-winning exhibition business. MAX organises more than 200 events annually, from small, highly focussed seminars to large-scale events. Within MAX’s portfolio there are 14 large-scale events, spread across sectors including electronics, manufacturing, engineering, communications, education, healthcare and print.