HOW THE INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF SCLERAL CONTACTS CAME TO BE
By Nathan Schramm, OD, CNS, FSLS
Many people are not aware of how the International Congress of Scleral Contacts (ICSC) got started. Allow me to explain.
In January 2015, I attended an electronic medical records symposium. I was daydreaming—the topic was insurance billing, and my wife, Julie Abraham, OD, handles that side of our business—and began to wish that there were a group of doctors that only wanted to discuss scleral lenses. I thought that Facebook’s format was preferable to an email list, so I created a group called Scleral Lens Fitters.
I added a few friends to the group and tried to post often. I read the profiles of those who applied to join the group, and messaged applicants to see if they were opticians, optometrists, or eye surgeons, and asked if they were directly employed by industry.
I was soon inundated with applicants to join the group. I needed help! I asked myself who loved scleral lenses as much as I did, and the answer was easy: Thomas P. Arnold, OD, FSLS. Dr. Arnold, like me, is a fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society, and is a passionate scleral lens fitter. With Dr. Arnold’s help, the Scleral Lens Fitters Facebook group has grown to over 4300 members.
To capture the momentum of that success, Dr. Arnold and I partnered with Bryn Mawr Communications (the publisher of CollaborativeEYE) and Bryn Mawr Communication Group’s events team to make our dream of a conference dedicated to scleral lens technology come true. The ICSC has grown each year since its inception in 2016, and the 2017 meeting had nearly 200 attendees; we hope to grow the meeting again this year.
The ICSC is meant for both scleral lens experts and beginners and is taught by some of the leading experts in the field. A number of topics related to scleral lenses are discussed, including conjunctival prolapse, fogging, novel use of scleral lenses, pipeline technologies, and case reports. We also discuss the risks and unknowns of scleral lens use.
Many fellows of the Scleral Lens Education Society are at the ICSC podium. Each session covers a particular topic, and features a keynote presentation followed by three shorter presentations. The event is interactive, and each table is provided with a microphone for the Q&A portion that follows podium talks.
I look forward to seeing you in Fort Lauderdale for an informative weekend of education.
Be there, or be scleral!
ICSC 2018: A HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
By Thomas P. Arnold, OD, FSLS
The 2018 ICSC promises to be the best yet. Our first two meetings were held with enthusiastic support from practitioners around the world, and 2018 will be no exception. Clinicians wishing to expand their knowledge and skills can attend hands-on workshops that expose attendees to a variety of products and fitting philosophies. Participants will rotate through six different workshops with the opportunity to interact with vendors and other participants.
This year, the ICSC will build on our strong relationship with ophthalmology and will feature MD/OD presentations that explore how these two disciplines can work closer together.
ICSC 2018 will start off with a special event on Thursday afternoon. Dr. Schramm and I will conduct a 3-hour seminar and wet lab on called “Introduction to Scleral Lenses.” The seminar will present an overview of basic of scleral lens technologies and will summarize different fitting techniques and philosophies. Lectures will be accompanied by real-world case reports. The wet lab that follows the seminar will allow future scleral lens experts to handle and fit the lenses themselves.
We expect this special event to fill up quickly, and space is limited. Be sure to note if you plan to attend the seminar when you register for the meeting. (A registration link can be found at the beginning of this article.) Attendance to the event is included in your registration.
Come join us in Fort Lauderdale this summer. We guarantee that you and your patients will be happy you did!