An estimated 4,200 eye care professionals—out of more than 12,500 attendees—converged on Las Vegas for Vision Expo West, held in mid-September. 

  At VEW's Global Contact Lens Forum, optometrists Barry Eiden, Jack Schaeffer, Louise Sciafani and Rob Davis discussed contact lenses in primary eye care.

Among the 400-plus continuing education hours and 19 specialty tracks, one of the most attended courses was “Current Concepts in Ocular Surface Disease: The Dry Eye, Corneal Dystrophy, and Lid Disease,” presented by Doug Devries, OD, and Jack Schaeffer, OD.

“While two hours is a very short time to cover the broad subject of ocular surface disease, this course did a great job in imparting many clinical pearls, including looking for conjunctival chalasis and exposure considerations in dry eye patients, as well as some of the subtle findings with epithelial basement membrane patients, that an attendee could take back to the clinic and apply immediately,” says Dr. Devries.

The “Global Contact Lens Forum,” which kicked off the meeting, was another popular event.  Here, 299 attendees learned about trends in GP lenses and picked up pointers on how to launch a specialty lens practice.  

Other courses that garnered rave reviews, according to VEW representatives: “Breaking News Healthcare Reform Update,” “The Greatest Posterior Segment Disease Course––Ever!” “The Greatest Anterior Segment Disease and Medical Management of Contact Lens Complications Course––Ever!” “Melton-Thomas Treatment Guidelines,” “Glaucoma Treatment Decisions,” “Creating a 5-Star Patient Experience” and “Retina Grand Rounds.”

The crowd-sourced courses were a notable addition this year, in which the audience could decide what to discuss by connecting to speakers directly via text messaging and mobile polling to share ideas and ask questions. Eighteen CE hours of crowd-sourced education was available this year on a variety of topics, ranging from anterior segment and contact lenses to posterior segment and retinal disease.

“This is the first time I can remember when I received so many emails from attendees thanking us for such a great CE program,” says optometrist Kirk Smick, co-chairman of VEW’s conference advisory board. “I also spoke to several corporate sponsors, and they noticed the fact that the CE courses helped drive buyers to the exhibit hall floor.” n

Mark your calendar for VEW’s 2015 meeting in Las Vegas, to be held at the Sands Expo & Convention Center from September 16 to 19. For more information, go to