South Pole Challenge

In January 2008, Optometrist Cameron Hudson successfully completed the Optical Express South Pole Challenge. Consisting of a 700-mile ski journey across Antarctica to reach the South Pole, the challenge was aimed at conducting pioneering ophthalmic research that would provide insights into the effects of 24-hour daylight on vision.

Hudson and his team, sponsored by Optical Express, completed their Antarctic expedition over the course of 60 days. Researching the impact that 24-hour daylight can have on one’s vision, they aimed to provide new insight into diseases of the eye which cause damage to the cells within the retina that are responsible for melatonin production, as well as the effects of these conditions on the human body. The research was conducted in the hope that its results could help in the development of new treatments for several common visual disorders.

Prior to the expedition, Hudson spent 12 months preparing for the challenge, which included four weeks of polar training in the Arctic. Besides gaining valuable insights through his research, Hudson hoped that his 700-mile journey would help raise public awareness of the importance of regular eye health examinations as a means of preventing many of the common causes of visual impairment.

Hudson's expedition was sponsored by Optical Express, and £1 from every sight test conducted in November and December 2007 and in January 2008 was donated to his research. David Moulsdale, Chairman and CEO of Optical Express, said: “We are delighted that Cameron and his team successfully completed their journey. Our sponsorship of this project highlights our commitment to optical care and research.”