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Social care officer's life transformed by laser eye surgery

Social care officer, Cleo aged 26 from Wigan is one of the many deserving NHS workers who has been given the gift of 20|20 vision thanks to free laser eye surgery from eye care experts Optical Express as part of its Thanks a Million campaign.

Having worn glasses from the age of 10 and contact lenses for the last eight years, Cleo had looked into laser eye surgery and even went in for a consultation with Optical Express in 2018 but due to financial constraints and coupled with the fact that she was saving for a new car for work meant she was unable to fulfill her dream.

As a social care officer, Cleo’s job involves visiting patients at their homes across the borough, which means she does hours of driving every day.

Over the years, Cleo noticed her eyesight becoming progressively worse and found it difficult to read the house numbers from her car.

Not only did her vision affect her job but Cleo would regularly experience pain when dust and dirt from the homes she visited entered her contact lenses. Commenting on this Cleo said: “At times, I had to stop my home visits as dust would enter my eye meaning I could no longer drive. On some occasions, I’d have to ring a friend to come and pick me up and take me to an optician for an emergency supply of lenses.”

Since having LASEK surgery in both eyes, Cleo has been able to work much more efficiently as she is no longer worried about her eyesight distracting her from work. Commenting on her new 20:20 vision Cleo said: “Having laser eye surgery has completely transformed my working life. Gone are the days of dry and itchy eyes, I can now focus on my patients without being distracted by my contact lenses.

“Not only that but thanks to Optical Express and its Thanks a Million initiative, I have saved the money I spent on contact lenses and finally bought my dream car which is much more energy efficient and has reduced my petrol costs.”

Following a survey of members of the British public, the Thanks a Million campaign rewarded free laser eye surgery to deserving members of the NHS and emergency service workers because the survey found that they are the most deserving of thanks.

Dawn, Head of People at Optical Express, said: “We are delighted to hear the impact laser eye surgery has had on Cleo’s working and personal life. Not only will Cleo be able to enjoy visual freedom without the use of her glasses and contact lenses, she has also done her part to help the environment. Daily disposable contact lenses are not biodegradable and are commonly made from hydrogel, silicone hydrogel, or on-hydrogel variants which are having a significant negative impact on the environment.  Laser eye surgery is an alternative option to vastly reduce waste caused by these single-use plastics.

As a nation we all share a great sense of pride in our emergency services, and the British public told us that they believe these amazing men and women deserve the most thanks – and we wholeheartedly agree.

“We wanted to reward them in our own special way by providing free treatment, to help improve the lives of these everyday heroes. Over the coming months our goal is to offer some of the hardest working people the freedom of having better than 20|20 vision, without the barrier of their glasses or contact lenses. 

“We’re delighted to have given so many deserving people free laser eye surgery through the Thanks a Million campaign, and we are looking forward to continuing to improve lives.”

Optical Express launched its Thanks a Million campaign, offering NHS workers free laser eye surgery, following a national survey of 2,000 Brits commissioned by Optical Express, which found that people who dedicate their lives to public service 'are most deserving of our thanks'.

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