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Stay Safe – Protect our NHS – Look after your eyes

Coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives and we’re all adapting to help reduce the spread of the disease and protect our NHS.  As we get on with our new normal, it’s vital that we all continue to do our bit to reduce the strain on our health services by staying active, healthy and free of infection.

We all need to take precautions to reduce the risk of infection, both for ourselves and the people around us. Looking after our eyes is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you wear contact lenses, now more than ever you must take special care – every time you put in or take out your lenses you are at risk of causing eye infection, and some eye infections can be serious enough to require hospital treatment and lead to serious sight loss.

There is a greater need than ever before to maintain good hand hygiene, and this means washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitiser more frequently. The risks associated with a contaminant transferring from hand to eye is even greater for contact lens users, and if you are using alcohol-based disinfectants or chlorine-based disinfectants to clean your hands, dry your hands carefully to ensure that no disinfectant residue remains on your hands before touching your eye or handling the contact lenses.

If you wear glasses, you need to take extra care too.  We all know how difficult it can be to stop yourself from unconsciously adjusting your glasses, whether they are worn all the time or just some of the time.  Those who have different pairs for different activities, or who wear glasses for certain tasks, such as for aiding their close vision, may regularly touch their face as they apply and remove the glasses to aid their visual function.  It’s really important that we do our best to follow the advice from the World Health Organisation to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body making you ill, and potentially causing you to infect others around you. 

What’s more, glasses, especially bifocal or multifocal glasses are, as independent studies have shown, a major cause of falls. Wearers can misjudge distances and perspectives, for example due to reduced depth perception.  Sadly, many falls are nasty enough to require hospital treatment and can negatively impact long term health and wellbeing.1,2,3,4

As we all aim to stay safe and protect the NHS, now is a good time to consider ditching your contact lenses or glasses entirely and opting for an alternative vision correction method. Laser eye or lens replacement procedures are two long-term solutions which could be right for your vision correction needs. If you’re suitable for laser eye surgery for example, what are the benefits to you?

First, it produces life-enhancing results – over 99% of patients achieve 20/20 vision, or better following laser eye surgery at Optical Express. 5

Second, the risks of infection that come with using contact lenses or glasses will be a thing of the past.  Based on independent, peer review, scientific published studies, the risks of an eye infection through the use of daily wear contact lenses are 4 times greater per year of wear of contact lenses compared to having laser eye surgery. Extended or overnight wear of lenses means that your exposed risk is twenty times greater per year of contact lens wear compared to laser eye surgery. 6,7

Third, it’s often better value for money over your lifetime than your glasses and contact lenses, plus Optical Express offer a range of finance options allowing you to spread the cost.

Fourth, it’s much kinder to our environment than contact lenses. Over 750 million lenses end up in the oceans or in landfill in the UK every year - that’s a lot of plastic pollution! 8,9

Fifth, by reducing infection risk, you will be protecting our NHS.  Evidence shows that cataract surgery, which is identical to lens replacement surgery, significantly reduces the incidence of falls.10 Those people who choose to have private lens replacement surgery before they develop a cataract will reduce the burden on NHS cataract surgery services.

And 6th, visual freedom! Many of our patients inform us that following treatment, they lead a more active lifestyle which improves their physical and mental wellbeing.

These are just some of the many great reasons why there has never been a better time to have laser eye or lens replacement surgery, should you be found to be a suitable candidate.

If you want the confidence and visual freedom that good vision can give you, if you want to stay healthy, protect our NHS and our environment, and save money, then why not talk to our expert team about laser eye or lens replacement surgery. Simply book your free consultation right here.

References

  1. Multifocal Glasses Impair Edge-Contrast Sensitivity and Depth Perception and Increase the Risk of Falls in Older People; Lord SR; J Am Geriatr Soc 2002; 50:1760-6
  2. Epidemiology of falls; Masud T. et al; Age Ageing 2001; 30:3-7;
  3. https://beta.isdscotland.org/media/2121/2019-03-05-ui-2019-report.pdf
  4. https://beta.isdscotland.org/media/3786/ui_table2_mar20.xlsx
  5. In a study of 190,231 Optical Express patients with the most common prescriptions we treat (excluding those with presbyopia and emmetropia), 99.2% achieved 20/20 vision or better following treatment.
  6. Infective Keratitis after Laser Vision Correction: Incidence and Risk Factors; Shallhorn et al; J Cataract Refract Surg 2017; 43: 473-479.
  7. Contact Lens Replacted Microbial Keratitis; Stapleton et al; Eye 2012; 26: 185-193.
  8. https://www.abdo.org.uk/news/aclm-2016-contact-lens-statistics/
  9. Optical Express survey of 3,104 Contact Lens wearers.
  10. Visual and refractive associations with falls after first eye cataract surgery; Palagyi A et al; J Cataract Refract Surg 2017; 89:53-9.