As we begin a new year, we can start to focus on what we want the world to look like after COVID-19.
At Optical Express we believe we have a unique opportunity to revolutionise the delivery of eye care. We have an opportunity to end patients’ reliance on the outdated vision correction methods of the past - glasses and contact lenses. Glasses and Contact Lenses come with different challenges and downsides, including those that are environmentally related. It’s imperative in our view that all patients are made aware of their full vision correction options, allowing them to make an informed decision.
Every patient we treat is one less patient who has the potential to go to A&E with a serious eye infection caused by their contact lenses. Every patient who has multifocal lens surgery is someone who will not suffer a fall due to wearing multifocal glasses and misjudging their step. Every patient who has cataract treatment with Optical Express is one less patient on an NHS waiting list. So every day, in every clinic we are relieving the burden on the NHS.
Following treatment, nearly every patient tells us they wish they’d done it sooner. They’re now more active, do more exercise, feel more confident. The physical and mental health benefits cannot be overlooked, especially now with the growing mental health crisis we are facing due to COVID-19.
We also remain extremely passionate about our environment and the role we can all play in looking after the planet. In 2019 we embarked on a mission to lead the eye care sector in raising awareness about the environmental impact of the vision correction choices patients make. Our passion hasn’t diminished and we maintain our focus in this area.
In the UK alone, over 750 million contact lenses end up in the ocean or in landfill every year.1,2 Many contact lens wearers don’t consider contact lenses as single-use plastics but that’s exactly what they are!
People want to do the right thing. The vast majority of people recycle their household waste, they own a reusable water bottle and they carry bags for life. As soon as you explain the overlooked impact on our environment caused by contact lenses, and the carbon footprint created by the manufacturing and shipping of glasses, patients understand and want to make different choices about their vision correction.
But the good news is, we’re not being asked to come up with some ground-breaking new invention to address these issues… it already exists! We are now asking people who wear contact lenses to consider their vision correction choices carefully. This includes considering the options of laser eye or intraocular lens surgery. The solution is available now to those that are suitable candidates, and Optical Express is already the number one provider of laser eye surgery and intraocular lens surgery in Europe!
You can find out more about our commitment to the environment here.
2 Optical Express survey of 3,104 Contact Lens wearers.