Pre-Registration Optometrist & Laser Eye Surgery PatientSeptember 2021
Struggling with poor vision since she was 12 years old, Pre-Registration Optometrist Rebecca applied for free treatment through the Optical Express industry campaign. Aimed at raising awareness on the health, economic, and environmental benefits of vision correction surgery, the initiative saw optometrists across the UK and Ireland being offered a life-changing vision correction procedure free of charge.
“My reason for applying for laser eye surgery is that I’ve worn glasses and contact lenses since I was about 12 years old, and it was getting to the point now where I thought, ‘I want to do something about it’,” she explains. Keen to rid herself of the daily inconvenience and be able to enjoy hassle-free vision, she was delighted to learn of Optical Express’ free treatment for industry professionals campaign: “I saw that this initiative came out and obviously it was advertised as being completely free, and we were asked to make a donation to the charity [Ocean Generation].”
Hoping to raise awareness of the huge environmental benefits of vision correction surgery, the initiative was launched in collaboration with Ocean Generation, a charity which aims to restore a healthy relationship between humanity and the Ocean. While participants receive treatment free of charge, they are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to help raise funds for Ocean Generation’s initiatives, including various educational programmes designed to help young people in particular make more informed choices about the use of disposable plastics.
Aware of the detrimental impact that contact lenses and glasses are having on our environment, Rebecca believes that it’s crucial for optometrists to educate patients on the impact of their vision correction choices. “I think it’s really important to educate people on the impact of single-use plastics and to make them aware of small changes that you can make. So, we’re not saying, ‘Stop everything that you’re doing at the moment’, because you do need to keep using some types of plastics. It’s just small steps really,” she comments.
Rebecca hopes that the initiative will help optometrists become more informed on the environmental benefits of refractive surgery, which will in turn allow patients to make more informed choices about their vision correction. “Really the main thing that Optical Express want to do is reduce single-use plastic, so they’re trying to really make you aware and educate their staff and the wider reach that, yes, contact lenses are good, but there is actually something better for the environment and for you, and that’s laser eye surgery,” she says.
Delighted with the results of her treatment, Rebecca has already started recommending vision correction surgery to her own patients: “When I talk to my patients and I say to them, ‘Yes, I’ve had laser eye surgery’, they’ll say, ‘Oh, how did it go?’. Because I’ve had such a good outcome and such a good experience, I’m happy to recommend it to patients and say to them ‘Yes, it’s totally worth going for and get it done sooner rather than later so that you’ve got the benefit of it for years.”