North east boxing champion Glenn McCrory was on fighting form as he opened a new state-of-the-art Optical Express clinic in Newcastle today.
The boxer turned broadcaster – who recently underwent lens replacement surgery to address his own vision problems – performed the official opening ceremony at the new Optical Express flagship site in the premium shopping centre, Intu Eldon Square.
The 350 sq m clinic offers a wide range of eye care services including eye tests, glasses and contact lenses as well as free laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery consultations. Optical Express is Europe's leading provider of laser eye surgery.
The new clinic also stocks a leading selection of designer eyewear and sunglasses from luxury labels including Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Prada.
The Eldon Square clinic, which replaces the old Optical Express site in Northumberland Road, has been launched as a result of business growth in Newcastle. In May this year, Optical Express also opened a new stand-alone treatment clinic offering laser eye surgery in the city’s St. Nicholas Street.
The new clinic is served by the team previously employed at Northumberland Road to ensure a smooth transition for existing patients and uphold quality of care.
Glenn, who underwent lens replacement surgery with Optical Express in May, said:
“It’s an honour and privilege to launch the new Optical Express clinic in Eldon Square. Promoting eye health is very important to me after years of hiding my own poor eyesight.
Being short-sighted was my guilty secret – because if the truth had emerged it would have harmed my boxing career. As a professional boxer, I used to memorise eye charts to pass the eye health checks. When I became a commentator my vision problems didn’t have any impact on my job because I’m so close to the ring but away from the cameras life was becoming increasingly difficult. I couldn’t see road signs while driving and I couldn’t enjoy playing golf because I was struggling to see the ball.
Since undergoing lens replacement surgery with Optical Express I can now see clearly for the first time. It feels brilliant – and I don’t need to busk it any more.
I’d encourage anyone with concerns about their sight to drop into the new clinic at Eldon Square and join me in the Optical Express corner.”
After the opening ceremony, the celebrations continued with free eye tests. A face painter was also on hand to entertain families shopping in the centre.
The Eldon Square launch marks the latest investment from Optical Express in the North East. The business operates numerous locations throughout the region, including a clinic within the Metrocentre in Gateshead.
With a population of over 280,000 and growing, Newcastle has a strong requirement for eye care services especially as people spend more time on electronic equipment leading to poorer eyesight at a younger age.
According to the latest data, increasing use of hand-held devices is contributing to a poor vision time-bomb – yet more than 20% of UK adults do not know that they should have eye-tests every two years and over one in six (17%) of people have either never been to an optician or haven’t been in the last three years.
Figures published by the College of Optometrists revealed that although 70% of parents considered sight tests as ‘very important’ for their children’s health, a quarter of parents (25%) admitted their child has never had an eye test.
Allison Horsley, clinic manager of Optical Express in Eldon Square, said:
“We look forward to welcoming patients old and new to our state-of-the-art site in Eldon Square. Our new custom-fitted premises will enable us to treat more patients efficiently and offer improved services. Our new retail space also incorporates a fabulous range of designer eyewear, including a recently launched range by exclusive Swiss watch and jewellery maker, Chopard.
Our new clinic is an exciting venture and the staff are highly experienced and fully equipped to provide a first class service for patients of all ages.”