The General Optical Council (GOC) has thanked all practitioners, optical bodies, companies and patients that took part in the inaugural Love Your Lenses Week which was established to raise awareness about good contact lens care.
Labelling the campaign a “big success,” the GOC’s director of strategy, Alistair Bridge, confirmed that the initiative reached millions of people. “It’s clear from the thousands of comments online that the campaign has had a direct and positive impact on patient safety. We owe a big thanks to Irenie Ekkeshis for sharing her story, and to all members of the public and everyone in the optical industry who helped spread the word,” he said.
The week ran from 25–31 March and was established after GOC research found that many patients were not looking after their contact lenses properly.
The initiative focused on two key messages. The first was ‘don’t lose sight of your optician,’ which aimed to remind people to have regular contact lens checks. The second was that ‘contact lenses and water don’t mix,’ which aimed to remind the public not to get their contact lenses wet by swimming or showering in them.
The regulator reported that dozens of optical businesses promoted Love Your Lenses across traditional and social media, with over a million people seeing tweets containing the #LoveYourLenses hashtag.
During the awareness week, the BBC also featured a story with Irenie Ekkeshis, who lost the sight in one eye after contracting a contact lens infection. Consequently, she worked with the British Contact Lens Association and the Love Your Lenses campaign to raise awareness of the risks of infection from allowing contact lenses to come into contact with water.
The GOC confirmed it would run the next Love Your Lenses Week in March 2018.