The General Optical Council (GOC) just put out a statement congratulating everyone who took part in the first "Love Your Lenses Week." This year's event was so successful that the GOC said it's planning on making "Love Your Lenses Week" an annual event.
For those who don't know, "Love Your Lenses Week" was inspired by recent surveys that suggested many people in the U.K. don't know much about proper contact hygiene. The "Love Your Lenses" initiative was founded to remind contact lens wearers about the importance of proper lens care.
Alistair Bridge, who works as the GOC's director of strategy, said the "Love Your Lenses Week" reached millions of people across the country. She said thousands of people actually wrote in to the GOC either through email or on social media thanking the organization for providing concise lens hygiene information.
"Love Your Lenses Week" officially began on March 25th and ran through the 31st. The GOC said they plan to hold the 2018 "Love Your Lenses Week" in March as well.
There were only two main messages the "Love Your Lenses" campaign was designed to address. The first was for people to visit their optician every year, and the second was for contact wearers never to wear contact lenses in pools or showers.
Many people nowadays don't know that bacteria can easily travel from water onto contact lenses. Unfortunately, this is the main reason people who wear contacts tend to contract more eye infections than those that don't.
The organizers for the "Love Your Lenses Week" wrote two pithy slogans to sum up their main points: "Don't lose sight of your optician" and "Contact lenses and water don't mix."
One of the key speakers at various "Love Your Lenses" events was Irenie Ekkeshis. Ekkeshis was blinded in one eye due to improper care of her contacts. Today, she tells her story across the U.K. to help fellow contact wearers avoid a similar fate.
Ekkeshis said she will continue to work with the British Contact Lens Association as well as future "Love Your Lenses" campaigns. For her efforts, Ekkeshis won the Vision Pioneer Award in 2016 for "Campaign of the Year."
In Bridge's congratulatory statement, she said she was especially thankful for all the support various clinics and optical companies showed for the "Love Your Lenses" initiative. She said that the support from big name organizations like CVO, Leightons, and FODO really helped drive traffic to the official "Love Your Lenses" homepage. Believe it or not, over one million people saw the tweets put out on the GOC's Twitter feed by the end of the week.
Anyone who missed the "Love Your Lenses Week" can still find the most important information on the campaign's website. People can test their knowledge of contact lens hygiene by taking a short quiz, or they could just read a few articles on general eye health.
The GOC is tasked with both regulating optical professionals in the U.K. and providing the public with high quality optical information. As of today, the GOC registers around 29,000 dispensing opticians, optometrists, and student opticians every year.