BBR Optometry is delighted to announce that Hereford-based optometrist Laura Reece has scooped a national award and been named Young UK Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year.
The accolade was announced at the British Contact Lens Association’s (BCLA) 40th annual conference held in Liverpool and comes hot on the heels of Laura being named a finalist at the Association of Optometrists Awards 2017, acknowledging her clinical achievements and patient care.
Nick Rumney, BBR chairman, said: “This award is so deserved for Laura who works tirelessly to offer the best contact lens care possible for all of our patients who are benefiting from her growing expertise and showcases her commitment, dedication, education and training.
“Since she first joined us in 2015 after graduating from the University of Manchester with a Masters of Optometry (MOptom) she has shown a keen interest in contact lenses and to be recognised by her peers with this award is a fantastic achievement.
“The accolade follows Laura gaining a prestigious Alcon Scholarship, run by one of the world’s most innovative eye care companies, which is designed to help scholars become ‘best-in-class optometrists by increasing clinical knowledge and widening skill sets’ and this accolade shows the worth of this programme in developing her skills further,” he added.
Laura said: “I feel humbled to have won this accolade but very pleased as well because I care passionately about contact lenses and the real difference they can make to the lives of so many of our patients.
“I have a particular interest in Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), a system of vision correction that I use myself. By wearing bespoke-made contact lenses each night as I sleep, my cornea is gently flattened to provide perfect vision for the day ahead.
“My uncorrected vision is -2.25 dioptres, with some astigmatism, so sufficient for me to be wearing glasses all the time, but with this overnight system I wake up to good vision which is brilliant and a system I can personally recommend to many patients, especially those who are keen on outdoor activities and sport where spectacles can be a hindrance,” she added.
BBR Optometry has recently become one of the initial practices in the UK to offer revolutionary MiSight contact lenses used for myopia control and this is another area where Laura is providing expert advice to patients.
She adds: “Myopia is a global epidemic forecast to affect more than 50% of the European population by 2050 and, if left unchecked, can lead to glaucoma, retinal degeneration, tears and detachments, all of which are potentially blinding.
“That’s why I am delighted that we can now offer these lenses that are clinically proven to prevent myopia. I was privileged to be among fellow optometrists from Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Norway, to receive special training from CooperVision who developed these lenses so I can offer patients expert knowledge about the benefits of them,” she added.
Ortho-K and Myopia were among the many topics on the agenda at the BCLA conference attended by hundreds of delegates focused on driving up standards of care.
Cheryl Donnelly, chief executive of the BCLA, said: “"Laura is a deserving winner of the Young UK Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year and is someone that represents the exciting future of the profession. Her passion and dedication shines through and Laura looks set for a long and successful career in eye care.”
Hear Laura talk about the benefits of Ortho-K lenses in this video on our YouTube channel and find out more about the British Contact Lens Association here.
Laura is pictured receiving her award from BCLA president Brian Tompkins.