Optical Express embroiled in PR storm amidst lens safety scare

Optical Express is at the centre of a public relations storm after it emerged that healthcare regulators are to initiate an investigation into the Mplus X lens, in use by the High Street optician for the past year, amidst concerns that it could lead to sight loss.

Surgeons fear that in excess of 6,000 people to have undergone corrective surgery are at risk of complications arising from the lens, which has been targeted at middle age people seeking to avoid the need to wear bifocal glasses. Concerns were first raised by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust when four of its six patients reported a loss of vision after undergoing the procedure, prompting both it and Optical Express to discontinue use of the lens.

An Optical Express spokesperson said: “As the UK market leader we carry out thousands of lens implants every year. Patient safety is our number one concern. Every lens type that we use has passed a rigorous and time consuming evaluation to make sure that it is both safe and effective. This includes the MPlus X lens, which is being used here in the UK by many providers and around the world.

“It is vitally important to stress that there has been no safety concerns whatsoever expressed about this lens. A tiny minority of patients are reported to have experienced poorer than expected distance vision, but the overwhelming majority have had their sight and their life significantly improved by having this lens implanted."

Concerns were first raised by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust when four of its six patients reported a loss of vision after undergoing the procedure, prompting both it and Optical Express to discontinue use of the lens.

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