Double celebrations were in store at a local opticians as Claire Edwards marked five years as a director at Specsavers Porthcawl – and five years since she opened the store.

Ms Edwards has been in the optometry industry for 22 years, 13 years as an optometrist having worked at Specsavers Blackwood for seven years before moving on to opening her own store in the Welsh seaside town.

Investing in staff

In those five years, Claire has strengthened the business locally, growing the staff from six to 16 employees, as well as supporting seven pre-reg optometrists - four in the last five years and two of whom have become joint venture partners.

One of the key advances Ms Edwards has made is in the introduction of state-of-the-art clinical equipment, including a field scanner and a hospital-grade optical coherence tomography (OCT) machine.

OCT technology provides a more detailed scan of the eye than a regular eye test, using light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of the eye including the retina and optic nerve. A layered image is then created to allow an optometrist to view the deeper structures of the eye in more detail than ever before.

An OCT scan can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration up to four years sooner than a standard eye test.

'Cutting-edge technology'

Claire Edwards says: ‘These five years have been a labour of love. To support the local community with something so important as their vision is a privilege. We are committed making sure our customers are confident that they will always receive the very best service from Specsavers Porthcawl.

‘The investment into OCT technology is a huge milestone in our continued efforts to provide the very best eye care for our customers. It has been used by astronauts to measure the effect of space travel on the eye, and we are delighted to be using such cutting-edge technology in Porthcawl.’

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