Optical Express announced they were to support a vision research project to investigate the effects of 24-hour daylight on the human body specifically related to eye diseases.
The project is entitled The Optical Express South Pole Challenge, and Optical Express have sponsored Cameron Hudson, an Optometrist from Cardiff to undertake;
- A 700 mile ski journey across Antarctica to the South Pole
- A pioneering scientific research project into human vision
- Promoting public awareness of the importance of eye health examinations
- Making a meaningful and significant contribution to people with visual disorders
- Other team members include John Huston and – Polar Guide (BBC2 Race To The Pole) and Peter Blaikie and – he will be the oldest man to reach the South Pole.
- Three charities involved; RNIB, Guide Dogs for the Blind and International Glaucoma Association
David Moulsdale, Chairman amd CEO of Optical Express said, “While helping to raise great awareness about eye care, the project also raises our company profile both within and outwith the industry highlighting our commitment to optical care and research.”
Throughout their Antarctic journey the team will collect important data, which will determine whether their body clocks are disrupted by the effects of the 24-hour daylight. They will also wear specialist activity monitors to monitor their “sleepwake” patterns. This research may help to provide new insight into diseases of the eye, which cause damage to the cells in the retina that are responsible for melatonin production, and the effects of these conditions on the human body.
Facing temperatures as low as -30C the expedition will see them spending Christmas and New Year on the ice. Cameron and John hope to reach the Pole by early January 2008.