World champion bowler launches Ayr eye clinic

Commonwealth Games bowling star Paul Foster urged the public to be on the ball over eye health as he launched a new Optical Express clinic in Ayr.

The Troon-based bowler, who won Gold in the Pairs and Fours events at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, performed the official opening ceremony at Optical Express’s flagship Ayr site on Monday 8 December.

The 131 sq m clinic offers a wide range of eye care services including eye tests, glasses and contact lenses as well as free laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery consultations and post-operative appointments. Optical Express is the UK’s leading provider of laser eye surgery.

The clinic also stocks a leading selection of designer eyewear and sunglasses from luxury labels including Tom Ford, Swarovski, Gucci and 7 For All Mankind.

The Sandgate clinic, which replaces Optical Express’ site in The Kyle Centre, has been launched as a result of business growth in Ayr.

Paul opened the Ayr clinic as part of Optical Express’s partnership with Bowls Scotland, the national governing body for outdoor lawn bowls.  The sponsorship deal, announced in May 2014, included funding for Bowls Scotland’s international bowlers, officials and exclusive discounts for its members.

Paul, who is also four times world indoor champion, said: “It’s an honour to launch Optical Express’ new clinic in Ayr. As a bowler I can safely say that good eyesight is an important part of a player’s game.

“But it’s not just bowlers who need to look after their eyesight.

“Regular eye tests are crucial to maintaining good eye health and monitoring early signs of eye disease such as glaucoma and cataracts. They can also help identify other health issues including diabetes and high blood pressure.

“I’d urge anyone with concerns about their eyesight to contact Optical Express.”

With a population of over 360,000, Ayrshire has a strong requirement for eye care services especially as people spend more time on electronic equipment leading to poorer eyesight at a younger age.

Increasing use of hand-held devices is contributing to a poor vision time-bomb. Yet research suggests that more than 20% of UK adults do not know that they should have eye-tests every two years and over one in six (17%) of people have either never been to an optician or haven’t been in the last three years.

Figures published by the College of Optometrists show that although 70% of parents consider sight tests as ‘very important’ for their children’s health, a quarter of parents admit their children have never had an eye test.

Maria Stevenson, manager of Optical Express in Ayr, said:

“We’d like to express our sincere thanks to Paul for launching our clinic and raising awareness of the importance of maintaining good eye health.

“The team in Ayr look forward to welcoming customers old and new to our newly refurbished site on Sandgate. Our new custom-fitted premises will enable us to treat more patients efficiently and offer improved services.

“With more retail space, we are also offering a fabulous range of designer eyewear, including Swarovski frames that are exclusive to Optical Express in Ayrshire.

“Our new clinic is an exciting venture and the staff are highly experienced and fully equipped to provide a first class service for patients of all ages.”

A free eye test can be booked at Optical Express by dropping in to a clinic or calling 0800 023 20 20 to make an appointment. A full list of clinics is available at


Notes to Editors:

Figures quoted are taken from ‘The State of the Nation’s Eyes’, a comprehensive report on eyesight in Britain today surveying 2,081 adults aged 18+ and evaluating the nation’s eye health, lifestyle and perceptions of eye care in 2012.  Hard copies available on request.

For further information or images regarding Optical Express services please contact or call Charlene Sweeney on 0141 333 9585.

About Optical Express:

The Optical Express Group was founded in 1991 and is now a global leader of selected healthcare services.

Worldwide, Optical Express surgeons have together performed over 2 million refractive surgery procedures and their ophthalmic surgeons have a combined surgical experience of over 1,000 years. They treat more patients than all other laser eye surgery providers combined, as confirmed in the UK Government Competition Commission Report, November 2013.

In a recent survey of over 252,179 Optical Express patients, over 99% said they would recommend Optical Express to their family and friends.

In a study completed in September 2014 of nearly 336,381 Optical Express patients, over 99% achieved 20/20 vision or better following treatment.

The company employs over 2,000 people, utilising ophthalmologists and optometrists across more than 160 locations throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Croatia, Germany and The Netherlands.

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