Luxottica has pledged to donate up to $150,000 and is offering free replacement spectacles and lubricating eye drops as Australians count the cost of the ongoing bushfire disaster.
The company, which operates OPSM, Sunglass Hut, Laubman & Pank and owns brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, will donate $100,000 to be split evenly between the Australia Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund and WIRES Wildlife Rescue.
During the next four weeks, it will also match every dollar its employees individually donate through a salary sacrifice scheme up to $50,000.
In addition, Luxottica will continue to provide service, eyecare and support to affected communities, as well as to the emergency services personnel.
The company’s OPSM business has partnered with eyecare non-for-profit One Sight to offer replacement glasses to residents who have lost their property and belongings in the fires. Vision vouchers are available at OPSM and Laubman & Pank stores and the Salvation Army, in affected areas, is offering a selected range of vision correction options.
With excessive smoke and particles in the air causing discomfort and blurry vision for some volunteers and firefighters, OPSM has been in contact with emergency services to deliver lubricating eye drops to major evacuation points.
“Luxottica remains committed to helping communities battling bushfires and those who are now faced with the challenge of rebuilding their livelihoods,” a company statement said.
“For this reason, a Volunteer Disaster Relief Leave program has been set in place for employees that are active volunteers and availing their services to impacted regions, and for individuals who are experiencing harsh circumstances as a result of the wildfires.”
Advice to patients
Mr Peter Murphy, Luxottica Australia and New Zealand director of eyecare and community, offered tips to protect eyes from bushfire smoke.
- Keep eyes lubricated – use eye drops to alleviate the irritation in your eyes. Smoke and particles in the air can have a drying effect on eyes. Airborne particles can cause discomfort and blurry vision, and this is when the lubricating drops can help. For patients who are already using lubricating drops for dry eyes, an increase in frequency might be needed to minimise irritation. We recommend using preservative-free lubricating drops.
- Stay indoors – try to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid the smoke getting into your eyes.
- Wear glasses or goggles – sunglasses or close-fitting glasses will act as a barrier to the bushfire pollution and are particularly helpful to those that suffer from dry eye or have sensitive eyes.
- Avoid touching eyes – try not to touch or rub your eyes as this can cause further irritation.
- Visit the optometrist – if you are experiencing no improvement or worsening of symptoms, visit your local optometrist. They will be able to conduct a thorough eye health examination and provide recommendations tailored to your specific needs.
- Use a cold compress – applying a cold compress over your eyes may help reduce symptoms of discomfort.