Optician Awards: Unsung hero recognised

Contact lens manufacturer Menicon won the Contact Lens Award at the Optician Awards 2022 for its childhood myopia treatment plan. Emma White reports

Winner: Menicon


  • Bausch + Lomb
  • Cooper Vision
  • Positive Impact

Menicon fought off stiff competition from Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision and Positive Impact to win the Contact Lens of the Year category at the 2022 Optician Awards last November. The contest was close-run, with two entrants testing the panel’s judgement. Menicon was chosen for its ‘great innovation and good understanding of the needs of the eye care professional (ECP) and their patients’. One judge described the company as an ‘unsung hero of the sector’.

Kevin Mitchell, Menicon’s UK managing director, says that winning the award has been a ‘real honour’. ‘We were surprised to win and when the announcement was made on the night, we were blown away by the warm reception we received. The night was fantastic and I think everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to get together after such a long time. This was a competitive category with many strong contenders,’ he adds.

The Menicon Bloom concept is described by the company as a ‘step-change’ in its commitment to treating the global issue of childhood myopia. Launched in March 2022, the holistic treatment plan features two contact lenses that are CE approved specifically for myopia control: Menicon Bloom Night, an orthokeratology rigid corneal contact lens and Menicon Bloom Day, an extended depth of focus daily disposable soft contact lens. The treatment plan also includes specifically formulated lens care solutions, fitting software and the Menicon Bloom app, which enables the end user to provide feedback on their child’s progress and treatment journey.

‘Our App enables ECPs, patients and parents to communicate easily and effectively, assisting ECPs with monitoring and treating children. Anonymised information is also fed back to Menicon, providing data that can help to further refine the product,’ says Mitchell. ‘Our UK-based customer service team works closely with our customers, acknowledging and listening to their needs and helping to drive product innovation,’ he adds.

For example, in response to customer feedback, the Menicon Bloom contact lens solution bottle is now more malleable for smaller hands, it contains 30% less plastic and a flip-top lid to minimise contamination.

As a multi-layered product approach, education and comprehensive training on the importance of myopia management are vital to the onboarding process, according to the company. ‘Our feedback shows that ECPs appreciate the opportunity to upskill and the superior level of knowledge and accreditation that comes with it,’ says Mitchell.

‘We want to stress the importance to ECPs of having conversations about myopia with young patients and their parents. Professionals realise that parents and patients need to know about the treatments available to reduce the progression of the condition. We need to educate patients on the best way of reducing the impact of myopia and show them that Menicon Bloom is more than a contact lens, it is a complete holistic system.’

A dedicated team, specialising in the implementation and set up of the Menicon Bloom treatment plan, is available from the get-go to help ECPs to introduce the new concept into a busy optical practice at their preferred pace. An accompanying marketing campaign called ‘See Their Imagination Bloom’ also helps to raise awareness of childhood myopia and the available treatment options.

The response to the rollout of the treatment plan has been ‘resoundingly positive’ and initial data supports the efficacy, safety and acceptance of Menicon Bloom Day and Menicon Bloom Night as successful treatment options for myopia control. ‘The number of ECPs implementing the Menicon Bloom Myopia Management system continues to increase. ECPs are now able to offer a proven treatment to their young patients and, crucially, reassure parents that this holistic treatment programme can work,’ says Mitchell.

‘Menicon has risen to the challenge we set for ourselves in the development of Bloom, tackling the global rise in myopia and adding another innovation to our ever-increasing product portfolio. We are constantly working on launching innovative products. New for 2023 is the launch of Menicon’s Rose K2 XL lens for irregular corneas to provide patients with “better sight and greater comfort”. Our latest Rose K2 XL Oblate was recently added to the family of Rose K2 designs, offering patients with irregular corneas the chance to enjoy the benefits of a precision lens that’s comfortable enough to be worn daily,’ says Mitchell.

Later this year, the company plans to launch a new range of made-to-order monthly soft lenses along with a range of lens care products.