Routine eye checks save 47 lives in 2012

Routine eye checks save 47 lives in 2012

February 2013

Figures released today by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare show just how vital a role is played by employers in the health and wellbeing of their employees.

At least 47 lives were saved in 2012 through routine visits to Specsavers’ opticians, highlighting the far-reaching benefits of a simple eyecare policy.

All of the 47 individuals were simply visiting their optician to have their eyesight checked. In each of case, the routine process led to the detection of a life-threatening condition, which was subsequently successfully treated. Laura Butler, corporate account manager at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘Virtually every employee is entitled to company-funded eyecare under health and safety regulations. The number of lives saved by routine eye examinations just goes to show how vital it is for employers to provide this benefit and for employees to make use of the provision.’

Employees who use a computer screen, drive for work purposes or require PPE, should all be provided with eyecare; which leaves very few employees not covered. While some may feel that their vision itself is not an issue, there are much wider benefits to eyecare: digital retinal screening is an important element in preventative care and allows the optometrist to detect and monitor the many serious illnesses and health conditions, including:

  • diabetes
  • various heart conditions
  • cancers of the eye, such as melanomas
  • brain tumours
  • high cholesterol
  • detached retina
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • glaucoma

Retinal screening is included for all appropriate customers within each eyecare voucher from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare. The examples of the lives saved show how crucial this element of care really is to an employee’s overall health and wellbeing. The benefits are felt by the employer too with the Office of National Statistics stating, for example, that 500,000 working days are lost each year through diabetes and 4,500,000 days are lost through heart and blood pressure-related conditions. 

Case study
Barry Hall, aged 50, visited his local Specsavers store last year for a new pair of prescription safety glasses. The father of three had no idea that anything was wrong but the routine eye examination led to the discovery of a tumour which, left undetected, could have been extremely serious. Mr Hall is now well on the way to making a full recovery and urges everyone to make the most of the eyecare available to them through their employer and to have regular eye examinations for the sake of their overall health as well as to check their vision.

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