It’s a well known fact that as we age, our bodies become more susceptible to certain problems, particularly our eyes and ears. Uan Gohil, store director at Specsavers in the Intu Centre, Derby, provides advice on how to protect against vision and hearing loss.
When it comes to maintaining healthy eyes, there is nothing more important than having regular eye examinations. At Specsavers, we recommend everyone has their eyes tested at least every two years. Not only does this help to keep vision in check and glasses or contact lens prescriptions up to date, it also provides a good opportunity to spot any other health issues.
One condition that adults can become prone to they get older is glaucoma - the general term used to describe damage to the optic nerve, often caused by increased pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the main causes of preventable blindness in the UK, reducing a person’s eyesight by up to 40% before they even notice something is wrong.
We want to make people aware that if they are aged over 40 or have a family history of glaucoma then they are at an increased risk of developing the disease and should have regular eye examinations.
Diabetes is another condition which can lead to devastating complications, including blindness, if not diagnosed in time or managed effectively. Sufferers can remain undiagnosed for up to 10 years, meaning 50% of people will have developed a complication by the time the condition is spotted. People with diabetes are 10 to 20 times more likely to go blind than someone without the condition, due to a form of optical damage known as diabetic retinopathy. However, if retinopathy is detected early through an eye examination and treated, blindness can be prevented in 90% of cases.
High-tech as standard
Specsavers in Derby is thought to be the only opticians in the region to use optical coherence tomography, or OCT, as a standard part of our standard sight tests. The technique, which in effect is a 3D camera, allows the optician to view a high-resolution image of every facet of the eye. It can pick up conditions and abnormalities that are otherwise very hard, or even impossible, to detect through other techniques.
OCT is entirely non-invasive, but at the same time allows the optician to clearly identify and examine each layer of the eye. The technology is widely regarded to be the most valuable advance in optical diagnostic imaging in over 50 years.
Combating hearing loss
Occurring naturally with age, or as a result of too much loud noise over time, hearing loss affects one in six people in the UK. Unlike sight loss, it is often a very gradual process and can happen over several years, so people often don’t realise their hearing is getting worse.
Hearing loss can affect every aspect of a person’s life and can often be quite isolating. Most people know that it’s important to get their eyes examined regularly as part of a full health check, but fewer people realise the importance of a simple hearing check.
Having the volume on the TV or radio turned up high or regularly asking people to repeat themselves are common signs that someone might have hearing loss. In fact, because hearing tends to deteriorate gradually over time, friends and family will often notice the signs before you do.
As well as offering free hearing tests with a hearing care professional, Specsavers also offers the latest high-tech hearing aids from world leading manufacturers and free aftercare for as long as you need it.
If you’re not sure whether you have a hearing problem, we can carry out a three-minute hearing check as a quick and easy way to find out. It’s free and you don’t need an appointment. If the audiologist thinks you would benefit from a full hearing test, that’s free too and you’ll be able to book an appointment for a time that suits you.