One in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable, warns a new report published by charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and high street opticians Specsavers.

The alarming new statistics show that every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. Women, who tend to live longer, are at greater risk than men, with one in four women set to develop sight loss in their lifetime compared with one in eight men.

The report, written by RNIB and Specsavers and supplemented by an independent YouGov poll of 6,430 UK adults, was unveiled at an event hosted by the partnership in London on the 07th September.

One in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime

The event marks a stepping up of RNIB and Specsavers transforming eye health campaign, which will include a multi-million pound investment in marketing, nationwide fundraising and a tour of the UK with their Eye Pod simulated sight loss experience to educate the nation about the importance of eye health.

Almost six million people in the UK currently live with sight-threatening conditions yet 25 per cent of people are not having an eye test every two years as recommended by the College of Optometrists. The extent of the problem means that nearly every family in Britain is touched by sight problems in some way.

RNIB acting CEO Sally Harvey says: ‘Our report reveals new evidence that one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime, so our work is now more important than ever. The eye health crisis looks set to deepen and the cost burden is destined to soar unless urgent action is taken.’

Raising awareness of the importance of eye health

The State Of The Nation Eye Health 2017: A Year in Review report, launched ahead of National Eye Health Week (18 – 24 September), is an annual benchmark of Britain’s eye health by RNIB and Specsavers, who joined forces in 2016 to raise awareness of the importance of eye health at every level to help prevent avoidable sight loss.

TV presenter and journalist Anne Robinson is supporting this year’s campaign as eye health ambassador. Her own family experience of eye health problems saw her Irish godfather, who had a love of horse racing, lose an eye through cancer.

For more information on supporting people with sight loss visit

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