Scarlets star Hadleigh Parkes took advantage of Specsavers’ latest hospital-quality technology to help ensure they stay at the top of their game during the Six Nations.

Joined by Wales national teammates and Dragons players Aaron Wainwright and Leon Brown, the centre had an OCT (optical coherence tomography) scan and a hearing screener to check their sight and hearing at an event at the Vale Resort, as a part of Specsavers’ official partnership with the Wales Rugby Union (WRU).

Preventing sight loss

Specsavers’ hospital-quality OCT scan is available across Wales and can help detect treatable eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, much sooner than a regular sight test. It means treatable eye conditions can be managed before they get worse and it can help prevent potential sight loss.

When asked about using the OCT machine, Scarlets player Hadleigh Parkes says: ‘It was extremely easy to do. The people taking me through it were very helpful. It’s nice to have it in the back of your mind that if there was something wrong they’d pick up on it pretty early.’

A Specsavers audiologist also performed a digital hearing screener – a three-minute test that can be administered on a shop floor to show early signs of hearing loss.

When asked if it can be hard to hear teammates over a crowd of 70,000 fans, Hadleigh adds: ‘Two games that come to mind is the Grand Slam game last year and the one against England as well. The crowd in the second half, against England especially, the singing that was going on it was extremely difficult to hear. You do have to yell and scream at the players next to you.

‘You have to have good eyesight as well, to look and see if options are open.’

When asked what advice he would give to any fans struggling with their hearing, Hadleigh says: ‘Just go out and do it, it only takes three minutes. It’s easy. A good simple test and if it does help out then it’s an outstanding thing to go and do.’

Not missing a moment of the Six Nations

The trio encouraged all rugby fans to prioritise their own eye health so they can continue to enjoy all the action and to not miss a moment for the Six Nations and beyond – whether it’s at the ground or on television - as Wales look to retain the prestigious trophy.

Brian Borland, who performed the OCT screening on the players, says: ‘This is a hugely exciting sponsorship for Specsavers and we are delighted to be partnered with the WRU as its official optician and audiologist.

‘Without good eyesight or hearing, players cannot perform at their very best. Our rollout of OCT across Wales means that everyone – from sports stars to your family and friends – can access state-of-the-art technology that can spot sight and life-threatening conditions much sooner.

‘We are thrilled to have Hadleigh, Aaron and Leon working with us to raise awareness of hearing tests and ensuring their eyesight remains ‘2020’ as we celebrate this year’s Six Nations tournament.’

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