Scottish FA Referee, Nick Walsh, joined Specsavers and Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to help raise awareness of the importance of eye health, urging Scots to make regular visits to an optician.

Educate the public on eye conditions

An interactive sight loss simulator – the Specsavers/RNIB Eye Pod – visited Glasgow’s Buchanan Street to educate the public about the four main eye conditions (age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts) and how they can affect your sight.

Lending his support to the partnership and campaign on the day, Nick was on-hand urging Glaswegians to try out the visual sight loss simulator which welcomed more than 200 visitors.

Nick – who is sponsored by Specsavers as a Scottish FA match official – relies on good vision as part of his role as a referee and regularly visits his local store for thorough eye and hearing checks.

The facts on eye health

The campaign comes in light of research published by RNIB and Specsavers that reveals one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable .

The alarming new statistics show that 300 people in the UK start living with sight loss every day . Women are at greater risk than men, with nearly one in four women set to develop sight loss in their lifetime compared with one in eight men .

The trailer – which has two cameras on top of the pod – link to screens inside where the public can view their surroundings with symptoms of each condition.

In each case the experience lasts around one minute, with key facts and statistics about the condition then appearing on the screen. Experts were also on hand throughout the day to offer sight loss advice.

A word from our store director

Sarah Freel, director of Specsavers Sauchiehall Street, said: ‘It’s astonishing that so many people are needlessly living with sight loss in the UK today. Our mission with RNIB is to transform the nation’s eye health through awareness and action; this is an enormous challenge but we must rise to it together and take action now.’

Hazel Lee, local fundraiser for RNIB, said: ‘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. Almost 80% of people living with sight loss are over the age of 64, so with an ageing population that is expected to retire later, more of our national workforce will be impacted by sight loss.

'We are facing an extremely challenging time for eye health in the UK, and we must take action now.’

Raising awareness

The Eye Pod is touring the country to raise awareness and funds in support of RNIB. Specsavers began a partnership with RNIB in 2016 with the mission of transforming eye health and communicating the vital importance of regular eye examinations, not just for eye sight but also to detect sight and life threatening conditions.

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