Giving the community a helping hand
The team at Specsavers in Arnold has been part of the community for more than 30 years, and is putting hearing and eye tests into focus as they show locals the importance of taking a holistic approach to health.
Holistic health check
It’s a common misconception that eye tests are simply a prescription check. A recent YouGov poll showed that 54% of people in the East Midlands avoiding the opticians are doing so because they think that their eyes either have nothing wrong with them, or their prescription hasn’t changed so there is no need to visit.
However, regular eye testing is not just a prescription check; it’s also an important part of any healthcare routine.
‘An eye test is a holistic health test and can help detect not only vision issues but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumours, strokes, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and even multiple sclerosis,’ explained Arnold store director Claire Fletcher.
‘It is important to regularly attend every two years to ensure any sight issues or health conditions are detected early.’
Eyes experience decline
While it’s important to keep up to date with changes in prescription, as we age our eyes also experience a decline – just as the rest of our body does. This makes them much more susceptible to several age-related diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
An eye test can monitor any symptoms or conditions which can affect vision, and ensure that any problems are quickly picked up and referred to a specialist.
‘It’s worrying that 28% of people in the East Midlands area haven’t had an eye test in more than two years – we would recommend that everyone from the age of three has an eye test every two years and would like to encourage locals to book in with our friendly team in Arnold.’
Supporting hearing loss
One in six adults in the UK experience some degree of hearing loss. For most people, hearing begins to deteriorate from the mid-thirties. It usually develops slowly over time and because of this you may not realise that it is getting worse. This is because the small, sensitive hair-like cells within the inner ear get worn out over the years.
When this happens, you don’t simply go deaf but it becomes more and more difficult to understand sounds clearly, particularly speech, and that can be even trickier if there is background sound.
‘In social environments such as a pub or restaurant it can be much harder to hear what people are saying and this can become extremely frustrating as it can sound as though people are mumbling,’ explained Claire.
‘Many people whose hearing has deteriorated in this way complain that they can hear but that they cannot hear clearly and often find themselves excluded from social conversations. Some may even begin to avoid groups or situations that in the past they have enjoyed. But there is no need to suffer in silence!’
Modern digital hearing aids are designed to identify and amplify speech sounds while suppressing background noise. With the right advice, practise and prescription most people find they can hear well again in most (if not all) situations. And as modern hearing aids work with residual hearing, the sooner action is taken, the better the results will be.
‘If you’re not sure whether you have a hearing problem, we can carry out a three-minute hearing check in store as a quick and easy way to find out,’ said Claire. ‘It’s free and you don’t need an appointment. If our 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.’
A community effort
For the team at Arnold, it’s important to ensure that this healthcare advice is passed on to the local community:
‘We are very proud to be an active member of the local community and champions of eye and ear health,’ said Claire. ‘We view education as an important factor in improving the quality of life of our customers.’
As such, the team took part in the Arnold carnival on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June. Specsavers ‘Big Ear’ was out and about in the town, as well as visit members of the highly-qualified audiology and optical teams offering advice at the Arnold Specsavers stall.
Alongside answering any queries and handing out goodie bags, the team also held a raffle for a £250 voucher off hearing aids, with all proceeds going to Action on Hearing Loss, and a draw to win a free pair of single vision polarised designer glasses up to the value of £149, with proceeds donated to Dementia Friends.