A newly commissioned survey into Scotland’s eye health has revealed that many people are not aware that Specsavers stores treat minor eye conditions for free.

Minor eye conditions

New research from Specsavers has unveiled that 78 per cent of respondents didn’t know treatment for minor eye conditions like watery eye, dry eye and sticky eye is delivered by Specsavers stores, and funded by the NHS. 

A total of 64 per cent of people surveyed said they visited a doctor when suffering from a minor eye condition – and 38 per cent said they headed to the chemist. Only 24 per cent said they had visited an optician to get treatment for a minor eye condition.

Of the people who had not visited the opticians to assist with a minor eye condition, 31 per cent said they did not know their local Specsavers store offered the service; nearly 18 per cent said they thought this service would be expensive; and 17 per cent said they would try to remedy the condition themselves.

Free service

Andrew McGonagle, store director of Specsavers stores in Airdrie, believes that education and awareness-raising is vital in encouraging people to take advantage of this free service and visit their local Specsavers store to get minor conditions checked in between sight test appointments.

He said: “The Specsavers experience is not limited to eye tests and dispensing glasses - every store in Scotland is now able to deliver additional eyecare services provided by qualified optometrists.

“Many customers still don’t come to us first for acute eyecare problems and this recent survey reflects the lack of awareness of what we offer. There’s always a chance that customers who have visited their GP to discuss minor eye conditions in the past will continue to do so, but it’s important that we make people aware that Specsavers offers this service.

“If you have a condition like watery eye or sticky eye, it’s likely you will be seen more quickly by an optometrist than you will by your GP.”

State-of-the art equipment

All Specsavers stores are equipped with the technology and facilities to carry out a thorough assessment of your eyes using state-of-the art equipment. Many Specsavers stores are also able to help you with more complex conditions, including pre- and post-cataract surgery care, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and iritis. Contact your local store to check if they offer this service.

The survey also revealed that nearly 40 per cent neglected to have an eye test in the last two years (the recommended time frame) due to not getting round to making an appointment and 41 per cent didn’t think an eye test was necessary.

Andrew added: “If your eyes aren’t feeling quite right, or if you have any concerns about your eye health, give your local Specsavers store a call. Qualified optometrists will always be on hand to provide help and advice.”

All Airdrie store information