A new report published by the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) suggests people are not taking enough care of their eyesight. With National Eye Health Week in full swing, the charity has partnered with Specsavers in Colchester to urge people to place eye health at the top iof their healthcare concerns. 

Half of sight loss cases are avoidable

Store director Louise Stanton, says the new report published by Specsavers and the RNIB shows one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime – but at least half of all these cases are avoidable.

She says alarming new stats show every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK with women, who tend to live longer, at greater risk than men.

Start eye tests early

The extent of the problem means that nearly every family in Britain is touched by sight problems in some way. She says it’s extremely important to get into the habit of going for eye tests from an early age. 

Louise, who is based in the Colchester store, says: ‘I know from experience that all of us, from the age of three, should be having our eyes tested regularly because of what an optician can detect. 

She adds: ‘Our survey showed 78 per cent of people said sight was the sense they fear losing most. That’s 10 times more people than the next most popular sense, smell at eight per cent and hearing at seven.’

Ignoring the signs

Louise says what’s particularly worrying was the number of people ignoring the first signs of losing their sight and therefore not seeking advice from an optician or a doctor. 

A quarter of people who spend £50 a year on shoes would not be prepared to pay anything at all for an eye test, with 50 per cent of UK adults admitting their last sight test was more than a year ago or never.

Louise says this is why it is so important to her and her fellow directors, Nick Hagan and Colin Hope, as well as staff in Colchester to spread the message of how important looking after your eyes is, particularly in National Eye Health Week. 

‘It is a good idea to get into the habit of going to the optician from as young as two or three years old. Often we are not seeing children until they’re at school.

‘However if a problem is detected before that and glasses are prescribed, the more chance they will grow out of the issue.’

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