This week the Eye Pod, an interactive sight loss simulator, visited Exeter's Princesshay Square as part of a UK-wide tour from Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) and eye health partners, Specsavers. The aim of the tour is to educate the public on the importance of eye health and regular eye tests.

How does the Eye Pod work?

The trailer has two cameras on top of the pod, which look like eyes. These link to screens inside where the public can view their surroundings with symptoms of the four main eye conditions (age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts).

Throughout the day Specsavers Exeter staff supported the south west RNIB team to chat to people about eye health and hand out free eye test vouchers.

VIP visitor

The Lord Mayor of Exeter also visited the pod to learn more about the public health awareness campaign and partnership between the RNIB and Specsavers.

She said: ‘The work that Specsavers and RNIB are doing to educate people is very worthwhile. Our sight is one of our most importance senses and preventing unnecessary sight loss through a regular eye test is the best possible advice.’

The tour 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[i].

Exeter store director, Emma Denham, added: ‘It’s astonishing that so many people are needlessly living with sight loss in the UK today. At least half of all sight loss cases are avoidable and a simple eye test can unearth a number of serious health conditions.

'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.’

All Exeter store information

[i] Access Economics, 2009. Future sight loss UK: The economic impact of partial sight and blindness in the UK adult population. UK: RNIB