The team at Specsavers in Normanton is raising awareness of preventable eye conditions during National Eye Health Week (24-30 September), after research shows numbers in the region are on the rise

For Specsavers Normanton store director, Paresh Gohil, National Eye Health Week provides the perfect opportunity to take a look at the state of the region’s eye health and ensure that those in Normanton are receiving the best possible eye care.

‘We’re hoping to raise awareness ahead of National Eye Health Week of the rising numbers of those suffering from preventable eye health conditions,’ explained Paresh. ‘We want people within our community to pause and take a moment to think about when they last had their eyes tested, or perhaps why they haven’t had any niggling symptoms looked at by an optician.’

Eye health in the area

Research by the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) shows there are already 67,030 people with preventable sight loss conditions of AMD, cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy in Derbyshire and this is a number which is expected to climb.

‘This is a worrying trend,’ commented Paresh. ‘Many people in the area are only visiting the opticians when their symptoms reach a critical point, and this presents a huge risk as many preventable conditions, such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, are symptomless in their early stages.

‘I’m very concerned that people in the community would wait until their day-to-day life has been affected, sometimes leading to customers being referred to hospital or their GP with a more serious condition.’

An important check

Eye tests are an important part of an overall health routine – and something which is often overlooked. They are not simply a prescription check, but also offer an opportunity to monitor the health and condition of the eye and could also pick up wider health problems.

‘At Specsavers, we recommend everyone has their eyes tested at least every two years,’ explained Paresh.

‘We test the eyes using the latest optical technology to see how they are functioning, while having the opportunity to monitor for any other health issues, including conditions like cataracts, high blood pressure and diabetic retinopathy. Minor eye conditions including dry eye, blepharitis and floaters in the vision can also be picked up and treated.’

The highest-grade tech

Specsavers in Normanton have invested more than £30,000 in their high-tech equipment, including a recent investment in the latest cutting-edge Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). This allows a more advanced insight into the different layers of the eye, providing a 3D image which the optician can use to identify any abnormalities.

‘Our OCT machine is the same technology that is used in hospital ophthalmology wards,’ explained Paresh. ‘It’s a highly sophisticated machine which allows us to see exactly what is going on with a customer’s eye, and the area around it, in minute detail. For many customers, this has the added benefit of not having to wait for an appointment to access this service.

‘Over the years, our technology and the experience of our optometry team has led to the detection of several serious cases which show just how crucial it is to have regular eye tests – and not assume that everything’s ok just because you don’t have any symptoms,’ said Paresh.

‘We would like to urge everyone in Normanton to book an eye test this National Eye Health Week. Our friendly, highly-qualified team are looking forward to welcoming customers old and new into store.’

For all Normanton store information