Lee Crookes knows first-hand that eye examinations are paramount. Last year, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour after symptoms were picked up by his local Specsavers optician during his eye test. To ensure everyone understands the wider role of an eye test, he lent his support to Specsavers Torquay Willows Eye Pod event.
Colleagues from Specsavers – located at The Willows, Nicholson Road – spoke to residents about various eye conditions and explained how an eye test every two years can pick up wider health issues such as Lee’s and preventable sight loss conditions.
In association with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), an interactive Eye Pod was available for locals to experience what their vision could look like through the lens of an individual with one of four main eye conditions: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.
This unique sight loss simulator and the team at Specsavers hope it will bring home the message that preventable sight loss conditions can be avoided or managed if you book your two-year eye examinations.
Lee Crookes explained why he's backing the activity: ‘Last year, I was referred to hospital after my eye examination discovered what looked like a tumour. Within 24 hours I was operated on and spent months under-going rehabilitation.
‘Fifteen months on, I am so thankful to Specsavers for saving my life. That is why I will be there on the day, with my baby boy and my wife Sam, to urge others to put eye health at the top of their agenda. As illustrated by my story, it could quite literally save your life.’
The campaign comes in light of research published by the 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.
Torquay Willows Specsavers store director, Simon Simmonds, said: ‘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 like Lee’s.
'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. To play our part in encouraging customers to book an eye test, we will be handing out free eye examination vouchers on the day.’