Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Putting Eye Health into Focus; Regular Check-Ups Aren't Simply about How Well You Can See -- They Are Also an Essential Way to Protect Your Health and Vision for Years to Come

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Putting Eye Health into Focus; Regular Check-Ups Aren't Simply about How Well You Can See -- They Are Also an Essential Way to Protect Your Health and Vision for Years to Come

Article excerpt

We all know just how important looking after our eyesight is, yet with time being such a precious commodity, many of us only think to book an eye test if we suspect there's a problem with our vision.

In fact, a report by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Specsavers revealed that almost 14 million people in the UK don't have their eyes tested every two years, as is recommended by experts. Yet, by having a regular eye check, a whole range of problems can be quickly and easily detected.

While having good vision is important, being able to see clearly doesn't necessarily mean all is well with our eye health. An eye test doesn't just check your sight, it also allows opticians to look for a range of health conditions and eye problems that could become more serious if left untreated, such as glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes.

"Conditions that can often affect our eyes over the age of 40 range from high blood pressure to age-related macular degeneration and can be detected by an optician during a regular eye examination," explains Dr Nigel Best, Specsavers' clinical spokesman. "The earlier any such conditions are picked up, the higher the chance of successfully treating them, which is why we recommend eye tests every two years." To help raise awareness of the importance of having regular eye tests, Specsavers is working with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) on a campaign to coincide with World Glaucoma Week, which runs until Saturday.

Often described as the "thief of sight" due to its gradual onset, Glaucoma affects 600,000 people in the UK and more than 64 million worldwide. Karen Osborn, chief executive of the IGA, says: "Most people in the UK have a slow developing form of glaucoma. We estimate that half of all cases are undiagnosed and people are unaware that they could be slowly losing their sight."

While Glaucoma is just one of the many eye conditions that is more easily managed the earlier it is detected, it is currently the leading cause of irreversible blindness across the world. …

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