Brits putting eyes at risk

Leading surgeon calls on Brits to check up on eyes this National Eye Health Week 2012

Alarming new research* reveals Brits are putting their sight in danger by failing to look after their eyes properly, with 41% of adults avoiding annual eye tests.

The research for specialist eye hospital group Optegra shows nine per cent of Brits ‘hardly ever’ get their eye sight checked, despite the importance of detecting early warning signs for eye problems.

The main reason for Brits to avoid eye tests is cost, with 20% believing it is too expensive.

Robert Morris, Medical Director at Optegra, calls on people to take greater care:  “It is concerning that so many are avoiding getting their eyes tested. Like your car’s MOT, an annual check-up is vital to expose early warning signs.  It’s the best way to alert you to conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease or age-related macular degeneration.  The earlier we spot these conditions, the more we can do to treat them.”

The findings, released to mark this year’s National Eye Health Week (17-23 September 2012), expose that a fifth of Brits (20%) only have their eyes tested once every five years.

Women are more likely to have an annual check than men (64% compared to 54%), and young people are most neglecting their eyes the most, with 18% of 16-29 year olds never having had a test.

One in ten (9%) claim they just don’t have time and a further 9% simply ‘can’t be bothered’.

Optegra top tips for healthy eyes

Every 20 minutes give your eyes a rest. We can forget to blink when reading and working, so try the 20-20-20 rule:  every 20 minutes look away, about 20 feet distance for 20 seconds

Your eyes need an annual eye test to ensure best vision and reduce risk of eye conditions – arrange with your local optician or optometrist

Every night remove contacts and clean off make-up to reduce risk of infection

Stop eyes becoming dry if you wear contacts by applying ‘rewetting’ drops, but always choose products suitable for contact lens wearers

Optegra hospitals are supported by over 60 consultant level ophthalmic surgeons, offering procedures including Clarivu (permanent lens replacement for the over 50s), laser vision correction, cataract, glaucoma, AMD and cosmetic procedures.

*Research conducted for Clarivu by Online Options, with 1,000 adults aged 18 to 60+ in April 2012

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