Great Yarmouth Opticians warns one in five people could lose eyesight in a lifetime

A standard eye test to check the health of your eyes. Photo: Andrew Shaylor

A standard eye test to check the health of your eyes. Photo: Andrew Shaylor - Credit: Andrew Shaylor

An eye care expert in Great Yarmouth is urging locals to put eye health at the top of their agenda during National Eye Health Week.

The week runs from Monday, 18 to Sunday, September 24 by a sight loss charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

A new report has been published by RNIB and Specsavers, showing that one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime, despite at least half of all cases being avoidable.

Director of the Yarmouth Specsavers store, Martin McCormack says the alarming new statistics show that every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. Women, who tend to live longer, are at greater risk than men, with one in four women set to develop sight loss in their lifetime compared with one in eight men.

Almost six million people in the UK currently live with sight-threatening conditions, yet 25 pc of people are not having an eye test every two years as recommended by the College of Optometrists.

The extent of the problem means that nearly every family in Britain is touched by sight problems in some way.

Mr McCormack says: 'I know from experience that all of us, from the age of three, should be having our eyes tested regularly because of what an optician can detect.

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'Sight is the nation's most precious sense by far, our survey showed that 10 times more people, 78pc of people said sight was the sense they fear losing most compared to the next most popular sense, smell followed by hearing.

'Worryingly, the survey shows that a quarter of people are ignoring the first signs of sight loss, despite not being able to see as well in the distance or close up as they used to, and have not sought advice from an optician or medical professional.'

Mr McCormack explains why a sight test is paramount. 'More than 80 pc of people are not aware that an optician can spot the early signs of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the UK.

'In fact, the survey shows that people put their boiler before their eye health; half of UK adults have their boiler serviced once a year, over a third renew their mobile phone contract every two years, whole 50 pc of UK adults had their eyes tested more than a year ago, or never.'