National Eye Health Week & Eyesight in the UK

Head optometrist and practice owner Davina talks about the latest news from the report launched as part of National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week is a national campaign, to boost awareness of how important it is to properly look after your eyesight.

To highlight National Eye Health Week, publisher Raconteur compiles a really useful annual report about what’s changing in eye care and why it’s so important to make sure that eye tests are part of our routine healthcare.

It was distributed with The Sunday Times on 18 September 2016 so you might have seen it, but just in case you didn’t, here’s a run-down of my highlights from the report.

13.8 million UK adults are at risk of avoidable eyesight loss

The World’s Biggest Eyesight Survey

The big story on this report is Vision 2020’s plans to launch the UK Eye Survey.

There hasn’t been a comprehensive survey of eye health in the UK carried out since the 1960s so this will be a really insightful and interesting survey that can help the optometry industry to plan its treatments and services better.

All the big players who are involved in eye care in the UK will be involved in the survey, including:

The UK Eye Survey is expected to be rolled out in 2017.

Diagnosis of Eye Conditions in Children

We’ve been talking a lot about children’s eye examinations recently and how diagnosing any eye health issues early can help to avoid permanent damage.

Only one in four children have an NHS eyesight test

Our campaign was motivated by the changes to children’s eye screening in Derby but issues with children’s eyesight is a national concern. The Eyecare Trust reports that one in five children in the UK have an undetected sight problem but only one in four will have an NHS eye test.

Compare that to the nine out of every 10 children who are vaccinated in the UK, and the 7 in ten taken for regular dental check-ups, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

National Eye Health Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye examinations for everyone, to make eye tests part of our routine healthcare and children are no exception. Read more about what happens during a children’s eye examination and check out our handy children’s vision checklist too.

Eye Disease Research

Mike Daw from the National Eye Research Centre drew on some really interesting points in his opinion column, that more funds were needed to support research into eye diseases. According to Mike, just one percent of medical research funded by the public is directed at eye diseases, sight loss and the prevention of blindness.

With our ageing population and the prediction that the number of people living with sight loss in the UK will double by 2050, Mike argues that investment now is vital. Not only will new research help us to develop more treatments to prevent sight loss, but it will also save on resources in the future.

More funding is need for eyesight research

The biggest causes of sight-loss in the UK are Age-related Macular Generation, Cataract and Glaucoma. You can read about them on our blog.

Regular Eye Checks Improve Road Safety

Regular eyesight checks improve road safety

Sometimes, changes to the eyes happen so gradually that we don’t notice until we have a vision test. And if you’re a driver, this could cause some problems on the roads.

When you’re on the move in a car, your vision is already under strain, from focusing on moving objects and concentrating on the road around you. So, if you’re also suffering from an eye condition or disease, you can cause a risk to yourself and others.

Our eyesight changes over time, such as presbyopia in our forties and conditions like Glaucoma coming in later in life, so you may have read a number plate from 20m away on your driving test – could you do it now?

If not, you might need to wear glasses or contact lenses when you’re driving to be safe and legal on the road. So, book an eye examination as soon as possible.

Fashion for Eyes

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to optometry. The report also included a great feature on spectacles fashion and frame trends for 2016.

Retro spectacle frames available in Derby

Spectacles are now massive in the fashion world, which is fantastic news for anyone who needs to wear prescription glasses. There are so many brands, styles, colours and designs to choose from, it usually takes patients longer to choose their spectacle frames than actually have an eye test!

Retro trends have stuck around this season, with thin round frames a lá John Lennon, over-sized, unusual shapes echoing the 1970s and cat’s eye frames with lots of detail still really popular. We’ve got some beautiful spectacles at the practice, plus some exclusive designer frames in Derby.

You can see how you can get involved with National Eye Health Week on their website and follow us on social media for our latest tips on keeping your eyes healthy.

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