Are you seeing eye to eye with your Optometrist?
I had a patient earlier this week who visited me at Bennett & Batty Opticians for their first sight test in over 25 years! (And yes, I know that there are lots more of you out there. And yes, you should probably get round to FINALLY booking that appointment you've been putting off for the past few years!)
After testing this lovely lady I started to think about what factors had prevented her from coming to see
me earlier to discuss her vision and eye health.... I realised that the main reason that many patients don't attend for eye health checks is because they don't understand WHY it is so important to pop in and see their local optometrist. I decided that enough is enough, so I will be doing a series of blogs to educate, inform and maybe bust a few myths about eye health and vision correction along the way!
So... where to start?
Here are a few quick facts about the current state of our eye health in the UK:
Over 6 Million people are currently living in the UK with an undiagnosed eye condition or refractive error!
2 Million of these people have sight loss that has a significant effect on their day to day quality of life - thats around 1 in 30 people in the UK!
The main group affected by sight loss is the over 65 population, and the amount of people in this age category is expected to rise by 50% in the next 20 years to over 17 Million people!
The BIG FOUR eye conditions which affect the health of eyes in the UK are Age-related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), Cataract, Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma.
Throughout the series I will discuss the BIG FOUR in detail. This is the four main eye conditions which lead to profound loss of vision both in the UK and worldwide. I will also discuss the importance of getting your kids eyes tested and many other topics such as Dry Eye, Contact Lenses, Driving and Vision and the DO's and DONT's with regards to looking after your vision and eye health.
I am also incredibly interested to hear what topics are important to YOU. So please let me know if there is an aspect of eye health you are interested in and would like me to cover!
WHO and HOW OFTEN should people get their eyes tested?
To start and also to finish my blog today I thought I would answer one of the main questions I get asked in practice - WHO should get their eyes tested? And HOW OFTEN?
The answer to that is simple ... EVERYONE should attend their local Optician for a sight test.
Two Years: This is the recommended recall period for a healthy adult with no visual problems or existing eye conditions.
One Year: If you have an existing eye condition which requires closer monitoring your Optometrist may ask you to attend for a check up every year. The same goes for patients who are on certain medications or have a family history of some eye conditions such as Glaucoma.
Children: For children the recommended recall would usually be 6-12 months depending on age. Don't worry if your child is on a two year recall as this probably means that their vision is stable and unlikely to change.
What to do if my vision changes but I am not due for my routine check up?
If you feel that you have had a change to your vision then the best advice is to call or pop in to see us at Bennett & Batty Opticians for advice. If we feel that an early test is required then this can be easily arranged.
Thats all folks!
So thats all for this week, a quick introduction to me and my blog! Remember to message or comment if there are any topics you would like to see covered. Until next week …