This week marks the start of National Eye Health Awareness Week, and the Specsavers store in Ballymena is urging people to undergo a routine eye examination.
Many people think that a sight test is just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses. But there are other important reasons to have a regular sight test.
A sight test is a vital check on the health of the eyes and includes the detection of eye conditions. If found early, many of these conditions can be treated successfully, avoiding potential sight loss. A sight test can also detect other health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.*
Adrian Murdoch, store director, Specsavers, Ballymena, said: “We at Ballymena Specsavers would encourage people of all ages to make sure that they have regular sight tests, to help maintain not only the health of their eyes, but their overall wellbeing too.
To help maintain good eye health, there are simple changes we can make to our diet and our lifestyles. Studies have also shown that what we eat can affect our vision. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as leafy greens like kale and spinach, oily fish, and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables like corn, carrots and oranges, can all help prevent retinal damage.
Exercise can also lower the risk of sight loss caused by conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which cause the arteries to narrow or harden, Regular exercise is particularly effective when combined with a healthy diet and the avoidance of smoking.
It has also been recorded that approximately 3,000 casualties occurred in the UK due to drivers having poor vision. These road accidents cost the UK an estimated £33 million a year.³ Additionally, in 2012 there were 2,040 accidents due to poor vision resulting in an estimated 2,874 casualties. The total cost to individuals, families and the wider economy was £32.9 million.
Adrian Murdoch added: “Good vision is particularly important when it comes to safety on our roads, both as drivers and as pedestrians, especially as we are nearing the end of the summer months and darker days will soon be upon us. Therefore, Specsavers stores across the province, including the Ballymena store, would like to encourage local residents to use National Eye Health Week as an incentive to have their sight checked.”
Specsavers carries out over 200,000 eye examinations in Northern Ireland a year. Eye tests are free under the NHS to the over 60s, under 16s, those under 19 in full-time education.
If you think you need any eye test or would just like to ensure that your vision is in check, feel free to book an appointment, for an eye examination. To book an appointment for an eye examination at the Specsavers store, Fairhill Shopping Centre, Ballymena, please call 02825 648 100 or log onto www.specsavers.co.uk/ballymena.