'Don't delay - check your eyes today'

September 25, 2009 12:00 AM

Jenny Gets an Eye TestToday, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, who met with the Eye Health Alliance at this year's Party Conference, urged people in Cardiff to act early to prevent future eye problems by getting their eye-sight tested.

In 2008, partial sight and blindness costs the UK economy £22 billion, much of which could have been avoided with an increase in take-up of regular sight tests. These costs are expected to grow by a further £7.88 billion by 2013, partly as a result of an ageing population and an increase in the number of people living with long term conditions.

Jenny got a photograph taken of the back of her retina with a retinal camera, which can pick up conditions such as cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Photos are attached.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"An incredible 50% of blindness is preventable through regular sight tests and screening programmes.

"But most people don't look after their eyes properly, storing up problems for the future. Even if you think your vision is fine it is still important to check your eyes are healthy.

"Eye tests are readily available on the high street. Children under the age of 16, those over 60 and those on low incomes are entitled to a free NHS Sight Test."

Heather Marshall, Head of Public Affairs for the Eye Health Alliance points out:

"It's vital that people have their eyes tested at least once every two years. Eye health and regular sight tests are important for everyone - for children to develop socially and academically at school, for working age adults to go about their lives safely, and for older people to live independently and reduce the risk of accidents such as falls."

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