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20 September 2018

Wiltshire Council promotes a clear vision during National Eye Health Week

It's so important we do what we can to look after our eyes. Many people may not even realise they have an issue with their vision or aren't aware of some of the health implications this could have

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, adult social care and public protection

The importance of good eye health is being promoted at a series of events across the county next week.

The Wiltshire Council-run events, which are supported by partners, will reinforce Vision Matter's annual National Eye Health Week campaign, which takes place from 24 to 30 September.

Regular sight tests are essential for maintaining healthy eyes, and most people should have a sight test once every two years. During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected. To arrange a sight test, people should contact their local optician for individual advice and to make an appointment. Many people are entitled to a free NHS sight test for which there is no charge that includes children aged 16 years and under and those aged 19 years and under in full time education, those over 60, people diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma and those registered as partially sighted or blind.

Throughout the week a number of public sessions will be taking place in Wiltshire for people to pop along to and get some useful advice about eye health from a range of professionals.

All events are taking place from 10am to 12pm at the following locations:

  • Chippenham Library, 24 September representatives from Vision West of England and Wiltshire Council public health will be in attendance
  • Salisbury Library, 25 September representatives from Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Memory Opticians, Salisbury Hospital (eye clinic liaison officer), Wiltshire Council public health, Wiltshire Council sensory impairment services, Specsavers, and Vision West of England will be in attendance
  • Trowbridge Library, 27 September representatives from Wiltshire Council's visual impairment service, Wiltshire Council public health, Vision West of England, and a doctor will be in attendance

Jerry Wickham, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, adult social care and public protection, said: "It's so important we do what we can to look after our eyes. Many people may not even realise they have an issue with their vision or aren't aware of some of the health implications this could have.

"I recommend people come along to one of our sessions where they can and get some really useful advice and answers to any questions."

Did you know these eye-opening facts?

  • Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of the sight loss is avoidable
  • A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough
  • During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected
  • For healthy eyes, eat well, don't smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight
  • Smokers are four times more likely to suffer sight loss compared with a person who has never smoked (BMA Tobacco Control Resource Centre)
  • 30,000 people will suffer an eye injury whilst doing DIY every year (DTI)
  • One million people in the UK are estimated to be living with avoidable sight loss (State of the Nation's Eye Report, 2017)
  • A BMI of 30 or more increases your risk of suffering Age related Macular Degeneration, the UK's leading cause of sight loss (NICE)

(facts taken from the Vision Matters website)

More information can be found at www.visionmatters.org.uk

Last updated: 20 September 2018 | Last reviewed: 20 September 2018

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