National Eye Health Week
Get your eyes checked – urges National Eye Health Week
Look after your eyes by going for a regular sight test will be the main message of this year’s National Eye Health Week (21-27 September 2015).
Now in its sixth year, National Eye Health Week brings organisations and health professionals from across Wales together to raise awareness of the need for regular sight tests and how lifestyle habits can affect sight.
A regular sight test can help detect eye conditions before vision is affected. It can also identify health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Most people should have their eyes examined by an optometrist every two years – although it might need to be more often depending on age, family or medical history.
Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething AM said:
“The most important thing people can do to look after their eyes is to go for regular sight tests. The NHS in Wales provides free eye tests for those who most need them at local opticians. You won’t need to register, you often won’t need an appointment and many opticians are open on Saturdays."
Ceri Jackson, RNIB Cymru Director and Chair of the National Eye Health Week Wales Advisory Group, said:
“Every day in Wales nearly 3 people lose their sight but 50% of sight loss is avoidable with early detection and treatment. The most important thing people can do to look after their eyes is to go for regular sight tests.
“Research shows that more than 1 in 10 of us have never had our eyes tested. Sight is the sense that people fear losing most yet many of us don’t know the best way to look after our eyes. We want to change that.
“Many people think 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 sight test. A regular sight test can help detect eye conditions before you notice the effect on your sight, including health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
“NHS eye tests are free for people aged 60+ years, for children, for those on income related benefit, and those at risk of eye disease because of a family history.
“Having a sight test with an optometrist at least once every two years should be part of everyone's health care routine.
“So this National Eye Health Week – look after your eyes and make sure you book you and your family in for an eye test.”
Events taking place across Wales to raise awareness of eye health and the importance of regular eye checks.
When: 21 – 27 September 2015
Why: Regular sight tests provide the basis for maintaining good eye health, as some serious eye conditions do not have any visible early warning symptoms. Having a sight test with an optometrist should be part of everyone’s health care routine.
There are over 98,000 people in Wales living with sight loss and this has a huge impact on individuals and society.
Every day 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight. Yet over 50 per cent of sight loss can be avoided by people wearing correctly prescribed glasses or having the right treatment at the right time.
Many people are entitled to a free NHS sight test and the Welsh Government also provide an additional free eye health examination scheme to help people who may be at risk of eye disease or who have sudden or acute eye problems.
Now in its sixth year, National Eye Health Week is from 21 – 27 September 2015, and aims to raise awareness of eye health and the importance of regular eye checks.
In Wales, The week is led by the Wales National Eye Health Week Advisory Group which has a growing membership of over thirty charities, groups, health care professionals and public sector organisations.
Example events taking place during the week :
Tuesday 22, 10m - 2pm
‘Switch onto technology’ event at Llanelli Library, Vaughan St, Llanelli, SA15 3AS – with RNIB Cymru’s ‘Online Today’ team.
ISight Conference at Miners Institute, Llanhiledd, Abertillery
Thursday 24 September 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Digital skills workshops in Swansea for people with macular degeneration at Caswell Room, School of Medicine, Singleton Hospital.
International Glaucoma Association working with Porth Cluster Communities First
Leighton Andrews AM to visit for 1pm.
Fun and informative eye health event to be hosted at Porth Plaza in Porth.
Throughout the week
“Winnie the Witch” storytelling time (a simple tale ideal for discussing sight loss) for children will take place in various libraries across Wales