A staggering three out of four Brits are putting off having their sight tested due to concerns over the cost of eyecare, glasses and contact lenses, according to a new survey commissioned for National Eye Week (9-15 November) by sight charity The Eyecare Trust and Simplyhealth.
Regular eye examinations, every two years for most people, are essential to maintain good eye health and detect sight-threatening conditions at an early stage. They can also expose underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, increased risk of stroke and even tumours. But in Britain eyecare has become a victim of the household budget as three quarters of people delay having eye tests or buying new glasses. Of these, two-thirds are women.
With official estimates predicting that the number of people registered blind will double by 2030 it is vital that more people are encouraged to have regular sight tests. Cash plans, such as those offered by Simplyhealth, mean that when someone visits the optician, whether for an eye test or to purchase glasses, they will receive money back, up to an annual limit.
Raman Sankaran of Simplyhealth says, "Cost should not be a barrier to people enjoying good eye health or lifelong good vision. Early diagnosis can result in successful treatment for a range of common eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.”