Regular eye checks prove vital to preventing sight loss

Following national eye health week on Monday 18 to Sunday 24 September, Barnsley Council is encouraging residents to consider regular eye checks as many sight loss conditions are preventable if diagnosed early.

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB), there are an estimated 7,510 people living with some degree of sight loss in Barnsley. With one in five people aged over 75 suffering increasing to one in two people aged over 90.

Eye checks are often provided free of charge by opticians or if you’re over 60 years of age, can be provided free by the NHS. Having a test is important, as it won’t just tell you if you need new glasses or a change of prescription, it can also spot many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before symptoms present themselves, many of which can be treated if found early enough.

Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “As well as having regular eye checks, which are vital for allowing as many people as possible to maintain good sight for as long as possible, there are a number of lifestyle changes people can make to ensure good eye health including stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, keeping active and maintaining a healthy diet.”

“Simply having good eye health is also important for preventing falls, and improving life quality. Blurred vision has also been shown to worsen the symptoms of dementia, increasing the feeling of isolation and confusion.”

Visit the NHS Choices website for information on eye checks, and the Live well Barnsley website for information on stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and eating healthier.

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