Twenty million of us fail to have our eyes checked once every two years, as recommended. Yet, sight tests are essential health checks.

Not only can they detect eye conditions, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, before they cause irreversible vision loss, they can also uncover signs of general health problems including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

The worrying truth is many of us only visit our optometrist when we are aware something is wrong and sadly this can mean the damage is already done.

National Eye Health Week (21 – 27 September) seeks to raise awareness of the need to take care of your eyes and make sight tests as much a part of your healthcare regime as having dental check-ups or a smear test.

A routine eye check takes just 30 minutes and for millions of us it’s absolutely free – paid for either by the NHS or employer.

The campaign also aims to encourage people to adopt healthier lifestyles to benefit their eye health.

 

We can all give our vision a boost by exercising, eating a balanced diet and protecting our eyes from the sun.

Watching your weight, lowering alcohol consumption and not smoking can also make a significant difference to your eye health.

The key is for everyone to translate their good intentions into action to avoid long term sight loss.