Tuesday 16 January 2018

Eye health: Who do you trust?

It’s easily taken for granted but sight is the gift we value most.

In a recent survey, 94% of Irish people said that sight was the sense they most feared losing, while 75% said losing their independence would be their biggest worry if they were blind. ¹

Good eye health starts with regular eye examinations. The Association of Optometrists Ireland recommends an eye check at least every two years. Certain patients, like diabetics, should be examined annually.

Eye examinations are carried out by optometrists (or ophthalmic opticians), who complete a four year honours degree. They are responsible for the detection of eye diseases such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis. At Specsavers - Ireland’s most trusted optician ² - you will only ever be examined by a fully qualified optometrist; or an undergraduate in their final year, under supervision (as locally run opticians, we are passionate about bringing on home-grown talent).

All Specsavers optometrists have access to digital retinal photography, which enables them to perform comprehensive health assessments by taking a picture of the back of your eye - the only part of the human body where the microcirculation of the blood can be observed. This tracks previously undetectable changes, which highlight problems like diabetes, hypertensive retinopathy, macular degeneration, optic nerve disease, eye cancers and retinal thinning.

Retinal photography can also identify life-threatening conditions, such as tumours – as a lucky 32-year-old mother of three discovered at Specsavers Newbridge. It can also help with diagnosis of glaucoma, the world’s second largest cause of unnecessary blindness. Many owe their sight to the Specsavers advanced eye test, including one County Westmeath man and a lady hairdresser from Limerick, both aged 43. The over 40s are particularly at risk but, if diagnosed early, glaucoma can be managed effectively.

If you are over 40 or your optician recommends it, we believe - unlike some of our competitors – that you should receive retinal photography at no additional cost; especially if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, retinal diseases, flashing lights, floaters, headaches or a strong glasses prescription.

Digital retinal photography is now available in all of our 36 stores across the Republic. By 2011, Specsavers will have performed advanced eye tests for one third of Ireland’s over 40s.

With Specsavers celebrating 20 years of testing and dispensing in Ireland, you know who you can trust. It’s no wonder Irish eyes are smiling.

¹ April 2010 Survey by Sightsavers Ireland, highlighting the fact that 80% of all blindness around the world is avoidable.

² Millward Brown Lansdowne survey (February 2010)

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