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Could you lose your sight tomorrow? Yes. Is it preventable? Yes.

April 22, 2009
Computer artwork of a close-up of the iris and pupil of an eye.

Computer artwork of a close-up of the iris and pupil of an eye.

When did you last have your eyes tested? What do you mean you don’t need an eye-test? You couldn’t be more wrong…

One in four people will suffer serious sight problems by the time they’re 80. Never mind the Lottery promising “It could be you”, this is a draw where your number really could come up.

Three in ten people who are registered blind have an eye condition that could have been prevented if detected early enough. It’s outrageous that people are losing their sight needlessly – sometimes you can blame the system for not providing treatment, but if you haven’t had an eye test in the last two years you’re not taking responsibility for your own eye health.

An eye test doesn’t just check whether you need glasses, it also checks eye health and can detect conditions that may lead to sight loss – such as glaucoma (which doesn’t come with early-warning signs – you could lose up to 40% of your sight before you notice a difference).

Blindness isn’t just inconvenient – only one in three blind and partially sighted people of working age have a job. One in five blind and partially sighted people say they are never able to go out by themselves. All too often blindness is isolating and, literally, depressing.

So if you’re taking your sight for granted, take a few minutes to give serious thought to what sight loss would mean to you, and then call an optician and make an appointment. And then make sure you do it all again every two years. Finally persuade your wife/husband/lover/mother/father/sister/brother/friend to do the same too.

(For more information about eye health check out RNIB. You could even make a donation…)

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