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Survey reveals UK‘s ‘lax attitude’ towards eye health


Reported in the Optometry today,  more than 90% of British people do not think eye health is a top concern when considering their overall wellbeing, new research released by the charity Orbis has revealed.

Published on World Sight Day today (October 9), a survey of 2,000 people showed that 93% stated eye health was not a priority, despite voting sight as their most valuable sense. Furthermore, 50% admitted failing to have their sight tested regularly.

Brian Little, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Orbis ambassador, said: “Brits tell us they value their sight more than any other sense, yet our study shows four-in-five admit they lack knowledge about eye health and eye diseases.

“The alarming reality is that the number of people at risk of losing their sight in the UK is increasing – numbers are set to double to over four million by 2050, due to an ageing population and increased risk of obesity and diabetes, making sight loss a very real issue for the British public.

“As a nation we know we have access to eye health services if our sight begins to deteriorate and this may make the issue less urgent in people’s minds. We are very lucky, in many of the countries in which Orbis works, access to eye care is severely limited and losing your vision will often mean losing your livelihood, or even worse.”

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As a charity which provides eye health training in developing countries, Orbis launched its latest appeal last month. Vision for Ethiopia aims to raise funds to support the charity’s work in Ethiopia, where it is working to help eliminate trachoma in the region by 2020. To find out more go to www.visionforethiopia.orbis.org