Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, visited Goldsmith Webb Opticians in Stanford-Le-Hope last week to find out why regular eye tests are so important in preventing blindness.
1.8 million people in the UK are living with sight loss and this figure is set to increase by 115% to nearly 4 million people by 2050, largely due to the ageing population.
Much of this is preventable through the early detection and treatment of eye problems. Regular eye tests are a simple and practical way to maintain good eye health and look after your eyes.
Commenting on his visit, Mr Metcalfe said: “It was great to visit Goldsmith Webb to find out more about the importance of eye tests. The test is not just a check to see whether you need glasses or not, but is also a means of ensuring your eyes are healthy. It would be a tragedy for anyone to lose their eyesight when it could have been prevented so I would encourage everyone in South Basildon and East Thurrock to get their eyes tested.”
Many groups of people are entitled to free NHS sight tests. These include those aged 60 and over, all children under 16 and those on low incomes. Optical practices are convenient and offer easy access in the local community. You can visit any practice that is either near where you live or where you work. Optical practices can also see NHS patients at times that suit them.
The Chairman of Essex Local Optical Committee, Kevin Lewis, added: “An eye test can pick up other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes so they are an important health check for everyone. Many eye conditions such as glaucoma are treatable and in many cases sight loss can be prevented if they are detected early enough.”