The call follows new research commissioned by the General Optical Council which reveals that only 35% of people are aware of optometrists’ ability to detect eye health problems1 - indicating a narrow understanding of the role optometrists play safeguarding the nation’s eye health. A further 11% of people surveyed have never been to see an optometrist or optician2, suggesting that large numbers of the population are currently overlooking their eye health.
Optometrist and AOP Clinical and Regulatory Officer, Henry Leonard, said: “We’re urging people not to overlook the value of sight and to make eye health their new year’s resolution. At this time of year when we’re all celebrating with friends and family, why not check that your loved ones can see as well as they should. Headaches, blurred vision and eyestrain are all possible signs that a visit to your local optometrist may be in order. During a sight test, your optometrist will test your vision as well as the health of your eyes.”
For more information, read our press release.
1 The Public perceptions of the optical professions survey of UK adults on behalf of the General Optical Council revealed that only slightly more than a third (35%) made any reference to opticians’ ability to detect eye health problems.
2 More than one in seven (15%) say that their last visit to an optician was more than two years ago and around one in ten (11%) say that they have never been to an optician.
Produced by ComRes in June 2015, the survey refers to ‘opticians’ rather than the two optical professions – ‘optometrists’ and ‘dispensing opticians’. According to ComRes, this is due to the initial qualitative scoping which demonstrated that the majority of the public do not distinguish between the two professions. As such, questions were asked which reflect their understanding of the professions in order to obtain meaningful findings, and the analysis reflects this.