Research reveals that 85% of 18-24 year-olds are unaware of the UK’s leading cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and more than half have never heard of glaucoma, one of the most common sight-threatening eye diseases1.
With low levels of awareness around eye health, patients may not identify symptoms associated with poor eye health – resulting in many conditions going undiagnosed and untreated.
In response, the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is launching new information leaflets designed to help patients recognise and treat eye conditions. The leaflets form part of the AOP’s patient resources – a suite of more than 10 leaflets and videos on eye health including sight-threatening conditions such as AMD and glaucoma.
Geoff Roberson, AOP Professional Adviser, said: “Sight is the sense that people fear losing the most yet many do not realise they are putting their sight at risk simply because they are not recognising key symptoms or having regular sight tests. It’s not uncommon, for example, that a patient waits a significant amount of time before they identify dry eye as an issue and seek treatment – while it’s not sight-threatening it can cause a lot of unnecessary discomfort if left untreated.
Mr Roberson continued: “For some conditions there are much higher risks attached to not getting that vital early diagnosis. For glaucoma patients the consequences of not beginning treatment as early as possible can be devastating. We hope that these new resources will help patients to understand their condition and how to manage it day to day”.
New additions include information on common eye complaints such as dry eye, blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). They aim to inform the patient about their eye condition, provide the best advice for managing symptoms and offer tips on how to care for their eyes. They are also a helpful take-away for patients that have been recently diagnosed with an eye condition by their optometrist.
The leaflets, which are a free resource for patients and members, are available from the For patients section on the AOP website.
For more information, please contact Serena Box, PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, SerenaBox@aop.org.uk or telephone 020 7549 2063.
Notes to Editors
Association of Optometrists
The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists and other optical professionals in the UK. We support our community of more than 16,500 members to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. As a founding member of the Optical Confederation we work with others to improve eye health for the public good. For more information, visit www.aop.org.uk
Optometry TodayOptometry Today (OT) has a readership of 15,000 members and subscribers. OT was named as the ‘Best Professional Association or Royal College magazine’ at the MemCom 2016 Awards. Organised by MemCom – the networking organisation for membership marketing professionals – the awards recognise and celebrate excellence within the membership sector. The OT website offers subscribers exclusive access to over 65 CET exams per year, including bi-monthly CET video content. For more information, visit www.aop.org.uk/ot
1 Findings from the Generation Eye report by National Eye Health Week and Specsavers. The survey was conducted by Atomik Research on a representative sample of 2002 UK respondents aged 18+ between 24 – 31 August 2016: http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/downloads/generation-eye-report.pdf