Vision Express is calling on UK drivers to have regular sight tests after research by the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) reported that 18% of people over the age of 45 have failed to have a sight test in the last five years.
The call comes as part of the multiple’s support of National Glaucoma Awareness Week (8–14 June) as it raises awareness of glaucoma and the benefits of early detection.
The awareness week is hosted annually by the IGA and this year the campaign focuses on the importance of vision and driving.
During the week Vision Express is offering a free spectacles ‘MOT’ in 400 of it stores nationwide, with customers offered frame adjustments and fitting checks at no charge.
Head of professional services at Vision Express, Omar Hassan, said: “Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of blindness, despite over 50% of sight loss being preventable. With 86% of adults valuing their sight more than any other sense, we are hoping National Glaucoma Awareness Week is a timely reminder to book an eye appointment, as the only proven way to detect the condition.”
In the UK each year, there are estimated to be around 2,000 road accidents due to poor driver vision. These are estimated to cause 3,000 casualties and cost the UK economy £32.9m.
Chief executive of the IGA, Russell Young, said: “The majority of us wouldn’t take our cars on the road without an annual service and MOT, yet we are happy to put ourselves behind the wheel without knowing if we can see safely to drive. A visit to an optometrist will quickly check our vision and detect if there is any risk of glaucoma.”