One in five adults are unaware that during a sight test an optometrist can check for wider health conditions, including diabetes, new research published by Specsavers has found.
Highlighting that people with diabetes are 25 times more likely to go blind, Specsavers has partnered with Diabetes UK during Diabetes Week (11–17 June) to help raise awareness and reduce preventable sight loss that is caused by undetected diabetic retinopathy.
The partnership, which is supported by advertising and in-store activities, will focus on highlighting the importance of regular sight tests in detecting diabetes among the public.
Also supporting Diabetes UK’s Know Diabetes, Fight Diabetes campaign, the multiple is encouraging its practices to offer digital retinal photography as part of every sight test it performs during the awareness week. While Specsavers currently offers digital retinal photography, it is only part of a standard eye test for patients over the age of 40.
A clinical spokesperson for Specsavers, Nigel Best, explained: “As diabetes diagnoses continue to escalate year-on-year, early detection is essential in both managing the symptoms and preventing more serious, long-term complications – like retinopathy.”
He continued: “Our awareness campaign will remind people that regular eye examinations form a crucial part of detecting and managing retinopathy – particularly when it comes to spotting the initial signs of the condition, as well as supporting diabetes patients in managing the impact of the condition on their eye sight.”
Diabetes UK estimates that 4.5 million people in the UK have diabetes, with as many as one million people undiagnosed.