The multiple revealed that 64% to the patient it saw required a new prescription, 19% had not had their sight checked for over 10 years and 5% admitted never having an eye exam before their visit to the Vision Van.
Referrals were also made for further medical attention that related to suspected high cholesterol, central vision problems and a freckle on the eye.
CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, told OT: “Our Vision Van continues to receive a fantastic response from the public, but it’s very concerning that we are still seeing a worrying neglect for eye health, with such a high percentage of visitors to the van admitting to not having had their eyes checked in over 10 years. Worse still, several visitors told us they had never had an eye test.”
The Vision Van toured the UK during Macular Week (26–30 June) in a bid to improve the country’s prospects for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of sight loss in the UK.
The mobile eye testing unit visited Boston, Wrexham and Leicester, after each city was identified as having a high percentage of people aged over 65. The van also visited Blackpool because of its reputation for smoking, and Huddersfield, where the rate of sight loss due to AMD is higher than the national average.
“I hope that by continuing to take our Vision Van out on the road, targeting UK eye health hotspots, we can encourage even more people to consider maintaining regular sight check- ups. Our key concern is for the public to take eye care seriously, and the starting point is a simple examination,” Mr Lawson said.
The CEO also revealed that the majority of people Vision Express spoke to on the tour did not realise that an eye test can detect other health-related problems and added that this is the reason why there’s a need for initiatives like the Vision Van.