Author urges Scots to get a sight test

Research has revealed that Scots are ignoring vision issues

22 Sep 2017 by Andrew McClean

Crime author, Ian Rankin, has urged fellow Scots to get a sight test following research that revealed the nation is ignoring poor eye health symptoms.

The research, which was conducted by the Royal National Institute of Blind People and Specsavers, found that 35% of Scots admit they currently have eye health issues that they have not reported to their optician or eye healthcare professional.

Scots are ignoring black spots in their vision (12%) and being dazzled by bright lights (9%), according to the research that has been released as part of National Eye Health Week (18–24 September).

The author, who is best known for his Inspector Rebus series, explained that he started wearing reading glasses a few years ago following a visit to Specsavers. “As someone who writes books for a living it’s important that I can see the screen and read a page of text with ease. Equally, I want readers to be able to read and enjoy books without struggling,” he said.

“People need to get used to it, as they would be going to the dentist. There might be nothing wrong, but it’s better to be safe than sorry so don’t get lazy – get into your opticians for an appointment,” he added.

In the survey, 22% who had not had an eye test in the last two years or more revealed that they would book an appointment ‘if it was free.’ However, Specsavers highlighted that eye examinations are free under the NHS in Scotland. 

Chairperson for Specsavers in Scotland, Jill McArthur, expressed her concern: “It is worrying that so many Scots aren’t going for their free regular eye checks, and especially concerning that many more are ignoring symptoms of potential eye issues.”


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