The AOP has released a television advertising campaign that calls on the public to re-think their approach to eye health and promotes the importance of regular sight tests.
Voiced by presenter and author Konnie Huq, the Celebrate your sight-themed campaign has been created in partnership with national eye research charity Fight for Sight.
As the first-ever television advert by the Association, it will be promoted on Sky Adsmart across 250 postcode areas and ITV Hub nationally. It will run from 5 October in Scotland, and from 12 October in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.
The brief set out by the AOP was to create a positive public eye health awareness campaign and make people start thinking more about their eye health.
Communications director at the AOP, Vicky Vine, explained that the campaign aims to “encourage a shift in public thinking about eye health, moving from a reactive to a pro-active mindset.”
“If asked the question, ‘which sense would you most fear losing?,’ people respond overwhelmingly with ‘sight,’ and yet people rarely consider their eye health until they perceive that they have a problem, and in some cases that can be too late,” Ms Vine said.
The 30-second advert features a series of cherished moments when someone’s sight would be most valued. These include seeing a beautiful landscape, a groom seeing his bride when she lifts the veil for the first time and a grandfather watching his granddaughter play in a football match. The images then visually deteriorate, displaying as someone with diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma may see them.
Statistics recently released by Fight for Sight show that over one million people are living with avoidable sight loss. The charity’s YouGov research also found that three in 10 people are failing to have their eyes tested regularly, with the main reason given as thinking that they can see fine.
Speaking about the project, Ms Huq said: “Being a presenter and author, my eyesight has always been so important to me and I’ve prioritised regular sight tests, not just for good vision, but for my overall eye health. The statistic that there are over a million people in the UK living with avoidable sight loss is shocking. We need to spread the message of the importance of regular sight tests for all.”
MP for Ealing, Central and Acton, and sister of Konnie, Rupa Huq, has expressed her support for the campaign. She said: “I’ve previously campaigned on the importance of regular sight tests for children, so I was very pleased to hear that Konnie is involved in the AOP’s Celebrate your sight campaign. A sight test every two years, or more if your optometrist recommends it, is something we need to really drum home. There’s an opticians practice on almost every High Street and many people have access to NHS-funded sight tests. It would be superb if the message became as ingrained as regular dental checks. In this day and age, no one should be needlessly losing their sight.”
Director of research, policy and innovation at Fight for Sight, Dr Neil Ebenezer, said: “It’s so important that people go for an eye test at least every two years, which is why we’re part of this campaign.”
“Even if your vision is currently not affected, it’s still really important to get your eyes tested as a test can pick up certain eye conditions at an early stage, allowing you to get the treatment you need. It may also be possible to pick up on early stages of other conditions not directly related to sight,” he added.
For more information and downloadable resources associated to the campaign, visit the AOP website.