Over 65s ignoring ocular symptoms

People – especially the elderly – urged to take sight loss symptoms seriously on World Sight Day


Two in five people over 65 have experienced symptoms like photophobia and black spots but fail to get their eyes tested, according to survey data.

This World Sight Day (13 October), the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is urging the over-65s, or anyone who notices problems with their eyes, to see their optometrist.

The survey, commissioned by RNIB and Specsavers, also found that just over a third of people aged over 65 who did not go for regular sight tests believed their spectacles or contact lenses were appropriate.

Other common reasons that over-65s do not attend regular eye examinations include worries about the cost of spectacles and time constraints, OT learned. Others were sure that their eyes were fine.

However, the survey did also find that in the most recent sight test for this age group, over half of all eye examinations resulted in a change in prescription or a referral to the doctor.

RNIB director of engagement, Fazilet Hadi, highlighted that: “All too often people think of deteriorating vision as an inevitable sign of ageing, and don’t seek professional advice when they’re experiencing problems with their vision or their eyes.”

To learn more about the State of the Nation: Eye Health 2016 report, visit the RNIB website.