A Dunfermline resident was referred for an urgent GP visit following a free blood pressure check at a drop-in clinic at Vision Express.
On Thursday 21 April, the Kingsgate Centre Vision Express welcomed residents from the Dunfermline area to a ‘Know your blood pressure’ event in partnership with the Stroke Association. It offered the free health test, aiming to raise awareness of high blood pressure as a contributing factor in over half (54%) of all stroke in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In the NHS Fife catchment area there are approximately 8,865 stroke survivors, which represents 2.34% of the county’s population. During the drop in at Vision Express, half of those tested were referred to their GP for further consultation, with one advised to seek urgent help.
Kirsty Scott, the Stroke Association community and events fundraising manager for Scotland, carried out the blood pressure checks and provided information to customers, passers-by and members of the public.
Up to 60 per cent of people will experience visual problems following a stroke, yet one in three are unaware that sight loss could be a problem or that treatment and support is available.
Vision Express store manager, Claire Malcolm, said of the event: ‘It’s great we can offer this kind of event to the local community. People came into store specifically for the blood pressure check, and were really surprised to learn that stroke warning signs can be picked up through a simple eye test by our trained optometrists.”
She continued: “Kirsty was great. Her calm and friendly approach was reassuring to the public, particularly those who were nervous about having their blood pressure taken.”
High blood pressure affects 9.2 million people in the UK and a further estimated 6.8 million could be living without a diagnosis. Uncontrolled blood pressure can, over time, lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney damage and eye problems. In 2014 alone, over 16,000 men in the UK died of stroke.
Jim Swindells, director of fundraising at the Stroke Association, added: “High blood pressure is a silent killer, but a simple and painless test could prevent a devastating stroke. Too few people are aware just how serious stroke is. It’s vital that everyone knows what their blood pressure level should be and has regular checks.”
Did you know?
- There are around 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK
- Up to 6.8 million people in the UK are thought to be suffering from undiagnosed high blood pressure
- Over a quarter (26%) of all strokes in the UK occur in the under 65s
- Worldwide, the number of 20 to 64 year olds having a stroke between 1990 – 2010 rose by 25%
‘Know Your Blood Pressure’ events are taking place at selected Vision Express stores nationwide throughout 2016.
Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists (COO), with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test visit the Vision Express store at 18 Kingsgate Centre, Dunfermline, call 01383 723 244 or visit https://www.visionexpress.com/book-eye-test/
About Vision Express
Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of GrandVision,the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 5,800 stores and online.
With more than 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.
Vision Express is considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, with its European offering supported through sister eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D'Optique.
With around 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:
- Alzheimer’s Research UK
- Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
- International Glaucoma Association
- Macular Society
- Stroke Association
- Temple Street University Hospital.