Vision Express

Vision Van visitor urges others to take advantage of free eye tests as initiative targets Canterbury for World Glaucoma Week

Press release   •   Mar 16, 2018 15:19 GMT

A 42-year-old carpenter who hadn't had an optical examination since he was a small child, is urging others to look after their eye health after visiting the Vision Express Vision Van on Thursday 15 March for a free test.

The high-tech mobile testing vehicle visited Saint George's Street for one day only as part of a UK tour to mark World Glaucoma Week (11–18 March), after Canterbury is suspected to have over 4,800 residents with the sight-stealing condition.

Daren, who is from Leigh on Sea, says he hadn't had an eye test since he was around seven years old but, on spotting the van as he passed by, decided to take advantage of the free initiative. "I didn't have a clue about any family history of glaucoma so when I saw the van and the free testing on offer, I thought it was a great opportunity to check out my eye health." he says. "I was a bit nervous, but everyone made me feel at ease and I was really surprised how easy it was."

Having a feeling he would need reading glasses as he had been struggling to see up close for a while, optometrist Nitika Sondhi confirmed this was the case and issued Daren with a prescription to correct the problem. "I feel much better knowing I don't have glaucoma and I'm really glad I decided to go in to the van. Yes, I felt a little scared at first, but there really was no need to be. Anyone considering it should just do it. I'm glad I did."

A quarter of those who visited the Vision Van on the same day as Daren admitted to not having had a test in over two years; 67% were issued with new prescriptions, 17% had not had a test since they passed their driving test and a further 17% admitted they had never had an eye test.

Vision Express has launched its brand-new Vision Van amid new research showing that the number of glaucoma cases in the UK is likely to top 1.28 million by 2050 – an increase of 85%. The high-tech mobile eye testing facility is journeying across the UK to areas with higher than average cases of the sight-stealing condition, offering free eye tests to the public during World Glaucoma Week.

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson said: “To celebrate our 30 years of trading, we’ve worked with the Road Haulage Association to put on the road a top-of-the-range mobile eye testing vehicle. It is equipped with the very latest in eye testing technology, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which a study has revealed can pick up glaucoma up to eight years before any sight loss is experienced."

One of the biggest causes of preventable sight loss worldwide, glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and, as it becomes damaged, vision is lost. There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but research[1] indicates half of those are undiagnosed.

For those unable to visit the Vision Van during its tour, downloadable, free eye test vouchers are available between 12-25 March on the Vision Express website and valid for redemption in any of the retailer’s stores nationwide by the 30th April 2018.

For further information about World Glaucoma Week, visit:

About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 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.

With around 6,000 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:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake