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Are we neglecting our eye sight and at what cost? Vision Express finds out

Press Release   •   Jan 16, 2017 12:50 GMT

Vision Express is bringing its Vision Van to Ireland and Northern Ireland this Healthy Eyes Awareness Week

With Healthy Eyes Awareness Week taking place from Monday, 16th January to Sunday, 22nd January, 2017, Vision Express, one of Ireland’s most trusted opticians, commissioned a survey of 1,500 people across Ireland to find out if they really look after their eyes.

Optometrists recommend an eye test at least every two years to monitor eye health and 79% of those surveyed are aware that eye tests should form part of a regular health check-up routine. Although 80% of respondents believe that sight is the most important sense,a third haven’t had an eye test in four years or more, with a worrying 6% never having had an eye exam, and a further 41% not having had an eye test in the past two years.

In Ireland, eye diseases and preventable sight loss place both an economic cost and burden on an already strained health service. Eye disease healthcare costs reach up to [1]€65 million per annum in Ireland. This, together with the costs associated with vision impairment, means that expenditure is estimated to reach [2]€2.5 billion by 2020. Vision Express is calling on all Irish people to look after their eye sight and make eye health a priority in order to reduce preventable eye diseases and, in some cases, sight loss.

Regular eye tests can pick up the early signs of many underlying eye health problems such as diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, among others. Sometimes change in vision can be gradual and may not be noticed on a day to day basis, which is why, following the recommendation of an eye test every two years, is vital. Vision Express works with a range of charity partners including the International Glaucoma Association, the Macular Society, the Stroke Association and Temple Street Children’s Hospital, to help raise awareness about the importance of routine eye tests.

As the Irish population ages, the impact of poor eye health will continue to grow. As part of the commissioned survey, Vision Express wanted to find out where eye health stands in terms of the country’s healthcare priorities. For those women surveyed, smear tests and breast checks are number one and two on their list, while for men, routine prostate checks and blood pressure monitoring are key focuses, and a visit to the dentist was a priority for both sexes. Eye health concerns and regular eye tests weren’t top of the list of those surveyed, yet eye care is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle, along with exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Commenting on the results, Omar Hassan, Head of Professional Services at Vision Express said ‘We know that sight loss is one of the most feared health conditions, yet a third of those surveyed haven’t had an eye test for four years. Crucially, safeguarding your sight involves an eye test at least every two years for adults and children. It is notonly the best way to detect vision problems, but it can also indicate potentially serious health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and an increased risk of stroke.”

This January, Vision Express are urging the people of Ireland to take their sight seriously, by bringing their eye test to the people, with their large mobile eye examination unit. The Vision Van is equipped with the very latest eye testing technology and will travel from Dublin to Cork and onto Belfast during Healthy Eyes Awareness Week. With appointments available from 10am – 4.30pm, the Vision Van will offer free 30 minute eye examinations on board. If a convenient appointment isn’t available at the Vision Van, Vision Express experts will provide visitors with a free eye test leaflet and direct to the nearest Vision Express store.

For more information, please visit, or follow Vision Express on Twitter or on Instagram or like Vision Express on Facebook

[1] The Economic Cost and Burden of Eye Diseases and Preventable Blindness in Ireland by The Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians Ireland

[2]Framework to Adopt a Strategic Approach for Vision Health in Ireland (Nov 2012). Accessed on 10 March 2014

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 44 countries and spanning 6,100 stores and online. GrandVision is committed to delivering superior, high quality and affordable eye care to more and more people around the world.

With almost 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best personalised optical care, style and quality. Customers can select from a wide range of frames and lenses for glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses, allowing everybody to reflect their individual personalities and lifestyles.

With prices starting from £39, the Exclusive Brands in-house collection of eyewear makes the choice at Vision Express both unique and affordable. For frames and sunglasses the styles range from iconic, retro designs to the latest in ultra-modern chic. High-quality brands to suit every style and every budget.

With over 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a difference to the communities it operates within, and as part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, it 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 Charitable Partnerships and include: