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Fifteen-year-old girl thanks Vision Express for saving her eye sight

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2017 12:47 GMT

Haliyah Kanimodo having her eyes tested at Vision Express, Dublin

Fifteen-year-old, Haliyah Kanimodo from Dublin, has thanked Vision Express for saving her sight and strongly encourages others to visit their local Vision Express optometrists’ every two years, to get an eye test.

In November 2016, Haliyah began to suffer with terrible headaches and double vision, particularly on the left side of her head, which led to disturbed sleep because of the pain- this also affected her school work. As a result, she visited her local Vision Express store for an eye examination.

Upon arrival, Maria Fitzpatrick, Vision Express optometrist, undertook three separate examinations, capturing digital imagery of the inside of Haliyah’s eye, a healthy pressure test and a measurement of the eye. After the examinations, Maria detected that Haliyah’s optic disc was swollen and believed that she may have had pressure on her brain, which she believed needed to be treated as soon as possible.

As advised, Haliyah made an immediate appointment to see an eye specialist at her local hospital. After additional CT and MRI scans, Haliyah found that she had hypertensive retinopathy, which can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina.

Commenting during Healthy Eyes Awareness Week following the early detection by Vision Express of her condition, Haliyah said “I don’t want to imagine what would have happened if I didn’t visit Vision Express. I am hugely grateful to the staff members for treating me so quickly and for taking care of me as they did. I was extremely scared, but the staff kept me calm and reassured me throughout. My doctor highlighted, that if I did not get my eyes tested at Vision Express, I may have lost my vision completely in my left eye.”

Haliyah is on medication, with the hope that in six months, the condition will be treated completely. Haliyah’s story has been released as part of Healthy Eyes Awareness Week, which is taking place this week, from Monday, 16th January to Sunday, 22nd January.

Vision Express is 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 visit Blanchardstown, Dublin, on Wednesday, 18th January, and then Douglas Shopping Centre in Cork, before heading north to Writer’s Square in Belfast on Friday 20th January

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.

The Vision Van is coming to Ireland in support of FODO’s Healthy Eyes Awareness Week 2017, which revealed research showing that:

  • More than 220,000 people in Ireland are vision impaired or have lost their sight[1]
  • 75% to 80% of sight loss is preventable[2]
  • Five people per week lost their sight in Ireland between 2010 and 2013 – approximately 260 per annum[3]
  • Vision impairment and sight loss is expected to cost more than €.2.5billion by 2020[4]

It is hoped the initiative will replicate the success of the UK tour in September 2016, when 54% of those tested on the Vision Van were identified as having an out of date prescription, with 52% confessing to not having had an eye test in the past five years. 13% of those tested on the Vision Van were referred to a GP for further medical advice.

To see Haliyah’s story in full, click here.

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

About Healthy Eyes Awareness Week

Healthy Eyes Awareness Week is committed to promoting, raising awareness and highlighting the need for regular eye exams among all age groups. Backed by three optical bodies in Ireland, The Association of Optometrists Ireland, The Federation of Opticians

Ireland and The Irish Association of Dispensing Opticians, Healthy Eyes Awareness Week is encouraging all Irish people to pledge to have an eye test not only during the month of January, but regularly throughout their life.

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


[3] The Cost of Preventable Blindness Accessed on 10 March 2014

[4] 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: