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GP referral as Tunbridge Wells residents join Vision Express free blood pressure event

Press Release   •   Jan 15, 2016 14:37 GMT

A Tunbridge Wells resident was advised to visit his GP after having a free blood pressure check during an event at Vision Express on Calverley Road.

Held in partnership with the Stroke Association, the ‘Know Your Blood Pressure’ clinic on Tuesday, January 12, raised awareness of stroke and its impact on vision. There are almost 8,500 stroke survivors in the Tunbridge Wells NHS area - 1.8% of the population.[1]

Amber Garland, aged 24, a local Stroke Association volunteer who had a stroke when she was 19, helped lead the event along with Julie Heine, Jane Sedgwick and Natalie Osborn from the charity.

Amber said: “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. By conducting an eye test, Vision Express optometrists can identify indicators of increased blood pressure, which is the single biggest risk factor for stroke.”

Dr Dale Webb, Director of Research and Information at the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke is devastating, and many stroke survivors who are recovering from one of the most frightening experiences of their lives face the additional challenge of visual impairment. We all value our sight; it’s the sense most people fear losing more than any other.”

Amy Dadswell, store manager at Vision Express Tunbridge Wells, added: “Amber’s knowledge and enthusiasm helped make the event a great success and it was really well received by customers.

“As a result of the tests, we advised one man to go and see his GP regarding his blood pressure levels.

“Early symptoms associated with stroke can include loss of vision or blurred vision in one or both eyes, and many people don’t realise the breadth of health conditions we can be identify through an eye test. It is vital to have a routine exam at least every two years and to see an optometrist straight away if you experience any issues with your sight.”

Did you know…?

  • There are around 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK
  • By the age of 75, one in five women and one in six men will have a stroke
  • Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer and more men than prostate and testicular cancer combined a year
  • High blood pressure is a contributing factor to 54% of strokes
  • It is estimated there could be up to 6.8 million people in the UK with undiagnosed high blood pressure

For more information on the Know Your Blood pressure events visit

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 Tunbridge Wells, 23 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2TH, call 01892 537585 or visit:

[1] NHS 2013-2014 statistics

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.

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