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Vision Express and the International Glaucoma Association join forces during World Glaucoma Week 2017 on a tour around the UK

Press Release   •   Feb 27, 2017 11:08 GMT

IGA representative Eryl Williams joined by Public Health England on 2016 Vision Van Tour

Following the success of last year’s campaign to improve the nation’s eye health, the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has teamed up with Vision Express to help raise awareness of the importance of eye tests into detecting glaucoma, during World Glaucoma Week 2017.

In support of the week, Vision Express will be taking its Vision Van, the largest ‘high-street’ mobile eye testing unit in the UK, to five glaucoma hotspots in the north of England and Scotland. The Vision Van will travel from Monday 13th – Friday 17th March visiting Manchester, York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stockton-on-Tees offering full 30-minute comprehensive free eye tests.

Research shows that 300,000 people are living in the UK with undetected glaucoma, many of whom don’t realise that an eye test is the only way to detect the condition. Glaucoma is one of the biggest causes of preventable sight loss, yet 31% of people are unaware that glaucoma runs in families – and 72% of those in at risk groups don’t realise they are at an increased risk[1]

During the week, the IGA has been invited to join Vision Express to speak with local people at each of the Vision Van locations, highlighting the importance of regular check-ups to reduce sight loss. Early detection and treatment for glaucoma can save sight. Over 90% of individuals who are diagnosed early will retain useful sight for life.

Karen Osborn, chief executive of the IGA, says: “We are delighted to be working with Vision Express again this year. It is estimated that 50 per cent of cases of glaucoma are undetected, and that most of these could be identified at a routine eye health check.

“We want to encourage everyone to have a regular eye test at least every two years and more regularly if advised by a health professional. The Vision Van takes eye health checks into the heart of communities, and that can only help.”

Omar Hassan, head of professional services at Vision Express said: “The large proportion of people visiting the Vision Van last year needed either a new prescription or told us they hadn't had an eye test for a long time, which is alarming.

“An eye test is not only the best way to spot vision problems and glaucoma, but it can also indicate potentially serious health conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.”

Research shows that 37% put off having an eye test due to cost concern, so by offering this essential health check for free, Vision Express is setting aside the affordability issue, in a bid to improve prospects for glaucoma in the UK.

For those unable to visit the Vision Van during the tour, a downloadable free eye test voucher will be available on the Vision Express website from 8th - 26th March which can be redeemed instore until the 30th April 2017.

[1]2012: College of Optometry; Quant Research; Britain’s Eye Health in Focus 2013

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:

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