New research released today by ABDO, reveals that as many as 9 in 10 people aged over 40 are not aware of the help available for people suffering from low vision.
According to the NHS, low vision (visual impairment) is when your sight can’t be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or by any medical or surgical treatment. It is therefore concerning that well over half of over 40s (60 per cent) believe that low vision can sometimes be improved with glasses or contact lenses. With low vision affecting one in five over 75s it’s worrying that a further six in ten didn’t know that they could get help from a registered dispensing optician.
Low vision is more common in older age groups and the most common cause is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Almost half (44 per cent) of all those surveyed said they would not seek professional medical help if they were experiencing ongoing problems with their vision. Richard Rawlinson from ABDO says, “Eye problems often start without signs or symptoms so get an eye test every two years, even if you think your vision is fine”.
The older you are, the better care you take of your eyes, it seems, with only 1 in 10 people age 60+ missing their regular eye check compared to one in five of those age 40-59. A happy marriage seems to be good for your eyes, with only 11 per cent of married people missing out on eyecare compared to 23 per cent of those who are single and a whopping 28 per cent of those who are divorced.
While low vision can’t be cured, there is plenty of support available to help people carry on living a full life. People can visit their local optician for advice and be provided with practical aids, magnifiers and gadgets. There are lots of adaptations that can be made round the home, such as brighter light bulbs. A registered dispensing optician can advise on the wide range of magnifying tools now available to help with reading and writing. There are even local services and organisations that offer help and support. Richard Rawlinson says, “Talk to a registered dispensing optician for advice if you are worried about your eyes”.
To view an infographic featuring the research results click here.
Research: The research was carried out online between 25 July 2017 and 21 August 2017 by Vital Research and Statistics amongst a sample of 1,303 UK adults aged 40+