Today marks World Sight Day so it seemed only right to put the findings of a global eye health survey under the microscope. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Over 1.3 billion people around the world have some sort of eye impairment. Did you know that? I didn’t. 

The good news is, that if detected early on 80% of these cases can be treated which is why it’s important to go for regular eye tests so you can nip any complications in the bud before they get out of hand. 

Johnson & Johnson Vision* today announced findings from the survey and the results were somewhat alarming.  

The majority of Brits say that their yearly eye exam is an important part of their annual health MOT. They even recognise that eyesight is an integral part of having a good quality of life. Furthermore Brits are aware that going to see the optician is vital to preventing problems by detecting any anomalies before they get any worse. 

So this is where the inconsistencies lie- despite providing textbook answers in the first set of questions, worryingly, only 55% of Brits think they do enough to keep their eyes in good shape. To make matters worse, only 34% of Brits get an eye exam each year. This is, of course the best way to protect and monitor your eye health, nothing else comes close. So why aren’t Brits doing the right thing by going to see an optician?

The survey suggests that Brits might not be clear on what they need to do to keep their vision in tip top condition. So let’s make it clear- a yearly eye test will ensure your optical health is protected. Why? Because an eye test is not just about your eye exam can help to diagnose early signs of chronic disease and illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or high cholesterol. They indicate when things are going wrong in other parts of the body. 

So what excuses are Brits coming up with for not getting their eyes tested? The top three are as follows and here’s why we think you need to put these aside and pick up the phone...

No change in vision: You may think that your vision has stayed the same since your last appointment, but wouldn’t you rather have that confirmed by a professional rather than just guessing? Put your mind at ease and go just for peace of mind. We hope you are right, but you might not be so it’s vital to find out either way. 

COVID-19: While the pandemic has made it harder to get an appointment and may have resulted in your appointment being cancelled, it’s important to persist in getting one. You can justify leaving your home for the sake of your eye health even if you don’t want to leave for any other reason. 

Cost: Eye exams cost around £30, which is a lot of money for people especially in times of job cuts and Furlough, however if you know when your next appointment will be, it works out at just over a couple of pounds a month. If you put this aside every month without fail, you will have enough by the time your appointment is due. 

"At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are committed to meeting unmet needs in eye health, especially around awareness and access – the two biggest barriers to care," said Jakob Sveen, Managing Director for Northern Europe and General Manager for the UK & Ireland and Johnson & Johnson Vision.*** 

“This survey has uncovered new insights and opportunities around how we, as an eye health community, can help people to prioritize their eyes by getting an annual eye exam.”

There are many myths surrounding eye health such as ‘vision loss is part of getting old’ and ‘I have no control over my eye health’. The truth is- failing eyesight doesn’t have to be part of getting old and good vision will certainly help you to avoid trips and falls as you do age. 

You DO have control over your eye health and it all starts with making an appointment. You have control over picking up the phone and making the time so do what you can and let the optician do the rest. 

It’s important to note that good eye health leads to healthy brain development in children too so while you’re booking a test for yourself- schedule one for your children as well! 

The survey was conducted online in August 2020 by TRUE Global Intelligence among 1,002 adults 18 years of age or older across the United Kingdom. This is part of the Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, a worldwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of eye health and encourage everyone to get an annual eye exam, launched in February 2020 by Johnson & Johnson Vision to carry out its commitment to change the trajectory of eye health.

This World Sight Day, make the commitment to #PrioritizeYourEyes spread the word with your loved ones and make an appointment with your eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam.

[1] The World Health Organization Visual impairment and blindness Fact Sheet N°282 August 2014

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