World Sight Day 2017 – Make vision count
Today, 12th October 2017, is World Sight Day an annual day of awareness to focus attention on sight impairment.
This year’s message for World Sight Day is ‘Make Vision Count’. Not only is this a call to educate others about the importance of eye examinations but a call for you to get your eyes tested.
When was the last time you got your eyes tested?
Regular eye tests are important because your eyes don’t usually hurt when something is wrong. A sight test is a vital health check for your eyes that can pick up early signs of eye conditions before you’re aware of any symptoms – many of which can be treated if found early enough.
Optometrists recommend that most people should get their eyes tested every two years. However, in some circumstances, they may recommend more frequent sight tests; for example, if you:
- are a child wearing glasses
- have diabetes
- are aged 40 or over and have a family history of glaucoma
- are aged 70 or over
It is a lesser known fact that 50% of sight impairment is avoidable by having a regular eye health check.
FAQ’s about sight tests:
Why is an eye test important?
Regular eye examinations are important as it is also a health check for your eyes. Sight tests can pick up on early signs of eye conditions before you can be aware of the symptoms. Some of these include; Diabetes, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma.
Eye examinations can enable the optician to make sure you are getting maximum clarity from your spectacles. Your eye test will show if you need to get glasses for the first time or a change of prescription in your current glasses.
How much should an eye test cost me?
An eye test ranges from £20 – £45 in Jersey, unfortunately free eye tests are not offered as part of a health scheme.
How often should I have an eye test?
We recommend that you have your eye examination at least every two years. We may advise more regular eye examinations if you have any eye conditions or have a family history of eye conditions.
If I suffer from diabetes but have had no change in vision do I still have my eyes tested?
Yes. You should make an appointment to have your eyes tested as frequently as your optician recommends. If you have diabetes you are susceptible to certain eye conditions which your optician will test for and to make sure your eyes are healthy.
Do I need a eye test even if I don’t wear contact lens or glasses?
Even if you don’t need glasses or contact lenses we still recommend regular eye exams to check your eye health. Regular eye examinations are important as they can pick up on early signs of eye conditions before you can be aware of the symptoms. Some of these include; Diabetes, Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma.
When should my child have their first eye test?
All children, in Jersey, are offered an eye test in their reception class. If parents have any concerns before then, they are to contact their health visitor or GP for a referral to the orthoptic department.
What are the different types of eye defects that could affect me?
Cataract is a very common eye condition and are cloudy patches in the lens that make vision blurry. Over time the cloudy patches become bigger and the patients sight will be more affected as less light is able to pass through the lens.
Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes in the eye become slightly blocked. This prevents eye fluid from draining properly. When the fluid cannot drain properly pressure builds causing raised intraocular pressure. This can damage the optic nerve and the nerve fibres from the retina and will damage affect your peripheral vision without you knowing.
Age-Related Macula Degeneration is a painless eye condition that leads to the gradual loss of central vision. Age-Related Macula Degeneration is a painless eye condition that leads to the gradual loss of central vision.
Diabetes can affect your sight because blood vessels in the retina can become blocked or leaky, or can grow haphazardly.This damages the retina and stops it from working.
What should I do if my vision becomes worse and I am not due an eye test?
If you think there has been a sudden change in your vision or you are experiencing any visual distortions, such as tunnel vision or flashing lights please ring your GP or one of our practices as soon as possible. It may not be anything to worry about but should be investigated just incase.
Can I wear contact lenses?
New technology in contact lenses means there is now a wide variety of lenses available. You can now get contact lenses for a variety of prescription requirements ranging from high powered prescriptions to astigmatism. There are even contact lenses that correct both distance and near vision in one lens just like varifocals.