Why a visit to the optician isn’t just about your vision

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With more than 25 years of experience, East of England Co-op Optometrist Vince Cox understands more than most about the importance of eye health.

Vince talks about these vital health checks, and why everyone is being urged to consider their next check-up this week as part of National Eye Health Week (NEHW).

Vince said: “This week is all about getting the message out there and encouraging discussions about eye health. Eyes are a real window to our overall health and an eye check will test for a range of illnesses, not just those related to sight.

“From glaucoma and macular degeneration to the, thankfully more rare, early development of brain tumours or multiple sclerosis, these are all health issues that we look out for and often can be treated early thanks to a simple sight test.”

Currently an estimated 1.8 million people in the UK are living with sight loss but for 53% of these, a simple sight test and new glasses could be of significant benefit. 

Vince commented: “A variety of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, obesity and exposure to sunlight can unfortunately negatively influence our eyes, as well of course as age and natural factors. We often see customers who visit for the first time in many years, sometimes decades, surprised that after a lifetime of perfect sight, they now need help with their vision.”

As part of NEHW, Vince and his colleagues, in five East of England Co-op Opticians in the region (Clacton, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Lowestoft, and Stanway), will be taking their message about the importance and benefits of a sight test to the public.

“National Eye Health Week is the perfect opportunity to really get that message out there,” said Vince. “Whether you are confident you have impeccable vision, or you have worn glasses all your life, you should still have regular checks.

“We will also be running a fun colouring competition to help children understand what happens during an eye check and why they are so important.”

The average sight test takes between 30 to 40 minutes and it is recommended that adults have an eye test every two years.

For more information or to book an eye test visit www.eastofengland.coop/opticians or call 01473 226009.