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North Eastís ageing workforce at eye health risk

Added on: 28th September, 2018 by shaun_48142

North Eastís ageing workforce at eye health risk

Dave Myers

Last Updated:
Fri, 28 September 2018

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Hairy Biker Dave Myers encourages people in the North East to have their eyes tested more regularly

The record number of older people in employment in the North East are being urged to make their eye health a priority as pension entitlement ages increase.

Official figures show that there are 26,000 Brits over the age of 65 working in the North East, with a further 8,000 expected to be in employment by 2030 , as people continue to live longer and healthier lives.

However 6500 of them are not getting their eyes tested regularly, making them more susceptible to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, which could have an impact on their life and work. That is why Specsavers is teaming up with sight loss charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), to urge Britainís ageing workforce to take their eye health seriously.

Dr Nigel Best, Specsaversí clinical spokesperson and store director in the North East, says: ĎIt is so important residents look after their eyes and have regular eye tests for the detections of these conditions. Our eyes are so important for our jobs and early detection means we can manage and do something about these conditions so that people can keep their jobs.í

Research shows there are already almost 25,000 people with preventable sight loss conditions of AMD, cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy in Darlington and Stockton alone, and as the figures show this is a number which is expected to climb.

That is why Specsavers in the North East has invested more than £80k through providing Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Ė hospital grade eye testing scanners - and personnel training to commit themselves to improving the vision of residents in the North East and tackle the growing problem which comes with our ageing population. It has done this by ensuring they have more than 100 Minor Eye Condition-qualified optometrists.

Celebrity chef and Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers, 61, is backing the campaign ahead of National Eye Health Week (24-30 September) after discovering that he had a serious eye condition that could have had a huge impact on his career.

Dave said: "I was shocked when I found out that Iíd developed glaucoma when I was just 54. Thankfully it was spotted during a routine eye test before it was too late but if it had gone unnoticed, I could have gone blind, and that would have had a huge impact on how I do the job I love so much.

"I expect many people in the North East know that they should have regular eye tests but our lives are so busy with work and family that itís not surprising how making an appointment at your opticians can slip. But do take heed of my story.

"If you want to avoid unnecessary sight loss as you get older, and continue working and going about your everyday life without barriers then you need to make that very important appointment with your optometrist once every two years. Thereís an opticians on every high street in the UK and dozens of Specsavers store in the North East, so thereís no excuse."

To encourage more people to prioritise their eye health and to help support National Eye Health Week (24-30 September), Specsavers will be offering free eye tests in participating stores throughout September.

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