If you have yet to make a New Year’s resolution, what could be more important than resolving to take better care of yourself?
Looking after yourself doesn’t have to mean slogging away in the gym or cutting out chocolate! What is essential, however, is to take good general care of your body and health – and that includes visiting your optician if you have not done so in the past couple of years.
A nationwide problem
Half of all people aged over 40 are risking their health by not attending routine eye tests, a recent survey has revealed. The Simplyhealth Advisory Research Panel questioned more than 1,000 people aged between 40 and 75 and discovered that 53 per cent had not had an eye test for up to five years.
A quarter of people surveyed had noticed some deterioration in their eyesight during this time but were still putting off visiting their optician.
Even more alarming was that most people were aware of the importance of eye checks for identifying a number of health conditions – yet were still not prioritising booking a test. Worryingly, one in ten simply accepted failing vision as an inevitable part of ageing, without realising early diagnosis could enable eye health professionals to slow down vision loss resulting from age-related conditions.
The importance of eye tests
The message from all healthcare practitioners – and not just optometrists – is to make sure our health needs are not bumped down our to-do lists in 2014. If an eye test is overdue, this should become a priority, alongside a dental check-up and a visit to the GP about any condition that is causing us worries.
Regular eye tests are important for a number of reasons. If your eye test uncovers a vision problem that could be resolved with corrective lenses, your everyday tasks will not only become easier and more comfortable. They will also become significantly safer, particularly if you are a motorist and have been putting yourself and other road users at risk by driving without clear vision.
Eye tests can also identify signs of a number of conditions before people are even aware of any symptoms. An early diagnosis is often essential for successful treatment of these conditions while failing to attend regular check-ups could mean putting yourself at risk of avoidable sight loss.
If you wear spectacles, regular tests will ensure your current prescription is still valid while enabling the optometrist to spot any new or developing signs of eye disease. A visit to Eyecare Opticians is also a great opportunity to try out contact lenses or a range of confidence-boosting frames in our Eyewear Studio. After all, taking care of yourself means treating yourself sometimes too!