June 10, 2010
Grampian participation in National Eye Health Week June 14-20
Grampian residents are being reminded of the importance of looking after their eyes, as part of National Eye Health Week.
NHS Grampian's Community Eye Care Project will have a stand in The Mall, Aberdeen, June 14-18, to get people to think about looking after their eye sight by attending their optician regularly. The team are being joined by volunteers from the Grampian area, some of whom are visually impaired. Advice and leaflets about eye care will be provided to visitors to the stand.
"Some of the most common eye conditions can be diagnosed by having regular eye tests, which are free to everyone in Scotland," says Lead Clinician for Ophthalmology, NHS Grampian, Cynthia Santiago.
"These thorough tests, carried out by an optometrist at your local optician's, can detect conditions such as cataracts, Glaucoma and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), as well as Diabetes. If problems are spotted early, there is a better chance of effective treatment.
"Taking care of your sight is even more important to people who have Diabetes (the condition can have a range of effects on vision) and people who smoke − there is double the risk of developing AMD if you smoke."
Cynthia also highlighted a common misunderstanding among people who already have a diagnosed eye condition: "Some people who have lost some of their sight feel that they don't need to go for an eye test any more. In fact, your eyes always benefit from regular tests, usually every two years depending on your age, so that all aspects of your sight and your eye health can be examined."
Simple actions can help everyone look after their eye health, such as eating a balanced diet, not smoking, and protecting your eyes in bright sunlight.
Grampian eye facts:
Of the 34% of adults who attended an eye examination in Grampian between March 2008 and March 2009
- 13% had cataracts
- 3.7% had Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- 4.8% had Diabetes
- 1.8% had Glaucoma
The majority of people who have AMD are over 70 years old, yet less than 12% of this age group had an eye test in 2009.
Some 2,800 people affected by visual impairment live in Grampian.
"Our messages during this special week and throughout the year are take care of your eyes, and look after those in your care, and regularly visit your local optometrist − they are based at more than 60 opticians' practices across Grampian," says Carolyn Lamb, Eye Care Project manager.