Healthy Eyes Week January 16-22

Be Wise and Protect Eyes

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

Healthy eyes week

All adults are being encouraged to protect their eyes and vision by making regular eye examinations part of their normal health routine – as Healthy Eyes awareness week kicks off today Monday, January 16.

The Healthy Eyes campaign takes place across the country this week until Sunday, January 22 and is highlighting the importance of regular eye examinations.

With the slogan 'Be Wise, Protect Your Eyes,' the campaign is being led by the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI) and the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) Ireland.

To mark the campaign, information and promotions will be available during the week in optometrist and optician locations in cities, towns and villages across the country.

The campaign partners are encouraging people who have not had their eyes examined recently to visit their local optometrist for an eye test to ensure that their eyes remain healthy.

AOI Chief Executive Officer Sean McCrave said, “There is an increasing prevalence of sight related problems due to an aging population and what is most important is early diagnosis. An optometrist is ideally placed to provide the care which people need be it, reassurance, fitting glasses or contact lenses, treatment of routine conditions, or monitoring of a condition. An optometrist is highly trained in eye health and is accessible locally in the community.”

FODO Ireland Chief Executive David Hewlett said, “At this time of year, many of us resolve to improve our lifestyles to become fitter, healthier and check regularly for risky lumps, bumps and moles, yet far too many of us forget about our eyes and the world they open up for us on a daily basis. Much eye disease and sight loss in middle and older age is avoidable, but eye diseases do not usually show up until it is too late. This is why we want people, who do not yet regularly do so, to visit their local optician and get themselves tested. It really is worth it.”

It was estimated that in 2010, 224,832 people in Ireland were suffering from visual impairment and this is expected rise to 271,996 by 2020 – a 21% increase. The economic cost of blindness and visual impairment in the Republic of Ireland was estimated at €2.1bn in 2010 and is expected to rise to €2.7bn by 2020, and yet 50% of visual impairment can be corrected if diagnosed and treated promptly.   

More information about the campaign is at www.facebook.com/ HealthyEyesIreland/ and it can be followed on Twitter @healthy_eyes, or via the hashtag #healthyeyes