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Thursday 27th October 2016

Older people sight loss 'risk'

12th September 2007

A leading charity has warned that millions of older people in the UK who fail to have regular eye tests are at risk of losing their sight.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) discovered that nearly half of people aged over 60 were not having annual tests.

They say that regular testing can pick up early signs of glaucoma, wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and is urging the government to make older people aware of the risks.

RNIB campaigns manager Barbara McLaughlan said: “Age is the highest risk factor in developing some of the most common eye conditions that can lead to blindness.

“Our message to people over 60 is simple: don’t wait until you notice changes in your vision to visit your optician - get your eyes tested every year.?

The RNIB based its findings on a survey conducted by Age Concern among 5,000 people aged 60 to 89.

The research found that although 70% of people understood that the main purpose of an eye test was to check for early symptoms of various eye conditions, this did not encourage them to have one.

Many of the people who had not undergone an eye test in the previous two years said that it was because they did not have any problems with their eyes.

However, the RNIB says that conditions like early-stage glaucoma have no symptoms and that up to 40% of a person's sight can be lost before they are aware of the problem.


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