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Campaign launched to encourage everyone over 30 in Wales to get a sight test

29 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Photo by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

The Welsh Government has launched a new campaign to encourage everyone over 30 to get an eye test.

The campaign stresses that routine sight tests are the best way to make sure your eyes are healthy, and could lead to successful treatment for unknown, sight threatening conditions and maybe even your life.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Glaucoma, diabetes, and myopia are amongst the health conditions that can be detected and treated earlier, through eye examinations at your local optometry practice.

“Optometrists (opticians) can also pick up other problems like brain tumours, so a routine sight test could save your life. It’s very important that adults over age 30 go for a regular sight test. Many people in Wales qualify for a free sight test and some employers will also pay for you to have your test.”

No symptoms

Some conditions that cause sight loss have no symptoms, but a sight test can often pick up on these conditions before any changes in vision are noticed – leading to vital and sometimes sight saving treatment.

NHS sight tests are free to those who are eligible. As well as the young and elderly, people on benefits or those with a family history of glaucoma, if you use computer screens at work, the law requires your employer to arrange a free sight test for you, if you request one.

Most employers usually agree to pay for the sight test that you have arranged for yourself.

As a result of a new agreement, more people in Wales can now get their eyes tested for free. People who are at greater risk of developing certain eye conditions can receive free eye examinations from The Eye Health Examination Wales Scheme (EHEW). Including people from Black or Asian ethnic groups, are deaf or blind people, those requiring urgent attention for and eye problems and those referred by their GP by an EHEW registered optometrist.

The Health Minister added: “To help reduce hospital waiting times, improve patient outcomes and address the increased demand for eye care services, the Welsh Government is changing how eye care is delivered in Wales through a new optometry contract – Meaning that high street optometrists can effectively monitor and treat a greater range of eye conditions, so more people can get their eyes checked for free, quicker, and closer to home.

David O’Sullivan, Wales’ Chief Optometric Adviser said: “From the age of 30 onwards our eyesight can deteriorate, and certain conditions can develop. So, it’s important for everyone to get a regular eye health check. Your local optometrist is highly qualified in detecting eye conditions and regular check-ups can save your eyesight and even on occasions save lives.”

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