Eye health advice on hand during week

Patients are being invited to find out more about preventing sight loss and meet guide dogs.

During National Eye Health Week – September 22 to 28 – eye care charities and health professionals are joining together to promote the important of eye health and the need for regular sight tests.

Angela Henderson, chair of north east and Cumbria’s local eye health network, said: “Sight is the sense that lots of people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know the best way to look after our eyes.

“It is important for sight tests to be part of everyone’s healthcare routine, just like going to the dentist.

“It is so important to get your eyes tested every two years, even if you think your vision is fine, as some eye conditions may not show symptoms.

“A sight test isn’t just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses.

“Sight tests – which are free for many people including children – can detect many conditions which, if found early, can be treated successfully avoiding potential sight loss.

“For healthy eyes, we would also advise patients to eat well, avoid smoking and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.”

Members of the Eye Health Network, including the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, will be at The White Swan Centre, in Killingworth, Friday, September 26, to raise awareness of the importance of sight tests, give advice around preventing sight loss and hand out information.

Andrew Leon, engagement manager for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, North East & Cumbria, said: “Guide Dogs are committed to working with all eye health professionals to enable people who are blind and partially sighted to get out and about on their own terms and thereby reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.

“Our ‘My Guide’ service provides trained volunteers to assist those who are blind or partially sighted to access community activities and build confidence which is often lost following diagnosis of permanent and severe sight loss.”