Tom Brake MP joins eye health campaign

June 29, 2011 5:15 PM

Tom Brake MP this month joined eye professionals and representatives of national sight loss charities in Parliament to mark National Eye Health Week. At least 50 per cent of sight loss is avoidable if identified early enough.

A simple sight test offers the quickest and easiest way to check eye health and make sure that our sight is not in danger of diseases which, in their early stages, can have no obvious symptoms.

Tom said: "Sight loss affects two million people in the UK. Unless we start taking action to prevent people from losing their sight we will be facing a public health crisis in eye health in a few years time."

The number of people with sight loss is expected to double to nearly 4 million over the coming decades unless action is taken to raise the profile of sight loss and educate people on the importance of eye health.

David Scott-Ralphs, Chairman of National Eye Health Week, said: "National Eye Health Week has been an opportunity to emphasise the need for everyone to have a regular sight test as a crucial part of their healthcare routine. Just as importantly, it has also been an opportunity to look at national and local policies to ensure that eye health gets the attention it deserves."

Tom added: "I will be working locally with our NHS and Local Authorities to ensure that public health action includes plans to prevent the loss of sight. Directors of Public Health need to take notice and include the eye health of their local population into any future Joint Strategic Needs Assessments that look to identify future health and wellbeing strategies."

The National Eye Health Week website at www.visionmatters.org.uk features lifestyle and health advice, including tips on how to look after your eyes and what to expect as part of a sight test. It also provides information on who is entitled to a free sight test and help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses.

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