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The Federation Of Opticians In Ireland Introduces New ‘Healthy Eyes’ Campaign

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We at the Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians (FODO) and The Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI) have come together for the ‘Healthy Eyes’ campaign to mark World Sight Day in Ireland.

We need to raise awareness across Ireland of the importance of eye tests as a vital health check for everyone, and with Optical Express running four clinics across Ireland in Dublin, Newbridge and Cork, we’ve been invited to share the news of our campaign here on the Optical Express blog.

We launched the campaign this October as, despite the ongoing efforts of Irish healthcare professionals, the population continue to suffer from sight loss of which more than 50% is preventable. Research also indicates that up to 75% of sight loss in older people can be avoided[i]. These conditions can only be prevented if they are detected early, and the key to that is a regular eye test – some quite serious eye conditions often don’t present any symptoms until it’s too late.

There are currently over 220,000 people living with sight loss in Ireland and this is forecast to increase to 271,996[ii] by 2020, as the overall population ages.

Furthermore, given the growing incidence in key underlying causes of sight loss such as obesity and diabetes, this could represent an underestimate if Ireland does not take a comprehensive approach to early detection and treatment. The Irish government has already signed up to the World Health Organisation goal of eliminating avoidable sight loss by 2020 – we want to keep building on that and push to make it a reality.

It’s World Sight Day this Thursday, and the theme this year is ‘Get Your Eyes Tested’. And so if you live in Ireland and you’re reading this, we urge you to think when you last had your eyes tested. We recommend that you have a test every two years, and so if you are due another appointment don’t put it off – your eyesight should never be taken for granted.

 

[i] Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (2005) Vision problems among older Australians)

[ii] NCBI (2010) The Cost of Sight Loss – The economic impact of vision impairment and blindness in the Republic of Ireland)

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