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Let’s face it, we take our vision for granted.  If we were to lose one sense ….  vision would be at the bottom of most peoples list.

In the United Kingdom there are approximately 2 million people who suffer from visual problems.  Screening tests for eye problems are rarely performed in that part of the population who have no visual problems.  Many eye conditions that can cause loss of vision can be detected early and treated successfully thereby avoiding the possibility of sight loss.


Opticians are specialists trained to detect and diagnose eye problems.  They can fit corrective spectacles or contact lenses if applicable or refer you to an Opthalmologist for treatment if necessary.

Orthoptists specialise in the screening and treatment of children’s visual problems.  If your child has visual problems the earlier they are diagnosed and treated the quicker your child can lead a healthy normal life.

Lifestyle and diet

Lifestyle and diet plays a very important role in contributing to eye health.  Obesity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all contribute to increasing the risk of visual problems.

Reducing obesity

If you have a correctly controlled balanced diet this reduces the risk of diabetes.  To prevent Diabetic Retinopathy the retina needs a constant supply of blood, it receives this through a network of minute blood vessels.  With diabetes patients, a continuously high blood sugar level may damage the retina by causing the blood vessels to leak or become blocked, affecting sight causing partial blindness.


Smoking also reduces the fine blood circulation to the eye.  Increased smoking can increase the risk of age related degeneration of the Macula, cataracts and of course increase the risk and severity of Diabetes.

For more information contact your regional Local Optical Committee at or visit NHS choices at