Posted: Fri 29th Sep 2023

New campaign urges over-30s in Wales to undergo routine eye tests

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 29th, 2023

The Welsh Government is urging adults over the age of 30 to schedule a sight test at their local opticians.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan has launched the ‘Help Us Help You’ optometry campaign, underlining the significance of routine sight tests in ensuring healthy eyes and timely treatment for unknown, sight-threatening conditions.

Ms Morgan pointed out the potential of optometrists to detect health conditions like glaucoma, diabetes, and myopia at an early stage, enabling more effective treatment and potentially saving lives.

“Optometrists 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,” she stated.

Many people in Wales, including those at greater risk of developing certain eye conditions, qualify for free NHS sight tests.

This includes individuals from Black or Asian ethnic groups, the deaf or blind, those requiring urgent attention for their eye problems, or those referred by their GP by an EHEW registered optometrist.

The campaign highlights that some conditions causing sight loss have no noticeable symptoms initially.

A timely sight test can often detect these conditions early, allowing vital treatment to commence, safeguarding individuals’ eyesight.

In alignment with the campaign, the Welsh Government is restructuring how eye care is delivered in the country, with a new optometry contract in place.

This shift enables high street optometrists to effectively monitor and treat a broader range of eye conditions.

The Eye Health Examination Wales Scheme (EHEW) is another initiative offering free eye examinations to more people in Wales.

David O’Sullivan, Wales’ Chief Optometric Adviser, echoed the Minister’s call, emphasising the importance of regular eye health checks from the age of 30 onwards.

“Your local optometrist is highly qualified in detecting eye conditions and regular check-ups can save your eyesight and even on occasions save lives,” O’Sullivan reinforced.

With these measures, the Welsh Government aims to reduce hospital waiting times, improve patient outcomes, and meet the increasing demand for eye care services, ensuring more people can receive necessary eye checks for free, quickly, and closer to home, supporting the overall health and well-being of the Welsh population.

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