The council is promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight exams as part of National Eye Health Week from 18-24 September 2017.
Everyone is at risk of sight loss, but some people are at higher risk including: older people, people from black and minority ethnic communities, people with diabetes, smokers and those who suffer socioeconomic deprivation.
There are over 1,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in Tower Hamlets. However, 3,980 people are estimated to be living with sight loss.
This indicates there may be a large number of people in the borough living with sight loss but not seeking support, accessing services or registered.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “By having an eye exam every two years you can help protect your sight and detect early signs of conditions you may not be aware of.”
It is estimated that over 50 per cent of sight loss could be avoided through regular (at least every two years) eye examinations. Some conditions can be treated simply by getting a pair of glasses or changing prescription.
An eye test can detect early signs of eye conditions like glaucoma, cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure which can also affect the eye. In people with diabetes, attendance to the diabetic eye screening programme can identify early signs of diabetic eye disease.
Eye exams are free if:
- you or your partner are in receipt of certain state benefits
- you have been diagnosed as having diabetes or glaucoma
- you are 40 or over and have a direct relative with glaucoma
- you are registered blind or partially sighted
- you are under 16 or over 60 years old or aged 16-18 and in full time education.
Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of public health at Tower Hamlets Council said: “Stopping smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and keeping your eyes covered in the sun can help decrease the risk of sight loss.”
Health promotion stalls providing further advice will be held on Tuesday 19 September at Whitechapel Sainsbury’s,1 Cambridge Heath Road, E1 5SD from 10am – 4pm and Thursday 21 September at the Poplar Pavilion, East India Square, East India Dock Road, E14 6BT (next to the Idea Store) from 10am – 3pm.
For more information on eye health, visit your local optician or www.nhs.uk/Livewell/eyehealth.
Posted on Friday 15th September 2017