Why you must get regular eye tests


86% of Brits admit to experiencing problems with their eyesight

Official figures released to mark the start of National Eye Health Week reveal 86% of Brits admit to experiencing problems with their eyesight. Yet, according to the Eyecare Trust, 20 Million of us fail to have regular sight tests.

Guest blog posted by Associated Optical 

  • 86% of Brits admit to having problems with their eyes
  • 20 million fail to have regular sight tests
  • 7% of employees have taken time off work because of poor eye health
  • 2,500 GP consultations a day for blepharitis

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the main reason why so many of us put off having a sight test is the fear of how much it’s going to cost. This, despite the fact that more than 30 million people in the UK are entitled to FREE sight tests, paid for by the NHS. The most needy are also entitled to NHS vouchers towards the cost of any eyewear that may be required. Many others are also entitled to eyecare paid for by their employer.

Regular eye test are essential

Regular eye test are essential

Among the more surprising findings is the fact that half (50%) of all parents in the UK do not take their children for regular sight tests.

Top eye health complaints include blurred vision, dry irritated eyes, eyestrain and eye infections.

One common eye infection is Blepharitis – an inflammatory condition associated with itchiness, redness, flaking, and crusting of the eyelids. This condition alone accounts for an estimated 2,500 GP consultations a day – despite the fact that home remedies (such as warm compresses) are often just as effective as prescription medication in relieving symptoms.

According to research commissioned by not for profit health insurer, Westfield Health seven percent of employees have recently taken time off work due to poor eye health with respondents citing eye infections as the most frequent cause for being absent from the work place.

Commenting on the findings David Cartwright, Chair of National Eye Health Week said: “Sight tests are essential health checks. Not only can they detect common eye conditions, such as glaucoma, before they cause irreversible vision loss, they can also uncover signs of general health problems, including diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.The worrying truth is that many of us only go to see our optometrist when we are aware something is wrong and sadly this can mean the damage is already done.


The call to action that everyone should heed is that regular eye tests must be a priority. Don’t wait as early detection could save your sight.