Four in ten Brits ignore potentially serious eye problems, study finds

A study that looked at 2,000 adults, revealed that 41 per cent admit issues with their eyes are impacting their quality of life

Oliver Lewis
Monday 25 September 2023 07:05 BST
(Getty Images)

Four in 10 Brits are turning a blind eye to potentially serious eye problems, as many think their sight is “good enough to get by”.

Research which looked at 2,000 adults, revealed that 41 per cent admit issues with their eyes are impacting their quality of life.

And 62 per cent have delayed getting checked out because they fear they might need to have surgery to correct their vision.

But just seven per cent believe they have a good understanding of what different eye conditions entail – with 39 per cent unfamiliar with what glaucoma is.

In addition, 79 per cent are unaware of what diabetic retinopathy is, and 62 per cent wouldn’t be able to recognise the signs of age-related macular degeneration.

The research was commissioned by Newmedica, the specialist eye clinic for NHS and private patients, as a part of National Eye Health Week which is between 18 to 24 September.

Nigel Kirkpatrick, the medical director for the clinic, which offers treatment for conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, said: “It is critical to address any concerns or symptoms related to your eyes immediately.

“A delay can have serious consequences, particularly when it comes to conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma.”

The research also found 20 per cent have experienced some sort of discomfort or sudden changes in their vision in the past 12 months.

However, 35 per cent of these waited to see if the issue would go away before getting it looked at.

While 20 per cent are yet to visit a specialist even though the discomfort still persists.

Nigel Kirkpatrick added: “Our eyes play an irreplaceable role in our daily lives.

“This is why we urge people to not neglect eye conditions, because they not only jeopardise their vision but also impact their overall quality of life.

“There are lots of options available for all kinds of serious eye-health conditions, and intervention can be life-changing for those struggling with poor vision.

“Many patients are able to regain independence denied to them by failing sight, as well as enjoying new opportunities with family and friends, continuing with employment or resuming their hobbies.”

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