Another recent survey on eye care – this time by polling organisation YouGov – has concluded that the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis are having a worrying impact on Britain’s eye health. Over a third (38%) of adults say their sight has got worse since the pandemic started, yet 22% cannot afford an eye test because their bills have gone up and another 22% have missed or delayed eye care appointments, including surgeries, since March 2020.
The study of over 2,000 adults, commissioned by international sight-loss charity Orbis UK, also found that 41% of adults are concerned about the impact NHS backlogs in eye surgery with have on their health and relative’s health. Furthermore, 26% of British adults have not had an eye test in the past two years (as recommended by the NHS) and 25% say they have a child aged under 18 who has never had an eye test, despite these being free of charge.
“An eye test is often where conditions can be picked up before they develop into a serious problem. But with people choosing between eating and heating, eye tests are understandably pushed further down households’ priority list,” ,” says Dr Larry Benjamin, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Trustee and Orbis Medical Volunteer for 18 years, “We recognise it’s a really difficult time for many people in Britain. But, if you are entitled to a free eye test or are overdue one, do try to book the next available appointment. If you have not had an eye test in the last two years but must pay for one, try to book one as soon as you realistically can afford to. Your eyesight is precious, getting your eyes tested could save you potential problems further down the line.”
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