Given the choice, over a third of women would prefer to spend money on a spa treatment instead of a potentially health-saving sight test, (which only less than a quarter would choose), our poll on behalf of the organisers of the annual awareness campaign National Eye Health Week has revealed.
The research also revealed a nationwide problem in Britain. More than two in five people do not have regular sight tests, while more than one in ten women are unaware that health conditions, other than simple eye problems, can be picked up through a sight test. Of women who say that they do not have 20/20 vision, a quarter says that improved eyesight would have a positive impact on their life.
- If all costs were the same, given the choice, over a third of women (34%) would prefer to spend money on a spa treatment than a sight test
- While less than a quarter (23%) would choose to have a sight test
- The poll also discovered that 42% of people do not have regular sight tests
- 16% of women interviewed were unaware that other health conditions, such as high blood pressure, can be picked up through a sight test
- Of women who report not having 20/20 vision, a quarter (25%) feels that improving their eyesight would have a positive impact on their life
Francesca Marchetti, optometrist and spokesperson for annual awareness campaign National Eye Health Week, has said: ‘Sight tests are of vital importance to your vision and your general health, so even if you don’t wear glasses you still need to have regular sight tests. Many eye conditions such as glaucoma do not have symptoms in the early stages, yet if detected early enough, many can be treated, and potential blindness avoided. Equally a sight test does not just show how well you can see, it can also show signs of potentially life threatening conditions. It seems we have not yet got this message. Great though spa treatments are, for both men and women, please put a sight test before a mud wrap!’
Time, cost and a belief that their vision is fine are the main reasons given by women for not having a regular sight test. Yet an average sight test takes around half an hour and will only cost around £20 – in reality, considerably less than the average facial. Many people, including children aged 16 and under, people over 60 and those on certain benefits, are entitled to a free NHS sight test.
Author Sue Townsend, who lost her sight to diabetic retinopathy in 2001, says ‘I urge everyone to do the simple things to avoid sight loss happening to them. It took me years to get used to my new, sightless world. It only takes minutes to get a sight test. Please do it.’