A woman who was advised to contact her doctor for suspected high cholesterol following an eye test is urging others to look after their eye health.
Julie Tiffany, 53, diary manager for Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, has long campaigned for mandatory eye testing for drivers. To set a good example, she attended a free sight screening when a Vision Express mobile eye test unit visited the town as part of the optician chain’s Macular Week UK tour.
The visit by the van to St George’s Square was prompted by figures showing the rate of sight loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is higher in Huddersfield than the national average. The eye tests found that more than 90% of visitors to the van were found to be putting their sight at risk.
AMD affects more than 600,000 people in the UK with another 200 new cases detected every day. In Kirklees, 123 per 100,000 people are have preventable sight loss relating to the condition. Kirklees also has a high population of people at risk of developing AMD. The condition overwhelmingly affects older people and 37% of Kirklees residents are aged over 65.
AMD affects the macular, near the centre of the eye, and causes loss of central vision.
Julie, who lives in Brighouse, hadn’t had an eye test for 15 years. She said: “The optometrist detected a ring in my eye, which suggests I might have high cholesterol.” She also found she needed a new prescription.