HALF a million people in Yorkshire are putting their sight at risk by not having regular eye tests.
A report released today by the Royal National Institute of Blind People showed that 525,000 older people in our region are not getting their eyes tested.
The report – Older People and Eye Tests – found that 49% of older people surveyed are failing to have their eyes checked every year.
The charity is urging the over-60s to change this habit and have tests every year. It also and recommends young people visit an optician every two years.
A comprehensive eye-test, of 30 minutes or more, can detect conditions such as glaucoma, wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
If these conditions are diagnosed early, treatment can prevent permanent sight damage. Eye tests can even pick up related conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
But if left untreated, the conditions can caused permanent blindness.
Ian Bland, RNIB spokesman for Yorkshire, said: “Our message to people over 60 is simple: Don’t wait until you notice changes in your vision to visit your optician – get your eyes tested every year.
“Age is the highest risk factor in developing some of the most common eye conditions that can lead to blindness.
“By the time we’re 60, one in 12 of us will have developed a sight problem, by the time we are 75 it is as many as one in six. An eye test will detect the early stages of a serious condition and could save your sight.”