Southampton has a higher than average rate of preventable sight loss, alongside a lower than average rate of access to retinal screening. Sight loss can have far-reaching social and economic consequences such as loss of independence, increased risk of falls and mental health issues. Sight loss can be avoided in many cases by having regular screening and early detection and timely treatment can often prevent progression of eye disease.
We have also recently launched a Minor Eye Conditions Service, which is now available in opticians across the city. This means that if you have an eye problem that isn’t an emergency, such as sore eyes, red eyes or visual disturbance, you may be able to visit a local optician for assessment and treatment with the Minor Eye Conditions Service. Find out more about the service and where it is available.
To help you and your family keep your eyes healthy, check out this animation about why having regular eye tests is so important, take a look at our eye health tips below or find out more about eye health from NHS Choices.
- Sight tests aren’t just about vision, they are also a vital check on the health of eyes, to check for diseases such as glaucoma - even hypertension and diabetes can be detected in a sight test.
- Unless advised otherwise, eye sight and health should be checked every two years. Diabetics should have annual retinal screening from the age of 12.
- Patients may be eligible for a free eye test depending on circumstances, pre-existing conditions and/or family history.
- Wear sunglasses - UV exposure can cause cataracts, cancers and macular degeneration.
- Stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and a healthy diet are important for eye health.