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Have you had an eye test in the last two years? Half of people in Ireland haven't

A fifth have never had a sight test at all.

Image: eye strain via Shutterstock

AS MANY AS half of all adults in Ireland have neglected to have eye health check-ups as frequently as recommended, a new survey reveals.

A fifth have never had a sight test at all, and assume they have 20/20 vision. This figure rises to 36% among those aged under 35.

The figures are contained in a new Behaviour & Attitudes survey of 1000 adults, released in advance of Healthy Eyes awareness week.

Check-up

The week is being coordinated by the Federation of Dispensing Opticians (FODO) Ireland, the Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI) and the Irish Association of Dispensing Opticians (IADO).

Half of those surveyed had not had an eye check-up in the past two years, the recommended maximum period between examinations.

FODO Ireland’s head of policy Ann Blackmore said that despite a fear of losing their eyesight, most people do not include their eyes as a “core part of their health routine”.

“An eye test is a vital health check which can detect a range of health conditions for which you may be experiencing no symptoms and where early detection can prevent sight loss,” she added.

The alliance of groups are warning that as the number of people aged over 65 is expected to double within decades, eye health needs to be a priority, and have flagged that many are now experiencing eye strain due to the increased use of smartphones.

The Government has committed to the objectives of Vision 2020, a global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness.

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Nicky Ryan

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