Visual Impairment (Low Vision) - Introduction

Background

This section has information about your eyes, how you can look after them and what you can do if things go wrong.

64% of people value their sight more than any other sense, according to research on behalf of the College of Optometrists.

Yet even after noticing their eyesight has deteriorated, 36% said they leave it “months” and 13% said they leave it “years”, before seeking help.

A survey from Age UK in 2011 showed that nearly 2 million people over 60 had not had their free eye test in the previous two years.

Have Regular Eye Tests

It's important to regularly check your eyesight and to visit an optometrist (optician) for an eye test every two years (or sooner if advised by your optometrist), so they can check for signs of vision loss.

Having an eye test will tell you if you need new glasses. It will check the health of your eyes and can spot eye conditions before you become aware of them so they can be treated early, such as glaucoma and cataracts. It can also check general health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

It is still important to have eye tests even if you already have visual impairment, as your optometrist can monitor for further changes in your eyes and advise on making the best use of your vision.

Lots of people can have free eye tests and some can have vouchers towards glasses and contact lenses, so find out if you're eligible.

For more information, please click on the web link below to take you to the web site page:

NHS Choices - Am I entitled to a free NHS eye test?

What If Things Change With Your Eyes?

Any worsening in your sight should be checked by an optometrist. Signs that you need to seek help include:

  • Colours look a bit washed out.
  • It’s difficult to judge the depth of steps.
  • Straight lines look wobbly.
  • It’s hard to read.
  • It’s harder to see road signs when you’re driving.

It's important not to wait for things to get worse. They are not just a part of getting older, they are signs that tell you that something is wrong, so contact an optometrist.

 

Relevant Topics

 

Visual Impairment (Low Vision)

Visual Impairment (Low Vision) - Introduction

What is Visual Impairment (Low Vision)?

Main Causes of Visual Impairment (Low Vision)

Visual Impairment (Low Vision) - Treatment & Support

Visual Impairment (Low Vision) - Services

Visual Impairment (Low Vision) - Local Optometry Schemes

Visual Impairment - Keeping your eyes healthy (Top 10 Tips)

Shropshire Services & Self-Help Support Groups - Visual Impairment (Low Vision)

National Services - Visual Impairment (Low Vision)

 

Self Care and Support

Self Care and Support - Introduction