Our High Streets boast some of the most important healthcare professionals in the NHS but many of us do not think to use them.
Optometrists based in high street opticians are key healthcare specialists trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, eye diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.
A detailed eye exam can reveal conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Optometrists make a diagnosis, offer advice and when necessary prescribe, fit and supply contact lenses or glasses to correct vision. They can also help decide on the best course of treatment for eye problems and if necessary, refer you to an eye specialist.
A new NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde campaign aims to get people more aware of all the services their local High Street optician has to offer. This is another strand to our Know Who To Turn To campaign which urges people to access the right services to get the right treatment in the most appropriate time.
Posters will be sent to GP surgeries, dental surgeries, pharmacies and sports centres as well as opticians encouraging people that For Eye problems: Look No Further Than Your Optometrist.
NHSGGC consultant ophthalmologist Beth MacDonald said: “Many people think of their High Street optician as someone to dispense glasses for reading or distance but they can offer more than just the latest glasses.
“As part of the health profession, they have the equipment necessary to fully check out the health of the eye.”
Optometrists are trained to examine the eyes to detect defects in vision, signs of injury, ocular (eye) diseases or abnormality and problems with general health.
People often wait until their vision is affected or they difficulty reading or seeing things in the distance before making an appointment to visit but NHSGGC is urging anyone with any concerns about their vision whether you are suffering blurred or double vision, a feeling of grit in the eye or if they eyes feel sticky to visit your local optometrist.
All eye tests are covered by the NHS so there is no charge for people who wish to have their eyes checked.
Conditions such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness in the Western World, is a real concern even though the majority of people have never heard of it.
Many optometrists are warning that the lack of awareness of the symptoms of AMD means that some people may be suffering from sight loss unnecessarily and others may not been accessing support available.
All optometrists practicing in the UK must be registered with the General Optical Council, the profession’s regulatory body, and are listed in the Opticians Register.
Notes to editors
The NHSGGC Know Who To Turn To Campaign is designed to help people access the right service to ensures you receive the right treatment in the shortest possible time, it also helps the NHS run efficiently, freeing up emergency and out of hours services for those who need them most. Find out more at: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/content/default.asp?page=home_seasonal
For more information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]