A retired nurse from Rothwell who has an eye disease is backing Northamptonshire Eye Health Awareness Week with a stark warning – get tested “before it’s too late”.
The week – which runs from until May 4 and is being organised by county firm Davis Optometrists – aims to raise awareness of the importance of eye health.
Anne Cash, who has the very early signs of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), is supporting the campaign, which will see talks and presentations take place at schools, GP surgeries and community centres throughout the county.
The 77-year-old said: “People need to get regular sight checks to spot the signs early of conditions like ARMD, before it’s too late and the disease sets in. Looking back I feel I could have protected my eyes better from the sunlight.
“Your eyesight too precious to ignore, nobody should take it for granted no matter what age you are.
“I have been advised to eat a healthy diet, which I have always done, alongside supplements and to protect my eyes from the sun, wearing sunglasses even on days when it’s not sunny.”
Schools are being encouraged to take part in the week with Davis providing a ready-made assembly presentation for teachers to download from the campaign website.
Davis, which has branches in Kettering, Thrapston and Rothwell, is also staging a series of talks at children’s centres, GP surgeries and local societies.
Kim Durden, a partner optometrist at Davis, said: “Our message is simple: routine eye exams are important – regardless of your age or your physical health.
“During a comprehensive eye exam, much more than just prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses can be determined. Your eyes will also be examined for common eye diseases.”
Davis will be supporting the work carried out by Guide Dogs UK for the blind and partially sighted by making a donation for every eye test carried out during the week.
Up to one in seven people in Northamptonshire has an eye-related condition, according to research compiled to promote the countywide awareness drive.
More than 93,000 county residents could potentially have one of the four leading eye diseases.
You can visit the Northamptonshire Eye Health Awareness Week website at http://www.davisopticians.co.uk/northantseyehealthweek/