Sight loss charity partners with high street opticians

Leading sight loss charity the Macular Society has announced a partnership with Vision Express this month, which will see the opticians donate £3 from every eye test in September to the charity.

In support of National Eye Health Week, Vision Express will be raising vital funds towards research to help find a cure and to provide services for people affected by macular disease.

Throughout the month the UK-wide initiative will see £3 from every eye test, including free NHS tests, donated to the Macular Society.

During lockdown in the UK, hospital eye clinics have seen a 70 per cent drop in new referrals for patients with macular disease, putting thousands of people’s sight at risk.

The Macular Society is encouraging those who have noticed any symptoms with their sight, such as wavy lines and blurriness, to visit their opticians immediately and anyone who is due a routine eye test to book an appointment this month.

Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Macular Society, said: “We are so grateful to Vision Express for their support with this campaign and helping to beat macular disease by funding vital research and support.

The number of people affected by macular disease is huge and it is a problem which was only getting worse, before the pandemic. Funding research is the only way we will find a cure for this devastating condition.

“We fear that after the coronavirus crisis thousands of people will be left with irreversible sight loss because they have ignored symptoms and continued to avoid routine eye tests. It is more important than ever before to visit an optician and look after your eyes. We want to thank Vision Express for continuing to highlight the importance of taking your eye health seriously. Sight loss can be devastating but an early diagnosis can help you get the treatment or support you need.”

While many opticians were closed for routine eye tests during lockdown, they have now reopened, including all Vision Express stores.

The company is encouraging everyone to take their eye health seriously and visit one of their branches in September to help beat macular disease.

Onur Koksal, CEO at Vision Express, said: “Whilst September brings a very important week of the year for us, National Eye Health Week; for 2020 we are proud to kickstart a whole month of exciting activity in partnership with the Macular Society. With over a million people already living with avoidable sight loss, this could rise by 40% by 2030. This, combined with the fact that many will have missed regular eye checks during the lockdown, means this number could be even higher.

“Our sight is our most precious sense and loss of it can be permanent however early diagnosis, can save this. We hope that this year’s National Eye Health Week campaign will be one of our biggest and together with the Macular Society, will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

For more information, or to book your eye test online visit Vision Express.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Every day, around 300 people are diagnosed with macular disease. It’s the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. Macular disease is cruel and isolating. It steals your sight, your independence, and your ability to do the things you love.

It can affect people of any age – even children – but not enough is known about why, and there is still no cure. There is only one way to Beat Macular Disease for good. We must fund much more research now, until we find a cure, or find treatments that stop it in its tracks.

Together we can fund the research that will find the cure. Together we can make sure the next generation won’t have their sight, confidence, and love of life stolen from them by macular disease.

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