Pensioners who fail to have regular eye tests risk depression and feel isolated and vulnerable according to a shocking report launched to mark National Eye Week (December 2007).
The ‘Sight after Sixty’ report commissioned by national sight charity the Eyecare Trust and the Central (LOC) Fund found one in three Senior Citizens who missed out on regular sight tests said the quality of their vision caused them to feel depressed and vulnerable.
96% of the population aged 60+ require some form of vision correction. However, more than four million Senior Citizens across the UK are missing out on vital NHS sight tests. More than a quarter of those questioned said that the quality of their vision restricted their daily routine and more than half struggled with reading books and newspapers.
People aged 60 – 69 years of age are entitled to a free eye examination paid for by the NHS once every two years and people aged 70+ are entitled to an annual check-up.
Statistics for Senior Citizens and Eye Related Diseases:
Glaucoma – An estimated half a million people suffer from glaucoma in England and Wales alone.
Age-Related Cataracts – 26% of all cases of sight loss in people aged 75+ is due to untreated cataracts despite the fact that vision can be restored with a routine surgical procedure.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration – By the time you reach the age of 75 you have a one in three chance of suffering from the condition.
Diabetic Retinopathy – According to Diabetes UK more than half a million people with diabetes suffer from diabetic retinopathy.
Dry Eye – Keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome is the most common cause of eye irritation in people aged 65 and over.