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London: How can your weight affect your eyesight?

Obesity directly affects sight loss, so if you’re overweight or just worried about your sight, log hrs (GMT)

It is common knowledge that expanding waistlines are linked to life-threatening conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But many of us are unaware that obesity is also linked to blindness and other serious eye health issues.

Excess body weight can cause damage to blood vessels in the eye – linked to the onset of glaucoma and diabetes. Studies have also shown people with a high body mass index (BMI) tend to have low macula pigment density and are therefore at greater risk of suffering diseases such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration). Likewise, too much alcohol, too much smoking, and even too much time at the computer screen contributes heavily to losing your eyesight.

According to official figures almost one in four UK adults are obese (23% in 2006), expected by the government to hit one in three adults next year. However many Brits are unaware that they even class as ‘obese’ and are therefore putting their eyes at risk.

National Eye Week (9th to 15th November), organised by the Eyecare Trust, seeks to promote the importance of looking after your eyes and making regular visits to the optician. If you are worried about how your weight can affect your eyesight, make sure you log onto our live and interactive Web TV show with a director of the Eyecare Trust Rosie Gavzey and David Dickinson, (pictured) for top tips on adjusting your lifestyle to keep your eyes healthy, advice on spotting on the early warning signs and ideas on how to meet the cost of eyecare and eye wear.

Rosie Gavzey, a Director of the Eyecare Trust and David Dickinson, join us live HowObesityaffectsEyehealth on the 9th of November at 14:00 to discuss sight loss and obesity.

Click here to submit questions before the chat HowObesityaffectsEyehealth

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British men ignore eye health, reveals new survey

London: British men are seriously neglecting their eyes, according to a national study for Vision Express, the UK national chain of optometrists.

A poll of more than 2,000 men and women found that more than two-thirds of men (67%) have spent nothing on eye care in the last 12 months in contrast to 53% of women.

Men said that hair care was a higher priority, with investment in hair care dwarfing investment in eye care over a twelve month period. 80% have spent money on hair care and 34% have spent £50 or more in the last 12 months.

The study also found that women are twice as likely to invest in hair care as they are in eye care, which attracts similar levels of investment to amounts spent on nail care or foot care.

“It seems crazy that we spend more on our appearance than we do on preserving our ability to see,” said Bryan Magrath, CEO of Vision Express. “Our eye sight is vital and is under all sorts of pressures in the workplace and in our leisure time. An eye exam should be part of our annual health regime.”

Recent trials of new digital retinal cameras at Vision Express found that in one in 20 examinations, patients were referred to the NHS for specialist examination due to the detection of anomalies. Vision Express has just completed the £multi-million roll-out of the new digital retinal cameras, capable of taking images of the interior of the eye.

The study also found that across the adult population, the 18-24 year old age group are most neglectful of their eye sight. Nearly one in 10 (8%) in this age bracket claim to have never had their eyes tested.

Vision Express is partnering with the Institute of Ophthalmology this year to explore further improvements in eye examination techniques across its national network of more than 300 High Street locations. The partnership forms part of Vision Express’s commitment to being the leading High Street specialist in eye care and eye health.
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About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of Britain’s leading chains of opticians, with a national network of more than 300 stores. Built on a passion for the optical profession and a drive for unparalleled customer service, Vision Express opened the first ‘one hour’ Opticians in 1988 and remains the pioneer of a genuine one-hour service today. Vision Express is part of Europe’s largest optical retailing network that includes eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D’Optique.