Regular eye tests is what Vision Express wants to see after reports suggest that drivers should undergo regular eye tests following some new research from the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) showing that 18 per cent of over 45s have not had an eye test in the last five years or not had one at all.
The IGA commissioned the survey to coincide with National Glaucoma Awareness Week (June 8-14). This year’s campaign, “Can You See to Drive?”, has encouraged people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. Particularly important with glaucoma as it has no symptoms in the early stages – something only 24 per cent of the 1000 over 45s surveyed knew.
The study also found that 15 per cent of participants did not know what glaucoma was and the same amount incorrectly believed the condition cannot be treated. A worrying 6 per cent of men said they have had, or nearly had, a car accident owing to their own or someone else’s poor sight.
Regular eye tests would help
The IGA highlighted the requirement for people with glaucoma-damaged vision to both eyes to report the condition to the DVLA. The survey showed 5 per cent wouldn’t report glaucoma to the DVLA if advised by a health professional, either because they thought it would stop them from driving, or because they did not think they need to.
Russell Young, CEO of the IGA said: ‘The majority of us wouldn’t take our cars on the road without an annual service and MOT yet, we are happy to put ourselves behind the wheel without knowing if we can see safely to drive.’
Vision Express has helped to raise awareness of glaucomaby encouraging drivers to have an eye test at least once every two years offering a free glasses ‘MOT’.