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Sheffield Optometrist backs spring eye health campaign with investment in ultra wide-field retinal imaging equipment

Alex and Sarah Gage with Debra Revill from OptosThe weather this week suggests that spring will soon be upon us and, as such, our thoughts will turn to the annual spring clean.  But how often do you think about giving your health a spring clean? As news is released that Yorkshire’s favourite actress, Dame Judi Dench’s eyesight is failing due to macular degeneration, it’s all the more timely to consider an all important eye test as part of a health MOT.

Of the 3,000 people who were polled for the The Eye Love My Local Independent Optician spring MOT campaign, a quarter admitted to not having had their eyes tested for more than two years. Consequently, the Eye Love My Local Optician campaign is urging people of every age to book an eye test to maintain the health of what 75 per cent of those surveyed regarded as their most valued of all the four senses.

Sheffield Optometrist Alex Gage owns practices in Crosspool and Woodseats and is acutely aware of the potential dangers of not having regular eye examinations.  He said: “We recommend and encourage everyone to have an eye exam at least every two years to maintain prolonged eye health. The eye is the only place in the body where it’s possible to directly look in and see blood vessels and arteries – so it’s important to visit your eye care professional, even if you are not experiencing any vision problems.

“We have just invested in Optos, the most advanced technology in eye care, at our Crosspool practice.  Most retinal imaging equipment can only view up to 20% of the eye at any one time, but the Optos’s ultra wide-field imaging can view 80% of your retina instantly  in one panoramic image (an Optomap) and can show early signs of many conditions, retinal (glaucoma and macular degeneration) and others (such as diabetes, cataracts hypertension and raised cholesterol) before you notice any symptoms.  The sooner a condition is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and good sight can be maintained.”

Optomap was developed by Optos, a company founded 20 years ago by Douglas Anderson after his then five-year-old son, Leif, went blind in one eye when a retinal detachment was detected too late. Routine exams were uncomfortable, especially for a child, which made it impossible for the doctor to conduct a complete exam and view the entire retina.Douglas set out to develop a patient-friendly retinal imaging product that encompassed a digital widefield image of the retina easily. “With the optomap exam, Leif’s detached retina might have been detected in time to be properly treated. His eye could have been saved” said Anderson.

To find out more about the Eye Love My Local Independent Optician campaign, visit www.eyelovelocal.co.uk to access tips and advice on taking care of your eyes and to locate your nearest independent optician.