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Specsavers keeps an eye on men’s health

UK’s largest optical retailer produces eyecare guide for National Men’s Health Week

SPECSAVERS Opticians has kick started National Men’s Health Week by producing a guide to healthy eyes.

The initiative follows the detection of life-threatening illnesses and sight problems by opticians during routine eye tests.

The UK’s largest optical retailer* claims that men are more reluctant than women to have preventative health checks, despite the fact that simple measures, such as an eye examination, could be potentially life saving.

Specsavers co-founder Mary Perkins says: ‘Optometrists are trained over four years to identify eye-related illnesses, such as glaucoma and cataracts, and other serious medical conditions that you wouldn’t normally associate with the eyes, such as diabetes and arthritis.

‘Last year alone, our opticians detected brain tumours and even a rare form of bowel cancer, which were caught early enough to save the patients’ lives.’

Recent research conducted by the RNIB revealed that more than 12 million people a year are taking a gamble on their eyesight, with thousands suffering serious sight loss, which would be preventable by a straightforward eye test.

Specsavers in New Malden recently discovered that patient Alistair had a detached retina and urged him to seek immediate medical attention. He had an urgent operation at Moorfields Eye Hospital that same evening.

Alistair says: ‘I have been told that if my optician Ahmed hadn’t detected this condition I would have lost my sight completely within a few days.

New Malden optician, Ahmed says, ‘To be on the safe side, people should have their eyes tested every two years, although people over the age of 40 to 45 are more susceptible to presbyopia when the lens gradually begins to deteriorate. Men over 40 should be extra vigilant as they may need glasses for reading or close work.’

Specsavers healthy eyes checklist

· If you are suffering from redness in the white of the eye (the sclera) in small areas, it is probably due to an injury or is part of the ageing process. If the whole of the sclera appears reddened there could be many causes, such as infection, allergy, glaucoma or straightforward tiredness. If redness persists, it’s best to have it checked out.

· If you are suffering from watery eyes, there may be a foreign body obstructing the drainage system, resulting in an overflow of tears. Watery eyes can also be caused by allergy, so it’s always wise to seek an examination by your optician.

· Dry eyes could simply be a by-product of the ageing process but can also be caused by the use of certain medications, such as antihistamines or antidepressants. Living and/or working in a dry environment could also be a cause. More serious medical conditions, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome, are also linked to dry eyes.

· Flashes and floaters are tiny spots which appear across your field of vision and are usually caused by age. However, if an increasing number of floaters appear or they worsen, this may indicate retinal detachment or visual complications of diabetes, so it’s always best to have this checked out.

· The most common cause of discharge from the eye is conjunctivitis, which can be easily treated. A more serious problem may be cataracts.

· Itchiness, usually accompanied by redness or watery eyes, is a common symptom of allergies and infections.

Specsavers Opticians Notes to editors:
· Specsavers celebrates 20 years in business in 2004.
· Specsavers employs more than 10,000 people.
· Specsavers currently has 600 stores and more than 700 joint venture partners across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.
· Specsavers is furthering its European expansion with the acquisition of Swedish optical company Blic.
· Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group reached record levels of £545m in 2003.
· Specsavers plans to open an additional 40 stores in the UK in 2004.
· Specsavers recently recorded £11m sales in just one week.
· One in three people who wear glasses buy them from Specsavers Opticians – 6 million frames were sold during 2003.
· Specsavers sells a pair of glasses every six seconds.
· Specsavers has recently been voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the third year running by Reader’s Digest, which surveyed nearly 40,000 consumers in 18 countries.
· Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe.
· Specsavers was the biggest global supplier of continuous wear lenses in 2003.
· Specsavers has a 31% share of the market* - three times that of its nearest competitor.
· Specsavers performed 3.8million eye tests in the UK last year (Mar’02/Feb’03 inclusive); 61% of which were on the NHS.
· Specsavers was the first optical retailer to be invited to join The Brand Council and become one of the UK’s SuperBrands in 2002.
· Specsavers is expanding its business and now has more than 20 Hearcare stores throughout the UK.

* GfK Home Audit (December) 2003
“©2003 Specsavers Optical Group Limited. All rights reserved.”


Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of Specsavers Opticians.

For further information please contact:
Amanda Fry/ Helen Trevorrow 0207 930 0453

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Tigerbond Group Ltd in the following categories: Men's Interest, Health, for more information visit