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Specsavers Opticians is keeping an eye on your health
for National Glaucoma Week

SPECSAVERS OPTICIANS have joined the fight against glaucoma to help raise awareness of the biggest cause of blindness in the country.

Organised by the International Glaucoma Society, FROG (For Relief of Glaucoma) Week takes place between 11 and 17 June this year.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that can cause blindness. Statistics show that glaucoma affects 19 per cent of 50 year olds in the UK. People at increased risk are the over-40s, the extremely shortsighted, people with a family history of glaucoma, diabetes sufferers and people of Afro-Caribbean origin.

Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers opticians says: ‘Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the UK and we want to make more people aware of it. Most people think that you only need an eye test when there is something wrong with your sight, but a thorough eye examination can also be an indicator of your overall health too.’

Glaucoma is often related to a change in the flow of the fluid inside the eye, which leads to an increase in the pressure inside the eye, and damage to the optic nerve. Some types of glaucoma develop gradually, and the sufferer often is unaware of any problem until it is quite severe.

Early detection and treatment is vital and can mean that glaucoma need no longer lead to blindness. A series of three simple eye tests carried out during a routine eye examination help the optometrist to detect any evidence of glaucoma.

Eye examinations at Specsavers include a glaucoma test and are free for over 40s who have a close blood relative with glaucoma. Over-60s also receive free eye tests.

-Ends-

Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers Opticians.

For further information or case studies please contact Amanda Fry/ Helen Trevorrow on, tel: 020 7930 0453, email: firstname.surname@beattiegroup.com

“The following are registered or unregistered trade marks of the Specsavers Group of Companies – The Specsavers Logo, Specsavers Opticians, Osiris, UltraDrive, Reactions, UltraTough, UltraClear. All other Trade Marks are the property of their respective owners.”

Specsavers Opticians Notes to editors:
· Specsavers celebrates 20 years in business in 2004.
· Specsavers employs more than 10,000 people.
· Specsavers currently has 564 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, creating 400 new jobs.
· Specsavers recently recorded £11m sales in the UK in just one week.
· One in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers Opticians –six 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 second 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 optical 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.”






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