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• A third (36%) of under 25s say the quality of their vision has impaired or restricted daily life
• More than eight in ten Brits say that sight is the sense they would least like to lose
• Frequency of sight test in over-65s is steadily declining

New research has revealed that eyesight is the sense that Britain treasures the most, but millions are at risk of losing it unnecessarily(1). When asked which sense they would least like to lose, some 83% of Brits named sight the one most precious to them.

However, the Generation Eye Report(2) commissioned by National Eye Health Week in partnership with Specsavers has revealed that three quarters of respondents (75%) admitted they’d suffered poor eye health in the last 12 months and more than one in five (22%) say this had restricted or impaired their daily life.

And it isn’t just the older generation who are feeling the strain. Those aged 18-24 (The Unseen Generation) were the group whose quality of vision or state of eye health had most restricted or impaired their daily life (36%).

The state of this ‘Unseen Generation’s’ eye health is affecting every element of life from sporting activities, reading, texting, surfing the internet and even applying their make-up.

Perhaps unsurprising when you consider their attitude to healthcare – more than a third (32%) haven’t had a sight test in last two years, as recommended.

According to the Office of National Statistics, 23% of our Unseen Generation are smokers. Smokers are up to four times more likely to lose their sight than non-smokers and are more likely to suffer conditions such as Dry Eye. Dry, tired, sore and red eyes were all symptoms commonly reported by our 18 – 24-year-old respondents.

Encouragingly though, our research found two thirds of 18 – 24 year olds (63%) who smoke would be encouraged to quit if they knew it put their sight at risk.

For the middle aged, the ‘New Presbyopes’, the 45-54 age group were worried about the visual affects of ageing with almost one in three (30%) worried about losing their teeth, one in five concerned about putting on weight and one in seven fret about wrinkles. Incredibly, a full 80% of this age group had experienced problems with their eye health in the last year.

This brings us onto the ‘Low-Vis Generation, the over 65s’. Worryingly, the NHS’ General Ophthalmic Service (GOS) figures reveal that the number of sight tests conducted amongst the over-60s has steadily declined over recent years. Almost a third (32%) of the over 65s surveyed didn’t know that wearing glasses or contact lenses with the wrong prescription could affect their eyesight. The older generation also weren’t aware that wearing ‘the wrong glasses’ can lead to vertigo (78%), dizziness (58%) or blurred vision (25%).

Yet research shows that a quarter (27%) of people over 75 who experience vision impairment merely need a new prescription for their glasses or contact lenses and another 27 per cent have easily treatable cataracts.(3)


For a full copy of the report visit:

For further informationplease contact:
Rachel Robson, National Eye Health Week Press Office
Tel: 01225 423394 Mobile: 07986 056380 Email:

For Specsavers National Press Office:
Specsavers Team
Tel: 0207 0536413 Mobile: 07590820504 Email:

Notes to editors

Preventing Avoidable Sight Loss
Poor uptake of regular sight tests is probably the biggest risk factor when it comes to the nation’s eye health yet almost 14 million (13.8) of us fail to have our eyes checked once every two years. Lifestyle factors including smoking, poor diets, obesity and lack of exercise can all adversely affect eye health.

About National Eye Health Week
This year’s National Eye Health Week will take place 19 – 25 September 2016. The Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of good eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. Visit for further information

(1) 53% of sight loss is avoidable (Access Economics)

(2) The Generation Eye report is based on the findings of the Eye Health 16 survey conducted by Atomik Research, in accordance with MRS guidelines and regulations, on a representative sample of 2002 UK respondents aged 18+ between 24 – 31 August 2016

(3) Wormald RP, Wright LA, Courtney P, et al

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of National Eye Health Week in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit