Millions of adults may have undetected health conditions after missing routine tests during lockdown

Necessary regular examinations

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, said: “Regular examinations are capable of picking up so much more than whether or not someone can see normally.

“And during the last 12 months we have made far fewer referrals and detected far less anomalies than would be expected in this time period, because people have been cancelling their appointments for various reasons like self-isolating or nervousness around leaving their home.

“Understandably, many have missed appointments due to the pandemic, however so many potentially dangerous potential illnesses are highlighted during eye tests.

“And when you consider the number who have missed a test in the last year, there are potentially a high number of people going about their lives with no idea about potentially catastrophic illness that could be avoided by having a simple test.”

Nearly one in five (19 per cent) adults polled via OnePoll have felt eye fatigue in the last year, while one in six have experienced dry eyes or headaches.

And 69 per cent haven’t sought medical advice believing them not to be a major problem – or not wanting to waste NHS time and resource.

Brits were aware a standard eye test can detect cataracts, glaucoma or retinal detachments, but 85 per cent were unaware they can identify signs of a potential stroke.

More than six in 10 (62 per cent) admitted they don’t always know what they’re looking for when it comes to health-related warning signs, while 46 per cent admit to avoiding thinking about any health conditions they may have.

Of the 47 per cent who tend to put off things like an eyesight check, 70 per cent do so because they think the changes are so small, they’re almost unnoticeable.

Of those who have felt their sight and hearing have deteriorated, worrying about being up close to others outside of their household (36 per cent), feeling it was too early to be into contact with others (34 per cent) and simply not getting round to it yet (25 per cent) were the main reasons for not booking a test.

Lancaster Guardian