Following the release of figures showing millions of people in the UK are living with untreated high blood pressure, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is raising awareness of the role an eye test can play in detecting the condition.

British Heart Foundation estimates show that, in the UK, four million people under the age of 65 and 1.3 million people under the age of 45 are living with untreated high blood pressure.

Left untreated, high blood pressure can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It is also associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia – a common type of dementia caused by reduced blood flow to the brain. High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, so individuals may be completely unaware they have the condition.

A simple eye examination, included as a standard part of DSE eye care or most driver or PPE eye care offerings, can reveal signs of high blood pressure. When examining the retina, an optician can see whether blood vessels are narrowed or leaking, which is a symptom of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often known as the silent killer. As it is often symptomless, many people do not know they are living with an increased risk factor of heart attack and stroke. Once detected the condition can usually be easily treated with simple lifestyle changes and medication.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare commented:

‘We believe that employers are in a position to be able to make a real difference to the health of their employees. It is a win-win situation, with employees benefiting from improved health and employers benefiting from the associated improved productivity, morale and loyalty of employees. Providing eye care could save money and literally save lives.’

Offering workplace eye care is a simple and cost-effective process. The majority of employees are likely to be entitled to eye care anyway, whether because they are a screen user and covered by the DSE regulations, or because they drive for work purposes or require prescription safety eyewear. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare offers an online management system that allows employers to purchase, distribute and manage eye care with easy-to-use eVouchers.

For more information Specsavers Corporate Eyecare and its solutions for the workplace visit