Only one in five adults is aware that an optician can detect signs of diabetes during an eye test, which is why Specsavers is raising awareness of the importance of regular eye tests this Diabetes Day (14 November).
Many people with diabetes do not get any symptoms and it can take up to 10 years for them to be diagnosed. But left untreated, diabetes can damage the heart, kidneys, eyes and feet. Putting in place an eyecare policy and encouraging employees to have regular tests could help to make sure that the disease is detected earlier.
A complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy which can occur when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the back of the eye. If left untreated it can cause blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness among people of working age in the UK so it’s hugely important that diabetes is detected early and correctly to minimise the risk of avoidable sight loss.
Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘Our message to employers on World Diabetes Day is simple: implement an eye care policy for all employees. It is a very low-cost benefit and it could well save you money in the long run as well as being a potentially life-saving decision.’
To find out more about implementing corporate eye care, visit: www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate