This week is Diabetes Awareness Week and one Banbury optician is hoping to raise the awareness of the link between the blood sugar condition and blindness.
The national campaign will run from June 11 until June 17 and research has shown that 13,460 people across Oxfordshire are at risk of losing their sight due to diabetes.
Joining forces with Specsavers is Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave CBE and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Sir Steve admits that losing his sight is one of his biggest fears after his diabetes diagnoses which means he is up to 20 times more likely to lose his sight than those without the condition.
Sir Steve says: “Going blind is, unfortunately, a very real threat for me. Until I was diagnosed with the condition, I was totally unaware of its implications on sight and having lived with diabetes for more than 20 years now, I can’t stress enough the importance of regular eye tests at your opticians and check-ups at the nearest diabetic screening programme.
He added: “It’s great to see the Specsavers store in Banbury raising awareness during Diabetes Week. Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I’ve learnt how important it is to get regular eye checks to detect signs of diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness.
“The eyes are a window to general health so visiting your optician should be part of your routine for staying fit and healthy.”
Paul Bridge, store director at Banbury, said: ‘Many people are unaware that eye tests are not only critical for your eyes, but your wider health too.
“At Specsavers, we offer digital retinal photography for free as part of a standard eye test for customers aged over 40.
“This takes a detailed picture of the back of your eye and the microcirculation of blood – helping to highlight indicators of diabetes that need addressing alongside the diabetic eye screening programme.”
To book your eye test pop into the Bridge Street opticians or call 01295 251251.