Tag Archives: Eyesight

Short-sightedness becoming more common across Europe

Myopia – or short-sightedness – is becoming more common across Europe, according to a study by King’s College London. Around a quarter Europeans are short-sighted but it is nearly twice as common in younger people, with almost half (47 per cent) of those aged 25-29 affected.

Short sighted

The study found a strong link between myopia and level of education, with levels in those completing higher education around double to those educated to primary school level. However, while younger generations have spent more time in education, this does not fully explain why myopia is becoming more common.

Myopia generally develops during childhood and adolescence and causes blurred vision that has to be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery. High myopia carries a risk of sight-threatening conditions such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

The academics admit they do not fully understand the reasons for the shift, but at the very least it is good news of opticians and spectacle makers.


Half of all people with glaucoma undiagnosed

How often do you get your eyes tested? If it is only when you can no longer read the small print, then a visit to an optician may be overdue.

There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but 300,000 are undiagnosed. As there are no early symptoms people over 40 should have regular eye health checks every one or two years. Advanced glaucoma leads to serious loss of sight.

It was National Glaucoma Awareness Week in June and it focussed on driving and encouraging people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. Glaucoma causes misty, patchy or blurred vision in places. It can cause people to miss the unexpected such as a person crossing the road, a cyclist passing, or a vehicle merging into traffic.

One incentive to get along to the optician is that you are required by law to report to the DVLA if you have glaucoma. Failure to do so may mean a criminal conviction, a fine of up to £1,000 and you may be uninsured to drive.

The good news about glaucoma is with treatment you can protect your vision. Most people will retain useful sight for life.