Hairy Biker Dave Myers encourages people in the North West to have their eyes tested more regularly 

With record numbers of older people in employment in the North West, elderly workers are being urged to make their eye health a priority as pension entitlement ages increase. Hyde Specsavers are campaigning during National Eye Health Week to raise awareness.

Official figures show that there are 110,000 Brits over the age of 65 working in the North West with a further 30,000 expected to be in employment by 2030, as people continue to live longer and healthier lives.

However one in four of them are not getting their eyes tested regularly, making them more susceptible to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, which could have an impact on their life and work. That is why Specsavers is teaming up with sight loss charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), to urge Britain’s ageing workforce to take their eye health seriously.

Diane Wood, retail director of Hyde Specsavers, is in agreement and says: ‘It is so important residents in Hyde look after their eyes and have regular eye tests for the detections of these conditions. Our eyes are so important for our jobs and early detection means we can manage and do something about these conditions so that people can keep their jobs.’

Research shows there are already 575,870 people with preventable sight loss conditions of AMD, cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy in the North West and as the figures show this is a number which is expected to climb.

Celebrity chef and Hairy Bikers star Dave Myers, 61, is backing the campaign ahead of National Eye Health Week, after discovering that he had a serious eye condition that could have had a huge impact on his career.

Dave says: ‘I was shocked when I found out that I’d developed glaucoma when I was just 54. Thankfully it was spotted during a routine eye test before it was too late but if it had gone unnoticed, I could have gone blind, and that would have had a huge impact on how I do the job I love so much.

‘I expect many people in Hyde know that they should have regular eye tests but our lives are so busy with work and family that it’s not surprising how making an appointment at your opticians can slip. But do take heed of my story.

‘If you want to avoid unnecessary sight loss as you get older, and continue working and going about your everyday life without barriers then you need to make that very important appointment with your optometrist once every two years. Many UK high streets have an optician, and there are 121 Specsavers stores in the North West, so there’s no excuse!’