29 Nov 2018

Optician and the Macular Society outline vision for future - targeting female health gatekeepers to beat eye disease epidemic

Optician and the Macular Society outline vision for future - targeting female health gatekeepers to beat eye disease epidemic: Katarzyna Szejgiec having her eyes tested on board the Vision Van in Gloucester during Macular Week 2018

Charity joins with Vision Express as it outlines long term strategy to beat macular disease

Females aged over 45 are the health gatekeepers of the family - and hold the key to combatting growing rates of macular disease, according to the Macular Society chief executive Cathy Yelf.

Cathy met with partner Vision Express to agree a pathway for future collaborations, hinged around this demographic, who are most likely to manage healthcare priorities and organise sight checks. She said: “Our partnership with Vision Express is more important now than ever because people aren’t taking enough care of their eyes. We know that eye disease is rising, so there are more people with vision impairment now than 20 years ago. It’s a hugely worrying trend.

“This is a transformational time for the Macular Society and our new strategy maps our commitments from 2019 to 2025, which includes increasing our research funding tenfold to £6million per year. Women aged over 45 are vital to the wellbeing of those around them, and we’re sure they are the right audience for us to specifically reach out to and invest in.”

Vision Express has been working with the Macular Society for four years, to help raise awareness of the needs of nearly 1.5m people in the UK affected by macular conditions, which is the most common form of sight loss in the UK.

Vision Express director of professional services, Jay Ghadiali, commented: “Our partnership with the Macular Society works so well because our concerns are the same. People really value their eye sight, especially in later life, but they aren’t doing enough to safeguard it. Coming to Vision Express for an eye test is about looking after your sight for the long term. We’re looking forward to our collaboration with the Macular Society going from strength to strength based on our shared objectives of reaching the right people who make decisions on eye health for themselves and their close family and friends.”

The partners also celebrated the success of a recent joint venture – taking the Vision Express Vision Van on the road for Macular Week in the summer, offering free eye tests in UK hotspots for the condition.

Worryingly, 94% of visitors to the van were overdue an eye test and 64% had an outdated prescription.

 Jay added: “Our Vision Van allows us to continue to take the eye test on the road, making vision care more accessible and boosting detection rates for sight-stealing conditions, including macular degeneration.”

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About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake