Living Well: Look after your eyes campaign
A new campaign focusing on the importance of looking after your eye health is running in community pharmacies during April and May as part of the Living Well service. Look after your eyes highlights the benefits of regular eye tests and aims to increase awareness of how to protect and keep your eyes healthy.
Living Well is a community-based pharmacy service offered in over 500 pharmacies across Northern Ireland. It is delivered in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI), and the Department of Health (DoH). The service supports you in improving your health and wellbeing by:
• raising awareness of various public health messages and campaigns;
• sharing of health and wellbeing information;
• signposting to a relevant health professional, service or support in the community;
• and using behavioural interventions, if appropriate.
Through the Living Well service, pharmacies help to address risk factors that contribute to ill health in Northern Ireland.
One in five of us will experience sight loss in our lifetime, but most sight loss can be prevented. We know that sight is the sense people say the fear losing the most, yet it is the one appointment they are most likely to miss, cancel or avoid.
Having an eye test at least once every two years with an optometrist (optician) is important as an eye test often picks up the first signs of a sight loss condition before there are any symptoms. Early detection and intervention could save sight, or keep a condition under control. A routine eye test can also detect a range of serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Community pharmacies across Northern Ireland will be providing a free information leaflet, Look after your eyes, which contains lots of helpful tips on how to keep eyes healthy and advice on what to do if you develop a sudden eye problem. The leaflet can be downloaded at www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/look-after-your-eyes. A large print accessible Word version is also available at this link.
For more information, call into your local community pharmacy and speak to a member of the pharmacy team or visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/eye-health