Eye clinics must do more, claims AM
EYE clinics should work more in the community to prevent sight loss, an AM has said.
Mid and West Wales Plaid AM Simon Thomas made the comments ahead of next week's National Eye Health Week.
Mr Thomas said the Welsh Government should invest in eye clinic liaison officers across Wales to promote good eye care and eliminate avoidable sight loss.
He said: "It would be fitting if the Welsh Government could make this commitment ahead of National Eye Health Week.
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"I am pleased the new proposals from Hywel Dda Health Board for community services include ideas for mobile services to identify conditions such as macular degeneration and to help carers deliver eye drops.
"These are positive proposals, but to work all such ideas have to be supported by well-resourced community services."
He added: "National Eye Health Week brings organisations and health professionals together to raise awareness of the importance of good eye health and the need for regular sight tests."
Ceri Jackson, chairwoman of the National Eye Health Week steering group in Wales, said: "50 per cent of sight loss is avoidable, and the single most important thing that people can do to protect their sight is to go for a test every two years.
"Many people think that a sight test is just about checking whether your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses, but a sight test is also a vital check of the health of the eyes and includes the detection of eye conditions.
"Many of these have no early symptoms, but when they are detected early then the right type of treatment could save your sight."