By Alexa Kaczka
Everybody should make regular trips to the optician in order to preserve their vision and ensure that any problems they have are picked up early.
These trips are also essential for people who wear contact lenses or glasses so their prescriptions can be evaluated and changed if necessary, although the type of optician a person visits can often make all the difference.
Two vision experts have expressed their opinion on where they think people should be going for their regular eye exam, and recommended that local opticians are the best choice.
Paul Surridge, chief executive at Sight Care, explained that the company is currently running a national PR campaign called I Love Local, which is encouraging consumers to have a regular eye exam and seek out their independent optician.
He elaborated: "We are great believers in community. One of the sad things is that people say they like being a part of their community and being active in the community, but local communities are dying."
Mr Surridge also pointed to a statistic last year which said that 27 per cent of all small business units are closed and he described this as a "sad indictment" of local communities.
Daska Barnett, an optometrist who is supporting the campaign, said that something people get from their local, independent practices is individuals who will show a genuine interest in them and their eyesight.
"[They] are really keen to get to know them as people, will discuss with them their lifestyles and discuss with them their concerns," she explained.
Ms Barnett added that the check-up process is not all about checking whether people need glasses and contact lenses, as there are many other services local opticians can provide.
"It's about answering queries and making sure people have their full visual potential realised and, in the workplace, making sure they're comfortable and enjoying sight as it should be," she added.
by Adrian Galbreth