Opticians warns urbanites of rise in ‘smog fever’

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

THE increased pollution in built-up areas is set to worsen the effects felt by ‘smog fever’ sufferers this allergy season. The unique microclimate of dust clouds, lack of pollution eliminating winds and sunrays will cause allergens to be trapped closer to the ground than normal.

As part of Allergy Awareness Week (25th April – 1st May 2016) a local optician urges city-dwellers not to ignore the symptoms of ‘smog fever’ that includes red, inflamed itchy, watery or streaming eyes.  

Dr Nigel Best, Specsavers clinical spokesperson says: ‘It is estimated that 15million people in the UK suffer from the combined effects of pollen and pollution. I have seen a higher percentage of those suffering the effects of what appears as hay fever-like symptoms in the city than in the country.

The allergic reaction at its worst causes conjunctivitis, where the bodies own histamine causes swelling and itching in order to alert and protect itself. If you are suffering from red or itchy eyes, visit your local optometrist who can advise best care.’

Research carried out by the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit at Worcester University found that hay fever symptoms are twice as common in towns and cities due to high levels of traffic. The worst pollution dense areas reported by the London Air Quality Network include the Strand, Covent Garden, City of London and Canary Warf.

To find out more or speak to your local optician on [store location] or call [insert number]



Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers


For more information, call [insert name] on [insert number] or [insert email]Specsavers notes to editors

  • Specsavers is a Partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve
  • Each store is part-owned and managed by its own directors who are supported by key specialists in support offices that provide a range of services including marketing, accounting, IT and wholesaling, among others
  • There are currently more than 1,200 partners in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone, of whom over 500 have been with the Partnership for at least ten years
  • Specsavers was founded in 1984 by husband and wife team, Doug and Dame Mary Perkins, who pioneered the optical joint venture partnership model and also revolutionised the industry with their innovative concept of affordable, fashionable eyecare for everyone
  • Specsavers is a champion of the National Health Service – of its 192m customers in the UK, 60% are from the NHS and the company is the largest provider of free NHS digital hearing aids
  • Specsavers is the largest employer of registered optometrists and dispensing opticians in the UK (around 3,500)
  • Total revenue for the Specsavers Group was over £2 billion in 2014/2015
  • Specsavers stores employ more than 30,000 staff globally
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2013
  • Specsavers has more than a million customers on contact lenses direct debit schemes. Specsavers' own contact lens brand - easyvision - is the most known on the high street
  • The hearcare business in the UK has established itself as the number one high street provider of adult audiology services to the NHS
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country.


About the International Glaucoma Association:

  • The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma, with the mission to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. For more information, please visit: www.glaucoma-association.com
  • Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a Charity Registered in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England & Wales.
  • As part of its support services, it operates the IGA Sightline (helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
  • For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 78 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).