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Free Optical Technology Could Help Stop Thousands From Going Blind

Monday, 05 October 2009

With competitors charging up to £10 for retinal screening, Specsavers, Britain's most trusted optical retailer, has embarked on a nationwide programme to install enhanced screening cameras in 600 stores across the UK.


The cameras are designed to photograph the interior surface of the eye, called the fundus, which is the only part of the human body where tiny capillaries and the microcirculation of the blood can be observed directly. Whenever customers need this camera service it is offered free of charge.


Specsavers director of clinical services Simon Williams says: 'The fundus camera will play an imperative role in the early diagnosis and prevention of many serious conditions, such as diabetes, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness if not detected early on. Customers can also see the image which will them help them understand the test. The image is then kept as a record which can be used for comparison on their next visit.'


Williams continues: 'Many people are unaware that they should have regular eye examinations at least once every two years. These cameras will enable us to quickly identify any deterioration in the quality of a patient's sight and allow us to act accordingly.'


For more information on this service or to find your nearest Specsavers store log onto www.specsavers.co.uk or call 0800 0680 241.


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Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers, www.specsavers.co.uk

For further information please contact Gareth Anderson or Niall Hughes 020 7053 6000 or nationalspecsavers@beattiegroup.com

Specsavers notes to editors

• Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
• The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
• Specsavers has more than 1,425 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
• Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009/10
• Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
• Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
• Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader’s Digest in 2009
• Greater than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * – nine and a half million glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2008
• Specsavers share by volume of the total optical market (including retailers that are not opticians) is 35%. Our share of the opticians market is 38%.*
• Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
• Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
• Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for the Deaf People. During their three year support for.Diabetes UK they raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
• Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries

*GfK Home Audit (Dec 2008)