More than 450,000 Kiwi men putting eyesight at risk by avoiding regular optometry exams – Specsavers
Specsavers optometrist Karthi Param says it’s concerning how many men are avoiding getting their eyes tested regularly, particularly if they are aged 40 years and over.
“When it comes to eye health, problems don’t discriminate, and men are just as likely to have issues as females,” he says.
“That’s why we’re calling on Kiwi men to prioritise their eye health by getting a regular eye test. This is not a time for a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.”
Specsavers’ data also reveals that men are less likely to attend regular appointments, with males in the 40-64 age group being 3 percent less likely to book a recall appointment when prompted than females of the same age.
Men in the 55-64 age bracket are most likely to prioritise their eye health, with 77 percent reporting they had an eye test in the last two years. But men aged 35-44 are least likely to attend regular appointments, with just 54 percent saying they’ve been to one in the past two years.
Of the men and women surveyed, 60 percent said they’d be unlikely to book an eye test unless there was something noticeably wrong with their vision, something Param says is particularly concerning.
“Unfortunately, there is still the idea amongst many that an eye test is just about confirming whether or not you can see clearly, which just isn’t true,” he says.
“Most sight-threatening eye conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration don’t present overt symptoms until it’s too late, so it’s crucial that everyone gets regular check-ups.”
There were three top reasons given by men who hadn’t seen an optometrist within the recommended time frame. Thirty-nine percent said they weren’t noticing any problems with their vision or eyes, 27 percent said they didn’t think they needed an eye test, and 18 percent hadn’t got around to booking an appointment.
In comparison, 24 percent of women cited eye tests as too expensive as one of their top reasons why they had seen an optometrist recently.
Of those who wear glasses, just 48 percent say they always wear them when they should, with men and women saying the top two reasons being that they forget to put them on (40 percent and 39 percent) and they accidentally leave them behind (17 percent and 24 percent). The third most cited reason for men was not being bothered to wear them (22 percent) and for women it was not liking the way they look in them (20 percent).