Leading Scottish health charities are sending out a joint message during National Eye Health Week this week urging people to go for a regular eye examination.
Unlike the rest of the UK, eye examinations are free to everyone in Scotland.
James Adams, director of sight loss charity RNIB Scotland, said: “Every survey shows that sight is the sense people fear losing most. And yet we can be surprisingly negligent about our eye health. We tend to think of this as something to do when we want new glasses or contact lenses, but we should all get our eyes checked every two years or so.
“During National Eye Health Week, we want to remind everyone that a simple appointment with your local high street optometrist can pick up warning signs of any sight impairment in time to arrest or reverse damage, and perhaps point to the symptoms of other health problems.
“It’s time we looked after more seriously one of the most precious things we have – our sight.”
The message is backed by other leading charities such as Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, Diabetes Scotland and the Stroke Association.
Since eye exams were made free in Scotland in 2006, uptake has increased, leading to more people’s sight and other conditions being diagnosed in time to treat them.
“This is hugely more cost-effective than meeting the medical and social costs of people who might otherwise go on to lose vision or suffer ill-health unnecessarily,” said Mr Adams
“But the increase in take-up has been unevenly spread. Take-up has not increased as to the same extent in some of our most marginalised areas. We still have a job to do to get this important message across.”