Leading sight loss charity, RNIB Scotland, has welcomed the launch of a new Scottish Government website that brings together information on all aspects of visual impairment.
The Eyes.Scot site has been launched today (Monday 9 August 2021).
James Adams, Director of RNIB Scotland, said: "Around 170,000 people currently living in Scotland are blind or partially sighted. This will inevitably increase as we have an ageing population and a rising rate of sight-threatening conditions, such as diabetes.
"It's vital that we all understand how to maintain good eye health, and that government and health services take the steps necessary to contain any increase as far as possible.
"The Eyes.Scot website will provide an invaluable one-stop hub from which people can access information on eye conditions, eye health and the wide range of support services provided by bodies like RNIB Scotland throughout the country.
"Nobody should have to experience sight loss alone. Through contacting one of the visual impairment organisations listed in the partner organisations section of the site, people can be put in touch with the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) service that we and other charities run. ECLOs can offer the emotional reassurance and practical help that many people need on first diagnosis.
"We have worked with the Scottish Government to ensure the new site is accessible to people with limited vision and for screen-reading software."
Public Health Minister, Maree Todd, said: “Eye care is an important part of everyone’s health. I welcome the launch of Eyes.Scot, Scotland’s new national website for information about eye care services and eye health. Supporting both the public and eye care professionals, Eyes.Scot is an invaluable resource which provides easy access to information about how best to look after our eyes and sight. With the launch of Eyes.Scot, all of this information is now available in one place, making it easier to find and access the right information.”
RNIB Scotland is also pointing out that, as lockdown eases, it's as important as ever that people go for regular eye examinations at their local optometry practice (opticians). These are free in Scotland to everyone.
"Eye examinations can pick up the first symptoms of sight conditions when there's still time to arrest or even reverse damage," emphasised James Adams. "We must encourage everyone to take care of their eyes as much as their heart or lungs, to protect one of the most precious things we have – our sight."