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Association News
15 September 2017
Issue 212
9 in 10 people aged over 40 are not aware of the help available for people suffering from low vision
New research released today by ABDO, reveals that as many as 9 in 10 people aged over 40 are not aware of the help available for people suffering from low vision.

According to the NHS, low vision (visual impairment) is when your sight can't be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or by any medical or surgical treatment. It is therefore concerning that well over half of over 40s (60 per cent) believe that low vision can sometimes be improved with glasses or contact lenses. With low vision affecting one in five over 75s it’s worrying that a further six in ten didn’t know that they could get help from a registered dispensing optician.

Low vision is more common in older age groups and the most common cause is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Almost half (44 per cent) of all those surveyed said they would not seek professional medical help if they were experiencing ongoing problems with their vision. Richard Rawlinson from ABDO says, “Eye problems often start without signs or symptoms so get an eye test every two years, even if you think your vision is fine”.

The older you are, the better care you take of your eyes, it seems, with only 1 in 10 people age 60+ missing their regular eye check compared to one in five of those age 40-59. A happy marriage seems to be good for your eyes, with only 11 per cent of married people missing out on eyecare compared to 23 per cent of those who are single and a whopping 28 per cent of those who are divorced.

While low vision can't be cured, there is plenty of support available to help people carry on living a full life. People can visit their local optician for advice and be provided with practical aids, magnifiers and gadgets. There are lots of adaptations that can be made round the home, such as brighter light bulbs. A registered dispensing optician can advise on the wide range of magnifying tools now available to help with reading and writing. There are even local services and organisations that offer help and support. Richard Rawlinson says, “Talk to a registered dispensing optician for advice if you are worried about your eyes”.

Research: The research was carried out online between 25 July 2017 and 21 August 2017 by Vital Research and Statistics amongst a sample of 1,303 UK adults aged 40+

Click here to view an infographic featuring the research results
EyecareFAQ radio day campaign

The research results will form the basis of EyecareFAQ radio day broadcasts which will take place throughout the UK today (Friday 15 September 2017).

ABDO media representatives will look to raise awareness of the work done by registered dispensing opticians across the UK and will focus on encouraging those aged 65 and over to take care of their eyes and look after their eye health, as well as providing tips to those with low vision on how to still live a full and active life.

Vision Van hits the road for National Eye Health Week Read More
ABDO graduation ceremony - online booking now open

All graduands currently eligible to attend the 2017 ABDO graduation ceremony can now book gown hire, photography requirements, ceremony tickets and celebration reception tickets online via the Ede & Ravenscroft website.

The ceremony will be held at Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday 22 November. The final deadline for booking is Monday 13 November 2017.

For information of how to book online click here
What's new in EyecareFAQ?

New in EyecareFAQ, you’ll find an infographic to share on the subject of 'amblyopia'.

Get involved with EyecareFAQ, ABDO’s campaign to help consumers learn more about looking after their eyes, and the role of the registered dispensing optician.

You can use any of the EyecareFAQ answers, images and infographics on your own blog or website. Follow, like and share these useful resources on your practice and personal social media channels, to help the public learn about eyecare and promote the role of the registered dispensing optician.

You can find EyecareFAQ at:

or visit the EyecareFAQ section of the ABDO website and promote the role of the registered dispensing optician.

Click here to access the infographic and the embedded code
ABDO National Consultation Day

The ABDO National Consultation Day will be held on Thursday 26 October 2017 at the Burlington Hotel, Burlington Arcade, 126 New Street, Birmingham, B2 4JQ.

All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend. The event provides a chance for members to meet regional leads & board members and find out what is happening in ABDO.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at

Low Vision Honours Course

Due to changing demographics the demand for specialist low vision services is steadily increasing. By enhancing your low vision skills you can greatly help others, which is both valuable and extremely rewarding. ABDO College's Low Vision Honours Course includes the theory and practical aspects of low vision consultation and fully prepares candidates for the ABDO Level 6 FBDO (Hons) LVA examinations. Distance learning assignments are complemented by a short block release at ABDO College to reinforce practical skills and routine.

  • Course commences: January 2018
  • Method: Blended learning
  • Entry requirements: ABDO Level 6 Fellowship Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing (FBDO) and GOC registration
  • Duration: 25 weeks
  • Block release accommodation can be provided

Application deadline: December 2017

Read More
Access Courses

ABDO College’s Access Courses are designed to help prospective dispensing optician students to meet the necessary entry requirements. They are also a useful refresher for those who have been out of education for a while. The entry requirements for the ABDO College Level 6 Fellowship Dispensing Diploma (FBDO) and Foundation Degree/BSc (Hons) courses are five GCSEs at grade c or above, which must include English, mathematics and a science subject. Each Access course is considered the equivalent of one GCSE. The Access Courses are available in the five key subjects of English, Mathematics, Optics and Dispensing, Human Biology and General Science.

  • Courses commence: February 2018
  • Method: Distance learning
  • Candidates should ideally be educated to GCSE standard and possibly have already attained some of the GCSEs required for enrolment to dispensing courses
  • Duration: Approximately 20 weeks

Application deadline: January 2018

Read More
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