Media Release: Boots Opticians launches the ‘Great Big Eye Check’, supported by RNIB and Action for Blind People

FIFTY per cent of sight loss is avoidable1, a fact that eight in ten Scots (82 per cent) are unaware of – according to new research out today2.

Begins a spokesperson: “With four in ten Scots (40 per cent) not having their eyes checked on a regular basis2, Boots Opticians, supported by RNIB and Action for Blind People, today launches the Great Big Eye Check.

“The initiative – to help raise awareness of eye health and encourage more people to have their eyes checked regularly – coincides with Boots Opticians becoming the first high street opticians to rename its comprehensive eye test an ‘eye check’.”

Supporting the initiative, optometrist, and RNIB’s eye health development adviser, Sonal Rughani, said: “RNIB and Action for Blind People support any initiative that encourages people to get their eyes checked and highlights where to find additional advice and support.

“It’s a sad fact that 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight every day3; many people lose their sight because early signs of eye disease go undetected.

“We hope that Boots Opticians ‘Great Big Eye Check’ will help encourage everyone to get their eyes checked at their local opticians and benefit from better eye health.”

The spokesperson continued: New research shows that almost a fifth of people in Scotland (19 per cent) said they would be more motivated to have their eyes checked regularly if an eye test was called an eye check2.

“This shift in language to eye check is also designed to help people understand that the eye check is not just about how well you can see; it can also pick up early signs of other conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma.

“However. over half (54 per cent)2 of adults in Scotland surveyed  did not know that an eye test could detect diabetes, and a quarter (25 per cent)2 were unaware it could detect glaucoma, conditions which can cause vision loss.”

David Cartwright, optometrist and director of Professional Services at Boots Opticians, said: “We hope that by widening the meaning of an eye test by calling it an eye check we will help people understand that this is not just about what they can or cannot see, it is also a check-up for their overall eye health that can be sight-saving, and in some cases, even life-saving.

“The consultation remains the same comprehensive eye examination we have always provided, which includes both checks for vision changes and overall eye health.

“With 630 Boots Opticians on high streets across the UK, 92 per cent of customers are only a 20-minute drive from one of our practices.

“We hope to help make an impact on the eye health of the nation and encourage everyone of any age to help keep their eyes healthy.”

To join the Great Big Eye Check people can visit


For further media information from RNIB call Stacey Kerr on 020 7391 2290, email

For media information about Action for Blind People contact Chris Dyson on 020 7635 4921 or 07739 819 954 email

Notes to Editor

1. Access Economics (2009) Future Sight Loss UK 1: The economic impact of partial sight and blindness in the UK adult population. RNIB. Full report

2. Consumer research commissioned by Boots Opticians and conducted by OnePoll, carried out among 2,000 UK adults between 20.12.11 and 23.12.11.

3. Sourced from registration figures compiled in 2003. RNIB.

About Boots Opticians

Boots Opticians has over 630 practices in a variety of convenient locations including regional towns, urban centres, rural centres, fashion parks and retail parks. 92 per cent of the UK population live within a 20-minute drive of a Boots Opticians.

Boots Opticians and Dolland & Aitchison merged in 2009 to form the second largest optical chain in the UK.

About RNIB

Every day around 100 people in the UK start to lose their sight. There are around two million people in the UK with sight problems. RNIB is the leading charity working in the UK offering practical support, advice and information for anyone with sight difficulties. If you, or someone you know, has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit

About Action for Blind People

Action for Blind People is a national charity with local reach, providing practical help and support to blind and partially sighted people of all ages. Our close relationship with RNIB enables us to provide a unique combination of complementary strengths and expertise to help an ever increasing number of people with sight loss.

Visit for more information.

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