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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Start The Year Right With Your Sight

Your vision is important. Most of us take it for granted. Yet 224,000 Irish people are starting 2017 blind. Imagine what that would be like. The impact it would have on your life. It’s a scary thought to think about what you would lose.
Over the Christmas one of my friends Granny, Cathy,  passed away. I rang my friend to pass on my condolences and we got chatting about Cathy’s age related macular degeneration (AMD) and how many things must have changed for her when her vision deteriorated.
Cathy lived a great life; she was a nurse, mother to 9 children and had 42 grandchildren. When she was 64 she had to give up her license and stop driving. But she seemed happy to be driven around by one of her children surrounding by a few of her grandchildren.
Other things changed as well. She was an avid reader but that stopped too. Cathy used to ask my friend to read her the headlines from the Irish Times every day after school. And if she liked the sound of a particular story she would read it to her.
Her grandchildren became her eyes in many little ways. If she was buying them sweets or comics in a shop she’d have a bunch of money in her hand at the till and call one of them over to count it out for her. Cathy seemed to enjoy involving her grandchildren in all these things and to strangers they probably thought he was doing it to make her grandchildren feel like a grown up. Rather than Cathy needing their help to see.
So my message about your vision is this: I don’t believe in worrying yourself about what might or might not happen in the future. But I do believe in looking after what you have. And something as simple as having an eye exam every 12 to 24 months is the best way to look after the health of your eyes and your vision.
Many people who lose their vision could have prevented it by having an eye exam.
So with it being a new year I want to help you start the year right by looking after your vision.
We are doing two good things this month – which is good for you, and also for a very good cause.
Get your eyes tested in January and we’ll donate €50 to Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Guide Dogs provides help to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across Ireland through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. They also campaign for the rights if those with visual impairments and invest in eye disease research.
Our goal is to raise €1000 in January to sponsor the training of a Guide Dog puppy.
A guide dog puppy means someone will get their independence back when they get a Guide Dog who will become their eyes and allow them to get out and about.
When you get your eyes examined in January, not only will you be looking after your own vision and helping raise money for Guide Dogs For The Blind, we’ll also give you a €50 gift certificate that you can use towards new eyewear (you can also give this certificate to a friend if you don’t need new glasses). So you will get a little extra as a thank you for looking after the health of your eyes and helping someone else who will get a Guide Dog because of the funds we raise.
  • Five people will go blind in Ireland this week.
  • There are currently 224,000 blind or partially sighted people in Ireland who rarely leave home alone.
  • There is expected to be 270,000 blind or partially sighted people in Ireland by 2020.
  • Half of the dogs they train are needed to replace dogs that have retired.
  • Training a guide dog costs €38,000 and takes 24 months.
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind commit to providing a guide dog for life and a guide dog owner may have up to eight dogs in their lifetime.
  • The average working life of a guide dog is five to six years.
  • There are nearly 350 guide dog owners in Ireland.
  • The guide dog service receive no government funding and they rely solely on donations.
So make it a New Year’s RESOLUTION to check your vision and start the year in high resolution!
To arrange your eye exam just call us on 071-9142860 or email
A private eye exam is €37 or covered if you make PRSI contributions or if you have a medical card. You will receive a €50 gift certificate towards new glasses. And we’ll also donate €50 to Guide Dogs for the Blind.