Stuart McMillan MSP will be visiting local cafés and pubs next week with an important message in sight.
He will be helping RNIB Scotland mark National Eye Health Week (23-29 September) by urging people to go for a free eye examination at their local optometrist.
To highlight the message, RNIB Scotland has produced a series of special coasters featuring iconic Scottish landmarks as seen through different sight loss conditions, and Stuart has offered to help distribute these in his constituency.
Images include Edinburgh Castle (as seen through age-related macular degeneration), the Callanish Stones in the Western Isles (as seen through diabetic retinography), the Dundee V&A Museum (as soon through glaucoma) and Buchannan Street in Glasgow (as seen through cataracts).
Commenting, Stuart said:
“Every year I’m proud to support National Eye Health Week because as the Convenor of Holyrood’s Cross-Party Group on Visual Impairment, I regularly hear the experiences of people in Scotland who are living with sight issues.
“This SNP Scottish Government has invested over £775 million in free eye tests, meaning people have benefited over 21 million times from the initiative since 2007.
“Many people think that a sight test is just about checking whether your vision needs correcting, but they can also spot other health conditions such as high blood pressure, raised cholesterol, diabetes and increased risk of stroke.
“According to Vision Matters, sight is the sense people fear losing the most. I’d encourage everyone to take full advantage of these sight tests so that we can improve our nation’s eye health, and catch both sight problems and health conditions earlier.”
Cate Vallis, Campaigns Officer for RNIB Scotland, said:
“With many sight loss conditions, damage to vision can be arrested or even reversed if the symptoms are detected early enough. Glaucoma, for example, can usually be successfully treated. That is why it’s so very important that people do get their eyes examined every two years.
“Our coasters are just one way of getting this message out to more people. The distorted images of Scottish landmarks will hopefully make them think a little more about what we might miss if we lose our sight.”