WITH preventable sight loss in Barnsley at extremely high levels, a new campaign has been launched to tackle the problem in the borough.

The #seeitmyway campaign has been developed by the Barnsley Vision Strategy Group in response to Public Health England figures that show Barnsley is around double the national average for preventable sight loss due to age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesman for communities, said: “Early identification is essential because sight loss has such a dramatic impact on wellbeing.

“The risk of depression and falls is over two times greater amongst older people with low vision when compared to those with normal sight. Sight loss is also a risk factor in loneliness and isolation.

“It is important that you have an eye test at least every two years, even if there’s no change in your vision you may be entitled to a free eye test.

“Eligibility can be found on the NHS website or by checking with an optician. It’s also really important that parents and carers make sure that their children have regular eye checks.”

The campaign has been launched during National Eye Health Week, with events taking at the Alhambra and Library @ The Lightbox.

It aims to make residents aware that half of sight loss cases are avoidable by taking simple steps such as having regular eye tests every two years, visiting your local optician when you have a concern about your eyes and having a healthy diet.

Today’s event, organised by Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association and supported by members of the Barnsley Vision Strategy Group, will take place at the Library @ The Lightbox from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.