RNIB's Eye Pod visits the GOC

November 7 2013

The RNIB’s sight loss simulator, the Eye Pod, was brought to the General Optical Council (GOC) yesterday (November 6) as part of the charity’s continued efforts to raise awareness of avoidable sight loss. 

As part of an ongoing tour around the country, the simulator was set up outside the GOC’s London headquarters in Harley Street, attracting the attention of passers-by. 
Eye health campaigns manager for the RNIB, Clara Eaglen, said that behind the pod was a serious message to make eye health a priority. “Too many people take their sight for granted, and treat sight loss as an inevitable part of ageing,” said Ms Eaglen. Almost half of sight loss could be avoided, she explained, emphasising that “there are things people can do to protect their vision. Eye checks at least every two years are vital.”
GOC councillors and staff had the chance to see through the eyes of people living with four common sight conditions; glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and AMD. 
Despite the wet weather, chair of the GOC, Gareth Hadley, and GOC chief executive and registrar, Samantha Peters, took a tour of the pod, asking questions and encouraging GOC staff and councillors to take part. 
“The RNIB is doing fantastic work to raise awareness,” said Mr Hadley, adding that he and GOC staff found it to be a “fascinating experience”. 
The RNIB’s Matthew Winyard and Suzanne O’Neill were on hand to talk the visitors through the simulator and answer any questions about the conditions. Mr Winyard, assistant campaigns officer for eye health, explained the main draw from the public has been those with a friend or family members with an eye condition, adding that it provided a good opportunity to raise awareness that eyecare should be ongoing, and not just reserved for when things go wrong.
The Eye Pod gives users the experience of seeing with a number of conditions via two cameras on top of the trailer. Visitors are able to see the effects onscreen, with effective representations of each, such as the patchy black spots associated with diabetic retinopathy or the increasing blur of cataracts, and take away information on the causes and prevention of the four conditions.
The Eye Pod has visited towns and cities throughout the UK urging councillors, residents and health professionals to make eye health a priority. The RNIB is continuing its tour of the UK, appearing in Birmingham and Wiltshire later this month.
For more information, visit www.rnib.org.uk
Tagged with: Charity, GOC

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