The new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Goodmayes has officially opened its doors, with a celebration led by local MP Mike Gapes who joined the team’s optical experts to encourage the community to get regular eye tests.
Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South, was on hand to help cut the ribbon on the premises. It is home to sophisticated sight screening equipment that will deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents, as figures indicate a worrying outlook for vision in the region:
- Almost 1,800 people are suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is 2.5% of the local population. Research also shows almost 8,000 people (11.2%) have a heightened risk of developing AMD, due to drusen – yellow deposits under the retina.
- There are a further 8,000 residents (5.6%) living with suspected glaucoma, the silent thief of sight.
“Eye health is a growing issue for Ilford and I would encourage everyone to have regular eye tests and take their vision seriously,” said Mike. “I’m proud to support this event and raise awareness amongst my constituents of the need to have a routine eye test, especially those who drive, with research revealing there are almost 3,000 road casualties a year caused by poor driver sight.”
Mike has personal experience of how sight can affect quality of life, being a glasses-wearer all of his adult life. He recalls: “As a child I played football, but I wore those very thick lenses and if I went in for a header, they’d pop out. I think one season I went through about seven pairs of glasses!”
Vision Express at Tesco Goodmayes store manager, Harcharan Khella, said: “It’s fantastic to have our local MP, Mike Gapes, join the team to officially open our new store, particularly as vision issues are something he has personal experience of."