Specsavers Wexford's optoetrist 

In order to mark World Sight Day, a series of events took place in Brussels on the 7th / 8th October, including a dinner debate co-hosted by MEP Marian Harkin, and eye-examinations for MEPS and staff at the Parliament Buildings. 

Local optometrist Martin O’Brien, from Specsavers Wexford spent two days in Brussels as part of a group of vision experts from the European Council of Optometry & Optics (ECOO); Martin, who is employed as a full-time optometrist in Wexford Specsavers, is also the Irish representative to ECOO.

The EU spends €7.1bn per year on blindness and sight-loss, a staggering amount, according to figures released at the dinner debate in the Parliament, 80% of blindness and sight loss is preventable; with the key being early intervention and regular check ups. (Source: European Federation Against Blindness EFAB)

Martin said “it was very interesting to get a chance to speak to MEPs about the issue of prevention of sight loss. One of the events that I got a chance to make a contribution at was a breakfast hosted by Belgian MEP Phillipe DeBacker on ‘Blindness- Medical Advances and Patient Access, Hear from the Experts’. Access to affordable eye-care is vital to preventing sight-loss and blindness. Most Irish people have entitlement to a free eye-examination either through PRSI or Medical Card. The message for people is to have your eyes examined regularly.” 

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