AN OPTICIANS has warned the people could have been let with serious eye conditions due to the pandemic limiting their chances for check-ups.

Research released by Specsavers has found that 43 per cent of people in the North West have missed an eye test, while almost one in ten people in the region fear they may have a serious undiagnosed eye condition and another 4 per cent worry that they may have significant hearing problems.

Overall, the optician chain found that almost half of people in the region fear that their sight, hearing or both has deteriorated since the pandemic began.

Specsavers Burnley, Nelson and Colne store director Mark Addison said: "During the last 12 months we have made far fewer referrals and detected far less anomalies than would be expected in this time period because people have been cancelling their appointments for various reasons like self-isolating or nervousness around leaving their home.

"Understandably, many have missed appointments due to the pandemic, however so many potentially dangerous potential illnesses are highlighted during eye tests. And when you consider the number who have missed a test in the last year, there are potentially a high number of people going about their lives with no idea about potentially catastrophic illness that could be avoided by having a simple test.’

He added: "While our store has been open throughout the pandemic, with the rest of the high street opening up people may start to feel more comfortable making their appointments once again.

"In fact, we have already seen an increase in calls asking if we’re open.

"As our research shows people have understandably been apprehensive about coming into contact with others, but we want to ensure customers that we have stringent safety measures in place and enhanced cleaning routines to make visits as safe as possible."

However, Specsavers have remained open throughout the pandemic and, with lockdown restrictions now easing, hope to see more customers return soon.

The eye specialist have also recommended that people concerned about their sight should come straight to them or check their website, rather than

Mr Addison said: "It is so important that anyone with any concerns seeks advice from a professional.

"An eye test doesn’t just pick up changes in vision but can also detect wider health concerns too."

To find out more about Specsavers' research, go to: