NAB has teamed up with a local, award-winning optometrist, Tompkins Knight & Son, to check for the signs of sun-damaged eyes as part of National Eye Health Week.

Tompkins Knight & Son Optometrists, in Kingsley Road, Northampton, will open its doors to everyone on Wednesday, September 25 for a free drop-in event for all non-patients.

The Early Detection Day, known as #SpectacularMacular, will give people the chance to test their macular pigmentation, assess just how much damage has been done to their eyes by harmful UV/blue rays and get specialist advice on what can be done to improve their future eye health.

Marketing and Fundraising manager, Rhian Williams, said: “This Early Detection Day is aimed at people who perhaps don’t get their eyes examined regularly and may not be aware that prevention is better than cure. By taking these readings now we can hopefully spot the signs of potential problems at an early stage and recommend ways of improving eye health.”

TK&S director Brian Tompkins said: “National Eye Health Week is the perfect time to get people thinking about their vision and learn more about the simple steps they can take every day to help their eyes.

“We’re delighted to join forces with NAB to offer this Early Detection Day to everyone – giving people across Northampton the opportunity to make the most of our state-of-the-art diagnostic technology to check for signs of macular damage.

“The test only takes a minute and could help identify future risks which we can start to act upon straight away.”

Anyone attending the Early Detection Day will be assessed using the MPeye – a machine that measures the effectiveness of your retina’s natural defences against sunlight.

Inventor of the MPeye, Dr Shelby Temple, said: “Protective pigments in the eye block damaging light and absorb toxins. The machine measures how those pigments are working and establishes if you are at heightened risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

“Data taken during examinations using MPeye shows that almost half of those people screened have low levels of macular pigmentation, meaning their ‘internal sunglasses’ are weaker than you’d ideally like. That gives us the chance to think about the things we do everyday that can help put that right, such as diet, exercise and lifestyle, as well as wearing sunglasses and hats.”

AMD is the leading cause of sight loss among the over 50s, affecting 600,000 people in the UK and almost 200 million around the world. It is a degenerative disease that leaves sufferers unable to see faces, drive, or do detailed work including reading and writing.