Vision Express at Tesco store launches as national optical retailer calls on locals to prioritise sight during National Glaucoma Awareness Week (4-10 June 2018)

As the UK welcomes National Glaucoma Awareness Week (4-10 June), ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ in Gateshead has officially opened its doors with a celebration led by local MP, Ian Mearns – as results indicate a worrying outlook for eye health in the town.

Over 7,000[1] Gateshead locals are suspected to have the sight-stealing condition, glaucoma. One of the biggest causes of preventable sight loss worldwide, glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and, as it becomes damaged, vision is lost. An estimated 600,000 people in the UK have glaucoma, yet research[2] indicates half of those are undiagnosed.

Ian Mearns MP, for Gateshead was on hand to help cut the ribbon on the Trinity Square Tesco Extra premises and joined the store’s optical team to encourage the community to get regular eye tests.

”Eye health is a growing issue and I would encourage everyone to have regular eye tests and take their vision seriously,” said Ian. “I am proud to support this event and raise awareness amongst my constituents, especially those who drive, with research revealing there are almost 3,000 road casualties a year caused by poor driver sight.”

In Gateshead, 7,035 residents are living with suspected glaucoma, the silent thief of sight, over 1,500 are suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and more than 7,500 have a heightened risk of developing AMD, due to drusen – yellow deposits under the retina.  

Joanne Gilbert, ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ Gateshead store manager said: “It’s great to have our local MP, Ian Mearns, join the team to officially open our new store.

“We had a fantastic day celebrating the opening and it’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local residents to drop in. Our store offers something for everyone, at all budgets and we’re looking forward to delivering a personal and thorough vision care service, to both new and existing customers.”    

The Trinity Square store is one of more than 200 outlets launching across the UK in 2018, following Vision Express’ acquisition of Tesco Opticians at the end of last year. Further stores nearby include North Shields, Kingston Park and Hartlepool.

Each store showcases a purple-infused rebrand across the entire Vision Express network. The re-brand introduces a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour decor, featuring bright sofas and wooden flooring, delivering a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease. 

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson added: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Vision Express family, and we’re delighted to welcome new team members to the company and provide a seamless eye health service to former Tesco optical customers.

“Crucially, we’re pleased to now be able to offer our vision expertise in convenient locations to residents. With more than 7,000 residents in Gateshead with suspected glaucoma, safeguarding our sight through regular eye exams with a trusted optician has never been more important.”