Vision UK has published an investment case calling on the government to support the first-ever UK National Eye-health and Hearing Study (UKNEHS).

BIHIMA welcomes this opportunity to bring together two parallel health agendas, both of which would benefit from a closer synergy to solve the underfunded health crisis faced by the NHS today.

Researchers and charities are campaigning for the study, which would involve 25,000 participants over the age of 50 taking a hearing and eye and examination before completing a general questionnaire.

The researchers hope that data collected from the UKNEHS will help the UK to better understand the effectiveness of prevention and treatments of hearing and vision loss and that this will help target funds more effectively by focusing on prevention.

Recent studies have laid bare the number of people in Europe that suffer from undiagnosed hearing loss, with a recent report from Hear-It highlighting that over 3 million people in the UK live with an untreated hearing loss, which costs the economy an estimated £25.5 billion a year. Similarly, partial sight loss affects around 2 million people in the UK, and this is expected to rise to 2.4 million by 2024, according to Vision UK.

BIHIMA’s Chairman, Paul Surridge, commented: ‘There are many parallels between Optics and Audiology and having spent almost twenty years in the former at Sight Care, I recognise that more can be done to review how new approaches to these two health sectors could improve provision and care. We at BIHIMA recognise the value this study would bring to both industries and hope to see it come to fruition.”