21 May 2015… The demand for a dazzling Hollywood smile could be putting eye health care in the shade according to a new survey released today. 

While three quarters (75 per cent) of Brits state that sight is the most important of the senses, and 81 per cent say experiencing vision loss would be their biggest concern, latest research reveals we look after our teeth far more than our eyes.

In a battle of vision vs. teeth, the eyes should have it. Yet, on average, British adults visit the dentist twice as much as the optician. 

We scan the reading chart every 2 years, 3 months and 3 days; yet we hop into the dental chair to ‘open wide’ every 1 year, 1 month and 10 days!

The new research[i]  by Optegra Eye Health Care reveals that almost a quarter of Brits (22 per cent) have not had an eye test for at least three years. 

While half of the population (50 per cent) have had more than 30 dental checks in their lifetime to date, one in ten Brits (10 per cent) cannot even remember the last time they visited the optician.

Leading ophthalmic surgeon, Mr. David Anderson, from Optegra Eye Health Care group, says:  “It is widely agreed that sight is the most important of the senses, and we hear from patients on a daily basis how precious their sight is; but this research makes me wonder if we tend to take good vision for granted.

“It is vital to have regular eye check-ups as there are so many conditions that may be going on without us realising – from early stages of cataract, which is very common and easily treated, to retinal tears or glaucoma which, if not detected in time, can lead to blindness.

“Of course, it is important to keep check on teeth too, but it is surprising that Brits are going to their dentist almost twice as often than going to their optician – yet vision is so vital to every day life!”

The new research shows we opt to keep check on our teeth much more often.  In fact 67 per cent of adults go to their dentist every 12 months or under; compared to only 10 per cent of adults seeing their optician in that time frame.

Michael Sutton, age 43, a designer from Surrey says: “My vision is vital to every aspect of my life – from home life, enjoying my children and hobbies, to my work, where design means I need to have the sharpest of vision to review and draw the smallest of details.  But, I must confess that I have been to the dentist far more often than the optician. 

“In fact when I went to the optician last she pointed out it had been an entire decade since I had last visited! I go to the dentist every six to 12 months.

“I had no idea it had been that long, and to be honest, the only reason I went then was because I had worn my reading glasses for so long they were out of fashion!

“It is concerning to think that if there had been any problem with my eye health it may have progressed to a much bigger issue by this point.  From now on, I’m aiming to go much more often.”


[i] Consumer research carried out April 2015 for Optegra by Censuswide; online research with 2,231 British adults aged 16 years and above.

For more information/photography, please contact:

Charlotte Sutton


T:         01372 270 938

M:        07958 279 240


Note to editors

About David Anderson

PhD FRCOphth MB BS CCST, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon for Optegra


Cataract and Clarivu surgeryLaser eye surgery (LASIK, Wavefront and T-CAT treatments)Intra-ocular contact lens (ICL) surgery / Phakic lens surgeryCorneal transplant surgery (DSEK, DALK and PK)The treatment of Keratoconus and CXLMr Anderson is qualified to use LENSAR™ femtosecond laser technology for cataract and Clarivu (RLE) procedures.

Places of study:

Moorfields Eye Hospital Fellowship trained laser refractive surgeonMoorfields Eye Hospital Fellowship trained cataract and corneal transplant surgeonBascom Palmer Eye Institute Fl, USA (USA’s leading Eye Hospital), trained Corneal Research FellowTFC Frost Scholar to USA

Past professional history:

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation TrustHonorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in Ophthalmology, University of SouthamptonVisiting Consultant Ophthalmologist, States of Jersey

Member of societies, bodies etc:

Lead investigator for lens implant evaluation and performanceClinical investigator in large scale laser vision correction research trials including wavefront-guided laser vision correctionReviewer for multiple ophthalmic and scientific journals, grant giving bodies and research trialsMedical Research Council (MRC) Academic Fellowship PhD in Allergy and ImmunologyMRC Grant recipientPhD examiner for University of London

About Optegra

Optegra is a specialist provider of ophthalmic services in the UK, China, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.  Optegra operates 25 eye hospitals and clinics and brings together leading edge research and medical expertise, state-of-the-art surgical equipment and top ophthalmic surgeons renowned for their areas of expertise to offer excellent clinical outcomes in laser vision correction, refractive lens exchange (Clarivu™), cataract removal, AMD, vitreoretinal and oculoplastics procedures all carried out in five-star patient facilities.

Clarivu is the Optegra brand name for its individually tailored, consultant-led vision correction (or Refractive Lens Exchange – RLE) package. The package includes all diagnostic eye assessments, an advanced technology intraocular lens (IOL) specially selected for the lifestyle and visual goals of the patient, the procedure undertaken in an Optegra eye hospital and post-operative care. In addition, the Clarivu package includes any further top up laser surgery that may be required in order to meet the stated visual goals of the patient.

Optegra is committed to the development of eye sciences and championing the latest innovations in vision correction through its dedicated Eye Sciences Division.  Optegra achieves this by partnering with leading UK universities in the research and development of the next generation of ophthalmic services and technologies.

In addition, its Professional Partnership Programme of education and development with optometrists and opticians ensures the very best medical treatments are available to all.

To maintain Optegra’s five star standard of patient care and safety,  its specialist eye hospitals draw on the expertise of its Medical Advisory Committees (MAC), headed by consultant level ophthalmic surgeons who all report into the corporate MAC.  This is managed by Medical Director, Mr Robert Morris, the renowned refractive expert who advises on Optegra’s policies and procedures.

Optegra operates six UK eye hospitals: Optegra Eye Hospital, London; Optegra Surrey Eye Hospital (Guildford); Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital (Aston); Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital (Apperley Bridge and Laser Eye Centre in Leeds City Centre); Optegra Solent Eye Hospital (Whiteley) and Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, (Didsbury).