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Runners warned to consider their eye health

New runners inspired by the London Marathon warned to consider their eye health amid excitement.

Runners and would-be runners have been urged to ensure they have considered the best options for their eyesight if they have been inspired to become more active by this year’s London Marathon.

A Senior Optometrist has warned runners of the dangers of failing to take care of their eyes should they prepare to take on endurance running challenges in the year ahead.

Stephen Hannan, Optometrist and Clinical Services Director at Optical Express, the UK and Europe’s leading private provider of laser eye surgery, lens replacement surgery and cataract surgery, has encouraged athletes to book appointments for eye tests, including those inspired to take up running after watching the London Marathon. Failure to wear the correct eyewear when running, particularly for runners who wear contact lenses, could result in consequences for eye health further down the line.

Mr Hannan said: “It’s brilliant to see runners old and new take up the challenge of running each year. However, it is so important for those running to understand the damage that long hours of exercise can have on your eyes if you have not prepared properly.

“Issues that affect eyesight when running that people may not be aware of include low blood pressure or low blood sugar levels caused by both the duration and intensity of the exercise they are undertaking.”

Mr Hannan and his team at Optical Express have treated many athletes, from professionals including Team GB Olympic sprinter Lee Thompson to amateur triathletes, and he has seen the benefits of athletes considering their eye health when taking on endurance challenges.

It is also estimated up to 50,000 runners will sign up to the London Marathon for April 2024, including thousands of runners who are expected to take part in the Virtual London Marathon, where they run 26.2 miles in a location of their choosing, as well as other endurance challenges including swimming and cycling.

Mr Hannan added: “Other concerns include the front of the eye becoming dry, by something as simple as sun cream or sweat getting into the eye during exercise.

“We recommend that if runners are taking up such a challenge – and they should remember the long training hours as well as the event itself – you should look at your options to ensure you have optimum eye health.”

Tracy, a keen runner and triathlete, was concerned about the impact on her eyes when exercising. She recently received laser eye surgery from Optical Express and said: “I enjoy doing outdoor sports, and I enjoy doing a triathlon. I found that my training was getting affected by my lack of ability to see very well, so that was the catalyst for going ahead and getting laser eye surgery done.”

Mr Hannan also commented that he has seen many runners come to Optical Express complaining of the hassle that comes with wearing glasses. Many active patients are concerned that they might fall or cause themselves an injury, and struggle to see clearly when their glasses steam up during exercise. As a life-changing solution he recommends laser eye surgery or lens replacement surgery which can provide visual freedom from their glasses and contact lenses, giving athletes an ideal solution.

Optical Express has over 100 clinics across the UK and Europe, and free consultations for laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery can be booked via this link.

Book a consultation today