A 29% rise in eye exams performed in Scotland shows that numbers have increased from 1.58 million in 2006/7 to 2.04 million in 2013/14, which is now officially a record high. Statistics released by the National Health Service Scotland, Information Services division showed that during the period of 2013/14, 80% of these eye examinations were also carried out within a primary care setting, a dramatic increase of 17%. This has now reduced the number of referrals when compared to 2006/7 statistics.
Figures also show that of the 2.04 million sight tests during 2013/4, 1.66 million were listed as primary eye examinations and supplementary eye examinations amounted to 374,000. Also highlighted in the report was the rise in the number of domiciliary visits during the 2013/4 period, again an extraordinary increase of 35%. This increase, according to the General Ophthalmic Services Statistics report, is due to the aging population, with the figures expected to increase further during the forthcoming years.
Worryingly, the number of patients with sight threatening conditions such as glaucoma or hypertension between the periods of 2006/7 and 2013/4 doubled to nearly 60,000. The number of patients that were identified as diabetic also rose by almost half to around 130,000.