A third of patients have gone without an eye examination for the past two years despite ranking their vision highly in a global study.
In Bausch+Lomb's Global Eye Health Barometer, 69 per cent of a sample of 1,050 UK patients said they had been for a comprehensive eye exam in the last two years.
This figure was ahead of nine other developed optical markets, only equalled by France. In another outcome from the survey, 81 per cent of the UK respondents said that, hypothetically, they would rather lose their hearing than their eyesight, while 76 per cent would rather lose a limb than their eyesight.
Paul Hurrell, vice president, B+L Vision Care Northern Europe, said: 'Everybody considers eye health as one of the most important issues and most people would rather lose their sense of taste or hearing, or even lose a limb, than lose their eyesight.'
He added that this high regard for vision did not connect with the number of people having regular eye tests, however.
When asked why they did not have regular eye tests, the highest number of respondents, 63 per cent, replied that they did not have any symptoms.
'Part of that is the misconception that you don't need an eye test unless there is a problem,' added Hurrell.
Current guidance by the College of Optometrists recommends that patients aged over 16 years and without certain medical or ocular conditions have their eyes tested every two years.
B+L found that 73 per cent of females had been for an eye test during this timeframe, compared to 65 per cent of males. The manufacturer said it would be repeating the barometer study next year.