Optical organisations have come out in force to back this year's National Eye Health Week with new findings, resources and media appearances.
Organisers said this year's event, running from September 17-23, was also expected to be supported by an increasing number of optical practitioners.
The College of Optometrists reported how five million people in the UK may have gone 10 years since having an eye exam.
'Most people will probably be fine but it's worth remembering not every eye condition has symptoms so regular check-ups, unless otherwise advised by your optometrist, are vital to maintain healthy eyes,' said College clinical adviser Dr Susan Blakeney.
Manufacturer Bausch+Lomb was concerned about students returning to university, saying that lack of sleep, prolonged computer use and long hours studying could impact on the health of their eyes without regular eye exams.
Retinal imaging device company Optos revealed this week how its Optomap retinal scan had helped Northamptonshire optometrist Brian Tompkins to refer a patient with a tumour at the back of her eye.
'The eye is the only place where, without surgery, it's possible to look in and see blood vessels, arteries and a cranial nerve so it's vital to have regular eye exams that include a comprehensive retina check,' said Optos chief executive officer Roy Davies.
Contact lens optician Nick Atkins conducted local radio interviews to discuss issues including dry eye.
He said: 'The characteristic symptom of "dry eye" is scratchy or itchy feeling eyes that look red rimmed and may be watery. This makes the condition difficult to recognise and GPs may mistake it as a being the result of an eye infection or hay fever. So I would always recommend that an optometrist should be first port of call rather than the doctor.'