Connacht and Irish Rugby Internationals highlight the importance of clear vision on the field

Irish Rugby internationals Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan took advantage of Specsavers’ latest hospital-quality technology ahead of the Guinness Six Nations to help ensure they are at the top of their game.

The pair were offered an OCT (optical coherence tomography ) scan when Specsavers visited Aviva Stadium as official optician and audiologist for the Irish Rugby Football Union.

Specsavers’ hospital-quality OCT scan is now available in stores across Ireland and can help detect treatable eye conditions such as macular degeneration sooner. It can help detect glaucoma up to four years in advance.

Connacht’s Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan spoke about the importance of looking after their eye health, ahead of the Six Nations.

According to Heffernan good vision is crucial on the field. "Good eyesight is obviously very important, crucial to be able to react," he said.

Dillane added: "You need to be really focused, because things move so quick, especially if you’re a forward like myself against a back, then there could be a lot of moving parts at one point. So, you really need to keep your eyes on the ball or eyes on the man in front of you and not to be fooled. It is a huge part of the game and it can cost you if you are not."

The OCT scan, which only takes a few seconds, allows an optician to look deeper into the eyes than ever before. It means treatable eye conditions can be managed before they get worse and it can help prevent potential sight loss.

Dillane found the OCT scan quick and easy. "It was a really easy process and informative – good clear information on different things," he said. "The machine would benefit all sports people, just to have confidence in their eye health."

An OCT uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of the eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve and creating a cross-section view.

Heffernan found the feedback from the optometrist very beneficial, saying: "It was quick, easy, and completely painless. It was great combined with instant feedback. Very impressed with it. It is a brilliant machine and I can’t see why it wouldn’t be used in elite level sports."

Both men encourage all rugby fans to prioritise their eye health so they can continue to enjoy all the action and not miss a moment for the Guinness Six Nations and beyond – whether at the ground or on television.

Specsavers chairperson, Kerril Hickey, said: "This is a hugely exciting sponsorship for Specsavers and we are delighted to be officially partnering with the IRFU as their official optician and audiologist. Good eyesight and player performance go hand in hand and we are thrilled to have Dave Heffernan, Ultan Dillane, and Conor Murray working with us to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your vision as they embark on their Guinness Six Nations journey. We wish them and the rest of the Irish team the very best."

An OCT scan can be booked alongside a normal eye test and can be requested when booking an appointment or arriving in store. In addition, if you have concerns about your hearing or think a loved one might be struggling, why not book a free hearing test at Specsavers.

For more information on OCT or to book a free eye test at Specsavers Galway stores, visit www.specsavers.ie/stores/galway or www.specsavers.ie/stores/headfordroad

 

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