A fifth of adults find themselves in embarrassing situations due to bad eyesight – including awkward typos

Millions of adults have asked a fellow dinner guest to choose their meal for them - because they can’t read the menu for themselves.

Research of 2,000 adults revealed a fifth (18 per cent) have found themselves in an embarrassing situation as a result of their eyesight.

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Just over one in 10 (11 per cent) have waved at a total stranger thinking it was someone they knew, while 11 per cent have offended someone they DO know - by walking straight past them obliviously.

A red-faced 13 per cent have been laughed at for holding a menu at a comically long distance away in order to make out the dishes.

While 10 per cent have found themselves feeling self-conscious about having to hold a book at arm’s length to read the text.

A spokesperson from Specsavers, which has created an elongated ‘reading arm’ prototype which could help people with presbyopia, said: “Visual impairment is extremely common so it is a real shame that so many people get embarrassed about it.”

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“Inventing the reading arm was excellent fun, and while we’re sure many readers would find such a gadget useful, it shouldn’t be a substitute for taking eye health seriously and booking in with your optician for a check-up.

“Most people over the age of 40 start developing presbyopia, but it can be easily corrected with the right pair of specs.”

It also emerged 35 per cent admit to feeling self-conscious at times about their eyesight.

Yet 43 per cent of those surveyed have not been for an eye test or check-up in the last two years.

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Of those surveyed who have a visual impairment, 28 per cent have the text on their devices set to a larger size so they can read it more easily.

And 44 per cent of those have been mocked for their efforts.

A quarter (24 per cent) of Brits find it difficult to read the small print on contracts or documents, and 20 per cent have trouble making out the instructions and ingredients on the back of toiletries products.

A third (34 per cent) believe their eyesight has deteriorated over the last 10 years, and 34 per cent of these have put off going to the opticians to get themselves tested.

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Working habits could majorly affect eyesight

Just one in five (20 per cent) consider themselves to have no visual impairment whatsoever, with 63 per cent citing minor to moderate sight issues.

Nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) have worn glasses at some point in their lives, and 41 per cent have tried contact lenses.

Before taking part in the survey, 51 per cent of respondents were unfamiliar with the term 'presbyopia' - a sight issue associated with ageing which causes nearby objects to gradually fall out of focus.

In the study, conducted by OnePoll.com, 60 per cent of those living with poor vision admit they took their eyesight for granted before it started to get worse.

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Working habits may be having an impact on eye health, with 39 per cent claiming to have experienced eye strain at the end of the working day.

A fifth (21 per cent) spend all day at their computer, and 44 per cent spend most of the day in front of a screen completing their work.

On average, a typical Brit will spend six hours a day looking at screens, whether at work, for socialising or for leisure.

The Specsavers spokesperson added: “We hope that our reading arm raises a few smiles, but also raises awareness about vision issues and encourages Brits to seek out their optician so their situation can be improved.”

Top 20 embarrassing things adults have done as a result of bad eyesight

  1. Stared at a label for a long time unable to make out the words
  2. Not recognised someone who’s waving at you
  3. Held a menu a comically long distance away to read it while squinting
  4. Complained about the TV picture being blurry
  5. Waved at someone who you don’t know
  6. Held a book at a comically long distance away to read it
  7. Offended someone you DO know by walking past them in the street
  8. Started a conversation with a total stranger thinking they were my friend/partner/family member
  9. Ordered the wrong thing from a fast-food restaurant because you couldn’t see the boards with the menu display properly
  10. Complained about light bulbs not being bright enough
  11. Made a bad typo
  12. Put clothes on inside out
  13. Asked a stranger for help in a shop, thinking they worked there
  14. Mispronounced something on a menu
  15. Got startled by an inanimate object
  16. Accidentally interacted with someone’s social post you don’t know
  17. Asked a stranger to read a sign for you
  18. Misread meal ingredients completely wrong leading to a disastrous dinner
  19. Patted a stranger on the bum thinking it was your partner
  20. Put on odd socks
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