A charity which focuses on eye care said Hong Kong people have not been paying enough attention to their eye health, after its survey found that more than half of respondents had never checked their eyes.
Orbis and the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society surveyed 6,253 locals last month, and found that more than half of them had never had their eyes checked.
The survey also found that 40 percent of the respondents had medium or high-risk of catching eye diseases, but almost half of them had never done an eye test either.
Emmy Li, the society's vice president and a volunteer doctor at Orbis, described the situation as "worrying".
"I think the main reason is that, many people thought that if they are seeing okay, seeing fine, then they don't need an eye check-up. But in fact that is not the case, because there are many eye diseases that in the early stage, the symptom is not that obvious."
Meanwhile, 20 percent of respondents said they believe rubbing their eyes could help soothe discomfort, but Li said this is a misconception and may cause infection.
"If you rub your eyes a lot, there's risk that your hands are not clean enough, and you're introducing bacteria and germs and causing eye infection. Sometimes the more you rub, the more itchy that you feel."
The doctor called on people not to ignore symptoms like flashes and floaters, saying they could be symptoms of more serious eye diseases.
"This is particularly worrying, because if you have floaters or flashes, it means that there's a possibility that you have some retinal problems," she said.
"In the worst case it can be an early symptom of retinal detachment, which is a blinding disease. So I think if individuals experience floaters or flashers, it is very needed that they should go to an eye check-up by a specialist."
The survey also found that younger adults are less likely to check their eyes, with only one-third of respondents aged between 20 and 29 said they had done a comprehensive eye test.
"It's likely because teenagers usually see very well. They don't have a blurring vision and it's less likely that their eyes get dry," she said.
Li called on people of all age groups to check their eyes regularly, to make sure they don't have hidden diseases.
The appeal for people to have better eye care comes on World Sight Day, a global campaign that aims to draw attention to blindness and visual impairment. It falls on the second Thursday of October.