A Welshpool opticians says it is offering 'space age' technology after a £45,000 investment in new equipment.

Specsavers on the Mill Lane retail park has introduced a hospital-grade OCT, or optical coherence tomography, machine to the store to help detect preventable, sight-threatening conditions earlier than with a standard eye test.

The machine takes more than 1,000 images of the back of the eye, and uses the same technology as NASA does to measure the effect of space travel on the eye. It layers those 1,000 images to give the optometrist a more detailed view of the eye’s deeper structures.

The machine can detect diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and – in some cases – more serious health issues, such as a brain tumour.

David Dunlop, co-director at Specsavers Welshpool, said: ‘This is a really important development for Welshpool residents’ eye health.

"Being able to access technology that can detect these serious conditions so quickly and without the need of a hospital appointment is vital to ensure people get the care and treatment needed swiftly for the best possible outcome."

In Powys, there are an estimated 6,570 people living with sight loss, approximately 4.9 per cent of the population.

Lowri Evans, co-director of the Welshpool store, added: "The numbers speak for themselves. Regular eye tests are crucial and I hope having this brilliant technology on hand will encourage more people to pop in and get their eyes tested."