National Eye Health Week takes place this year from 23 to 29 September 2019 and promotes the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. Recent statistics show that 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, and regular sight tests can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma.

This is precisely what happened to TV chef Rosemary Shrager, 68. Here she tells us why she became an NEHW ambassador for an optical retail chain.

Rosemary Shrager interview

LC: You're working to promote eye health, were you shocked to be diagnosed with signs of glaucoma?

RS: There is such a strong history of glaucoma in my family, and I started to think about it when I was with my husband at London's Moorfield's eye hospital when he had a detached retina. The hospital was doing some research on glaucoma, and they tested me. After that I was quite concerned because it can cause blindness and I don't want to go blind, it's quite scary. At the moment the glaucoma is only in its early stages. I am lucky it has been caught early.

LC: Have you started doing more to look after your sight?

RS: Definitely, you have to take care of it. I have a yearly check-up for my glaucoma, and I have to make sure I go. I was one of those people who didn't go to the dentist, even if I had a toothache.

I didn't tend to look after myself very well. It is essential now, though to maintain myself as I grow older.

LC: Is the aging process something you worry about?

RS: Nobody likes getting older - there is nothing good about it. Things do go wrong, and you have to look after them a little bit. The most important thing in my life is my health if I have that I can still work.

I am a fortunate person; I have my health, I work, I go away on holiday. My life is the same as it was thirty years ago, in fact, it's better, I know more, I'm wiser, and I have the energy and stamina.

'There is so much to learn out there'

LC: You're 68 and still working. Do you ever think of retiring?

RS: Of course not. I've got a few years left yet.

I don't feel my age; I don't act my age, and also life is interesting. There is so much to learn out there and so many people to meet. It's exciting. I've got lots of young friends, and my dinner parties are full of all ages. I don't look at age; I just look at people. One of the essential things in life is never to judge or think you're the best person ever because you're not. We're all different.

LC: You've had a long and successful career, is there anything left for you to achieve?

RS: Yes, absolutely. I've got lots of things I'd like to achieve. My cookery school has closed because it's gone into liquidation - nothing to do with me. But, now I have the Rosemary Shrager accreditations which I will be pushing forward into the colleges which will be great. It's exciting, and it's taken a long time to get them. So, you never stop pushing yourself.