Research revealed 18 percent have been in an embarrassing situation as a result of their eyesight.

And 11 percent have waved at a total stranger thinking it was someone they knew, while another 11 percent have offended someone they do know – by walking past them.

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

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

Specsavers has now created an elongated “reading arm” prototype which could help people that are long-sighted.

It said: “Visual impairment is extremely common so it is a real shame that so many people get embarrassed about it.

“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 or long-sightedness, but it can be easily corrected with the right specs.”

It also emerged 35 percent admit to feeling flustered at times about their eyesight.

However, 43 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed have not been for an eye test or check-up in the past two years.

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

Forty-four percent of those have been mocked for their efforts.

A quarter find it difficult to read the small print on documents.

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