Two in five Australians losing sight of eye health
Two in five Australian adults are not getting their eyes checked as often as they should, according to a poll conducted by the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Eye Foundation.
Vision loss can be treated early
Opthalmologist Frank Martin, who sits on the RANZCO Eye Foundation board, said the statistic was a major concern, given that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early.
”Sadly it highlights the fact that blindness and vision loss continues to be a major and often over-looked health problem in Australia,” he said.
”More than 200,000 Australians are currently suffering from vision loss related to eye disease, and every year a further 10,000 Australians will lose part of their vision or go blind.
”But this simply doesn’t have to be the case. Regular eye tests are the most effective way of picking up on changes and identifying problems early.”
Eye disease can happen to anyone
According to Professor Martin, eye diseases are not limited to the elderly, but can also occur in anybody from babies to adults alike.
”It can have devastating effects. Once vision is lost it cannot be restored, so those Australians who are not having their eyes tested at least once every two years need to understand the implications of their actions, and book an appointment,” he said.
Checkup every two years
The RANZCO Eye Foundation recommends that eyes be checked every two years to allow the best chance of treatment. Medicare covers the cost of an eye test at your optometrist every two years, and in some cases more often.
Regular eye examinations are especially important for those to whom the following is relevant:
- Older than 40 years
- A smoker
- Have a family history of eye problems
- Vitamin deficient (particularly C and E)
- Spent a lot of time in the sun
- Have vascular disease
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Have high blood pressure
- Are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
- If you experience any change in your vision.
Time for a checkup?
When did you last get your eyes checked? If it’s been a while, then it’s time to pay a visit to your optometrist.
Your consult should take no more than thirty minutes and is covered by Medicare. It’s also one of the most important things you can do for your eyes.
If your optometrist has any concerns, a referral to personalEYES will allow us to take a closer look, and you can talk to us about the best way to address any eye health issues.
Image credit: Logan Ingalls