Approximately half a million Australian?s are blind or vision impaired and a staggering 75 percent of this is preventable or treatable. The best way to ensure that you maintain optimal vision is to have regular eye tests. Eye tests are available from optometrists or by referral from your local doctor to an ophthalmologist.
To prevent unnecessary vision loss:
- have regular eye tests
- protect your eyes from injury
- stop smoking
- wear sunglasses
- have an eye test without delay if you experience any changes to your vision
- if you are under the care of an eye health professional, follow their advice
Low Vision Services
There are approximately 180,000 people living in Australia with severe vision impairment, and this number is expected to double within the next ten years. Low vision, blindness and rehabilitation services exist for people whose vision can no longer be improved to a satisfactory level by glasses, contact lenses, medical or surgical treatment. Low vision services help by providing information, visual aids and rehabilitation to assist a person with vision impairment to remain independent. It is important that a person seeks assistance from low vision services at an early stage.
Low vision services are provided by low vision organisations, some optometrists and ophthalmologists. These services assist people to make the most of their available vision, and adjust to vision impairment by learning new ways to carry out everyday tasks. Most importantly, low vision services help people to continue leading happy and fulfilling lives.
To find out more about these services and how to contact them please visit: www.visioninitiative.org.au
Facts and figures
- Prevalence of eye disease predicted to double over the next ten years
- Vision loss and blindness increases threefold with each decade over 40 year
- 80 per cent of vision loss is caused by five conditions (listed alphabetically):
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic eye disease
- Under-corrected and uncorrected refractive error
People with a vision impairment have:
- Twice as many falls
- Three times the risk of depression and;
- The risk of hip fractures increases eight fold.
To find out more information please visit www.visioninitiative.org.au