Half a million Australians have significant vision loss and by 2020 it is predicted that this number will double – despite the fact that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.
That’s the disturbing result of an Australian Government funded survey, Queensland Vision Initiative (QVI) recently completed. It also provided an insight into eye health services in Brisbane.
One of the main findings was that many health professionals lacked an awareness of the services provided by low vision, peer support groups and community organisations – an important aspect of vision care for those with significant eye sight problems.
QVI is now extending this study and asking all eye and allied health professionals working with vision impaired Queenslanders in regional, rural and remote Queensland to take one minute to complete an online survey.
It lists the main messages needed to get to the public as:
• Prevention: Quit smoking, get an eye check if you have a family history of eye disease, avoid excess exposure to UV and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
• Early Detection and Treatment: Regular eye tests are recommended once every two years or whenever there is a change in vision.
• Awareness of Low Vision and Rehabilitation Services: Those whose vision loss is not correctable by glasses can get valuable information from low vision clinics and rehabilitation services.
Mr. Greg Johnson, QVI President, says, “Since Australia has an ageing population these issues are likely to affect each one of us, our families, friends and community. So book an eye check and get your eyesight tested!