It’s World Sight Day today, so talk to your patients about having their eyes tested – after all, a 30 minute eye test could save their most precious sense.
Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and the rest of the eye care community around Australia are encouraging people to have regular eye checks to detect potentially blinding eye conditions.
Three-quarters of all vision impairment and blindness is preventable or treatable, and could be diagnosed with a simple, 30-minute eye check.
Dr. Richard Stawell, President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), stressed the importance of eye checks. “Eyesight is the most precious of all our senses,” he said.
Three-quarters of all vision impairment and blindness is preventable or treatable, and could be diagnosed with a simple, 30-minute eye check…
Causes of Blindness
The top five causes of vision loss and blindness are macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes-related eye disease, cataracts, and under-corrected refractive error (wearing the wrong glasses or not wearing glasses at all).
Regular Checks Important
“Regular eye examinations are recommended for people who have diabetes, known eye disease, previous eye injuries, or a family history of eye disease,” said Dr. Stawell.
“Everyone between age 40 to 65 years should have a complete eye check every two or three years, and those over 65 years should get their eyes checked every two years – or more often if recommended by their GP, optometrist or ophthalmologist.”
“It is not just adults who should have their eyes tested regularly,” said Dr. Stawell. “The eyes of newborn children should be tested to identify abnormalities early, and all children should be screened again before age five to detect visual deficits and conditions such as ‘crossed’ or ‘lazy’ eyes.”
Dr. Stawell said research shows that people fear going blind almost as much as they fear dementia, cancer, or losing a partner.
Vision Loss Preventable
“Currently vision loss affects more than 500,000 Australians. The good news is that 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented or treated, and having regular, thorough, eye checks is the first step towards maintaining good vision for life,” said Dr. Stawell.
Christian Blind Mission Australia, RANZCO, Vision Australia, Vision CRC, the Optometrists Association Australia and other leading eye care organisations in Australia are major partners of the global initiative Vision 2020 Australia – the Right to Sight, and are actively involved in World Sight Day initiatives to promote eye health.