Australians need to be more aware of their family history of eye disease. That’s the message The Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Eye Foundation will promote during the month of JulEYE.
According to RANZCO, many Australians are still not finding out if eye disease is part of their family history to determine if they’re at risk and need to have their eyes checked – despite 75 per cent of vision loss being preventable or treatable.
Eye tests every two years are essential for people who have a family history of eye disease, a medical condition that can have eye related issues such as diabetes or are over the age of 40. “This is the most effective way to identify problems early,” said RANZCO Fellow, Professor Frank Martin AM.
The JulEYE campaign is now in its sixth year. “Each year we aim to reach more and more Australians with our message,” said Jacinta Spurrett, CEO of The RANZCO Eye Foundation.
Eye tests every two years are essential for people who have a family history of eye disease…
“Our focus in the first week of JulEYE is to encourage Australians to discuss their family’s eye history and to get their eyes tested if there is a history of eye disease. We will also highlight the real and increasing rate of diabetic retinopathy. With over 1.1 million Australians currently diagnosed with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it is vital that eye health check-ups are part of their overall diabetes management.
Joining the JulEYE call to action is INXS band member and ‘JulEYE’ Ambassador, Kirk Pengilly; 2011 Senior Australian of Year, Professor Ron McCallum AO; former Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Betty Churcher AO who has macular degeneration; and leading musician and speaker, Lorin Nicholson who is also legally blind.
To donate visit www.eyefoundation.org.au
Reference: Australian Diabetes Council Diabetes and Eye Booklet 2012