ProVision Australia has launched an Open Your Eyes preventive eye care campaign highlighting the dangers of not having a regular eye examination every two years.
The campaign was promoted by findings reported in an Eye Health Report Card compiled by Vision 2020.
The report highlighted that 86 per cent of Australians rated loss of sight – as opposed to losing any other of their senses – as their number one health concern, and that nearly two thirds of the population were more fearful of going blind over losing a limb or having a heart attack. Despite this, according to the report, 4.1 million Australians had not had their eyes tested recently and one million had never had an eye exam.
Referring to the findings, Optometry Australia President, Kate Gifford said, “Around 12 million Australians – almost 50 per cent of the population – have long-term eye conditions which include glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, astigmatism, long and short sightedness. Since 75 per cent of vision loss is readily treatable or preventable, it is disappointing to see so many in our community fall into a state of vision impairment which can, and will, cruelly affect their physical, functional, emotional and social wellbeing. Beyond any doubt, the inevitable result of visual impairment is to reduce a person’s quality of living.”
Through our 360 degree comprehensive eye consultation process we are able to better educate Australians on how they can take a more active role in protecting their most precious sense…
ProVision’s national campaign recommends all Australians spend more time understanding and caring for the health of their eyes, and communicated the key message that committing 40 minutes to an optometrist visit today can save a person’s sight tomorrow.
Speaking of the campaign, ProVision Chairman and optometrist, Ian Bluntish, said: “Our goal is to reach a point where Australians understand that by being proactive they can have an impact on reducing preventable blindness. The primary reason prompting a person to visit an optometrist today is that they experience some kind of vision change. But the reality is that many symptoms of eye disease are either invisible or not immediately obvious, so we are encouraging Australians of all ages not to wait for a problem before seeing their local optometrist.
“Protecting one’s most precious sense is a lifelong journey. The routine of caring for the health of a person’s eyes should start from pre-school years and continue regularly thereafter,” he added.
Ms. Gifford stressed that beyond the emotional limitation to a fuller lifestyle there is also a “dollars and cents” dimension. “Estimates suggest that the total annual economic cost of vision disorders is AU$16.6 billion. Eye issues account for one in 30 hospitalisations in Australia, yet restorations of sight and blindness prevention strategies have proven to be among the most cost-effective interventions in health care and optometrists are key to preventive eye care.”
ProVision’s optometrist members will support the campaign by offering the community a “360 degree comprehensive eye consultation” which, according to the organisation, will include a “holistic and extensive eye examination plus advice on health, diet and lifestyle and the latest eyewear solutions for maintaining healthy eyes and vision”.
“Through our 360 degree comprehensive eye consultation process we are able to better educate Australians on how they can take a more active role in protecting their most precious sense,” said Mr. Bluntish.