Get your eyes checked before it's too late

Optometrists warn Australians are at high risk of eye disease.

The outlook for Australia’s eye health is grim, with more than 800,000 Australians expected to experience vision loss or blindness by 2020.

The alarming statistics from Vision Initiative are part of a reminder for regular eye checks by optometrists who believe 90 percent of vision loss could be preventable or treatable with early detection.

Eye Health 1st has been launched to empower Australians to get their eyes checked before it’s too late. The website provides a directory of optometrists from around Australia, an online booking system and education resources.

Optometrist Jeremy Richards said that by the time eye disease symptoms start to appear, it may be too late to prevent permanent damage.

“Australians aged 40 and above may not realise that they are at higher risk of developing an eye disease,” he said.

“A simple eye health check every two years should be an essential part of every person’s healthcare routine, just like regular check-ups with a GP and dentist.

“As you get older, it becomes more important than ever to have the same trusted healthcare providers who can give you a personalised and consistent level of care.”

Eyes Checked

Managing director and co-founder of parent company My Health 1st Klaus Bartosch said the national eye health campaign would tackle the two main reasons Australians fail to take care of their eyes - a lack of education and apathy.

“This campaign is about improving the health of the eye,” Mr Bartosch said.

“It’s about prevention and early detection. Most people would agree that sight is their most important sense. We mustn’t lose sight of what’s important.

“We know and understand the importance of oral health by the time we are teenagers. We want every Australian to think about eye health the same way and it becomes critically important in people over 40 years of age.”