30 July, 2020
Many Australians assume eye problems come with ageing and can’t be prevented, however 90% of eye-related problems are preventable with early detection.
Recent research conducted by Optometry Australia for the 2020 Vision Index has revealed that more than a third (35%) of Australians do not undergo regular eye examinations, with an alarming 12% having never had an eye test.
Not getting regular eye examinations can lead to a raft of common eye problems – which can be easily prevented or treated with regular visits to an optometrist.
One of these common eye problems is Presbyopia. This condition is the gradual loss of the ability to focus on things that are close up to the eyes which typically comes with ageing. Presbyopia can easily be treated by prescribing glasses or contact lenses to enable clear and comfortable reading.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is also a common undiagnosed and preventable eye condition in Australia, affecting one in seven people. AMD is more likely to occur the older we get and impacts the region of the retina used for central vision and causes severe vision impairment. Early indicators of the disease include difficulty reading, distortion of straight lines, difficulty distinguishing faces, and sensitivity to glare.
Another common eye disease which is particularly hard to self-diagnose is Glaucoma. Often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’, glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases where vision is gradually lost due to damage of the optic nerve. Over 300,000 Australians are affected by the disease, however half of those who have Glaucoma are unaware they do because there are no obvious symptoms such as pain or discomfort. Because of this, it is imperative Australians get their eyes tested regularly, especially if a family member or relative has this condition.
Hyperopia, also known as long-sightedness, is another common eye condition Australians should be aware of. As a largely genetic eye problem, stemming from the size and shape of the eye, hyperopia can be corrected with glasses and contact lenses. Experiencing general eye discomfort or headaches after reading or staring at a screen, as well as nearby objects appearing blurry, are cues you should get tested for hyperopia.
So whilst ageing certainly isn’t preventable, many eye problems are – it’s vital that people take simple measures to avoid common and preventable eye diseases. General knowledge and awareness of your eye health can help you diagnose early symptoms and, coupled with regular eye examinations, will better your chances of maintaining good vision for life.
If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms or you are concerned about your vision, contact your local EyeQ optometrist for a consultation and expert advice.
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.