Australians ignore eye health

Why are Australians ignoring their eye health?

Eye Health in Australia

For a country with an enviable reputation as one of the most advanced and healthy in the world, you may be surprised to learn that eye problems impact around half the Australian population – that’s around 12 million people!

The below statistics are concerning to the team at Good vision for life and demonstrate that Australians need to spend more time understanding and caring for the health of their eyes:

  • The cost of vision disorders to our economy is estimated at $16.6 billion per annum – that’s a massive $45.5m per day or $1.9m per hour!
  • 86% of Australians rank loss of sight as their number one health concern
  • Despite this, more than half (53%) admit they would not get their eyes tested if their GP recommended it

Despite the vast majority of Australians ranking loss of sight as their number one health concern, most people remain unaware of the need to have their eyes examined at regular intervals throughout life.

When you consider that 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable, why would anyone wait until they experienced a problem with their vision before seeing an optometrist?

Yet many do. And often it is too late as some eye diseases don’t actually show any symptoms for a long time but when they do appear, it is often too far down the track for treatment, and significant vision loss may be the result.

Eye disorders and diseases – such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts – can be hugely debilitating. Even common refractive errors such as long or shortsightedness, if not treated, can significantly impact a person’s wellbeing.

Children often suffer eye disorders without knowing it, impacting their education, social and physical development. And alarmingly, Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander peoples have six times the rates of blindness as non-Indigenous Australians and three times the rates of vision loss.

For Australia – ‘the lucky country’ – these statistics seem incongruous and demonstrate that vision problems continue to be a major overlooked problem in Australia.

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