Championing the eye health of Australians during Macula Month 2018 (1 to 31 May), we are calling on people to look after their macular health and have an eye test this May.
Macular disease is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. It includes age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, along with other less common diseases of the macula. The macula is the name given to the area at the very centre of the retina. This region is responsible for detailed central vision and most colour vision. It is responsible for the ability to read, recognise faces, drive a car, see colours clearly and any other activity that requires fine vision.
Many people in our community are at risk of developing macular disease but just don't know it. Those over 50 are at higher risk of age-related macular degeneration, and everyone with diabetes is at risk of developing vision loss from retinopathy.
It's essential to have a regular eye test including a macula check, as you can have the early stages of the disease without knowing. If you're at risk, Macula Month is the perfect time to have your eyes tested by an optometrist.
Also, no matter what your age, if you have sudden changes in your vision you need to have your eyes tested immediately.
Macula Month is an initiative of Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA). CEO Dee Hopkins said that in addition to people having their eyes tested, she wanted the community to learn more about macular disease. In a press release today she said:
"Knowledge is definitely power in the defence against macular disease, so it's imperative Australians learn what they can do to minimise their risk. This can be as simple as eating an eye friendly diet and modifying or managing lifestyle choices."
She also said that MDFA is committed to supporting the community through offering expert health information and advice through their free publications and via their toll-free Helpline: 1800 111 709.
We at Optometry Australia fully support Macula Disease Foundation Australia's efforts in raising awareness during Macula Month. Being at the front line of eye care in Australia, and with the prevalence of macular disease expected to rise, we urge you to find an optometrist near you and make an appointment for an eye check today.
About Macula Month - 1 to 31 May 2018
Macula Month is an initiative of Macular Disease Foundation Australia and runs for the month of May. It is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of macular disease, which includes age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, along with other less common diseases of the macula. Macular disease is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Australia. Macula Month 2018 calls on Australians to reduce their risk of developing macular disease by following three simple steps. Step 1: See your optometrist for an eye test including a macula check; Step 2: Adopt an eye healthy diet and lifestyle; Step 3: Order a free information kit. To order a kit or find out more contact Macular Disease Foundation Australia via its website or call 1800 111 709.