Analysis of the latest Medicare data shows the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on eye health care.
Between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2021, there were 516,906 less eye tests conducted nationally than in the previous 18-month period.
This means that there are more than half a million Australians at greater risk of developing an eye condition or losing sight than before the pandemic.
Thursday 14 October is World Sight Day, and Vision 2020 Australia and Glaucoma Australia are calling on all Australians to take the pledge to love their eyes in 2021.
With around 90% of blindness and vision impairment preventable or treatable if detected early enough, now is the perfect time for you to show your eyes some love, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We're asking all Australians to take the pledge to love their eyes, and:
- Have an eye test as soon as you can.
- Don’t ignore changes in your vision.
- Maintain your ongoing treatment if you have an existing eye condition.
Optometrists nationally are permitted to provide urgent care even during the lockdown so don’t delay seeking treatment if you notice a change in your vision.
Vision 2020 Australia CEO Patricia Sparrow stated “Around 90% of vision loss is preventable or treatable if it’s identified early, and eye tests are the early warning system which could save your sight.
Key tips for looking after eye health:
- Make sure you have a regular eye test, especially if you are over 40
- Wear a hat and sunglasses when outside
- Wear eye protection when playing sports like squash, or performing hazardous duties
- Quit smoking and maintain a healthy diet with regular exercise
- Manage your diabetes (bloods glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels) and ensure you have regular eye tests