World Sight day 2018 Graphic

 

MEdia Release 2018

Protect your vision this World Sight Day

Now is the perfect time for Australians to think about their sight, with Thursday 11 October marking World Sight Day for 2018.

Around 90% of blindness and vision impairment is preventable or treatable if it’s detected early enough, so Vision 2020 Australia is reminding all Australians to use the day as a reminder to have their eyes checked.

The risk of developing an eye condition increases as people enter their forties. People who smoke, have diabetes, have a family history of eye disease or are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are also at increased risk of eye disease.

If you are more at risk, it is especially important to have regular eye tests to ensure eye problems are detected early to prevent avoidable vision loss. Eye tests can be arranged through an optometrist, by referral to an ophthalmologist, or by speaking with your GP, and are often covered by Medicare.

Quotes attributable to Vision 2020 Australia CEO Judith Abbott:

“Good vision is one of those things which people too often take for granted, so World Sight Day is a great reminder to look after your eyes.”

“Approximately 90% of vision loss and blindness is preventable or treatable if identified early, so it’s important for people to get regular eye tests – especially if they are over 40.”

“The theme for this year’s World Sight Day is #EyeCareEverywhere. Many parts of the world, including Australia, experience significant levels of vision loss and blindness which could have been prevented, so we must do more to combat treatable conditions like cataracts and diabetic eye disease.”

Key tips for looking after eye health:

  • Make sure you have a regular eye check, especially if you are over 40
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses when outside
  • Wear eye protection when playing sports like squash, or performing hazardous work
  • Do not smoke, or quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy diet with regular exercise
  • Manage your diabetes (bloods glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels)

 

ENDS

Media contact: Ben Jessup 0410 632 123 or bjessup@vision2020australia.org.au

 

Facts about blindness and vision loss in Australia

  • More than 453,000 Australians are blind or vision impaired.
  • Approximately 90% of vision loss and blindness is preventable or treatable and can be attributed to five main conditions: refractive error (needing glasses), diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataract and glaucoma.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times more likely to be blind or vision impaired than non-Indigenous Australians.

About World Sight Day

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment, and is held on the second Thursday in October each year.

Established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000, World Sight Day is the main advocacy event for raising awareness about blindness and vision impairment for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative created by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

This year World Sight Day will be on Thursday 11 October, and the international theme for World Sight Day 2018 is Eye Care Everywhere.

For more information visit: www.worldsightday.org.au