1 in 7 people over 50 have some evidence of macular degeneration, an alarming statistic given the rapidly ageing Australian population.
That’s why Sparks & Feros Optometrists is supporting Macular Disease Foundation Australia in urging Carlingford and nearby residents to visit for regular eye tests and macula checks, as they are critical to detect macular degeneration which occurs at the back of the eye. You can have the early signs without knowing, even before symptoms occur.
Risk factors include age, a direct family history and smoking. Almost 1.2 million Australians over 50 have some evidence of macular degeneration, making it Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness. Without appropriate prevention and treatment measures, this number is set to increase to 1.7 million by 20301.
Early detection is key to saving sight, as the very early signs of macular degeneration can now be easily identified with an eye test. Early diagnosis gives the best opportunity to save sight by adopting nutrition and lifestyle practices and timely access to treatment.
Macular Disease Foundation Australia Chief Executive Officer Julie Heraghty says the cost of vision loss is too high. “This is a chronic disease and I urge you to make an eye test part of the normal health routine for you and your family.
“If you notice any sudden changes in your vision it is essential to seek medical attention urgently. The ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration can progress very quickly and requires rapid treatment to save sight. An Amsler grid can also be used to self monitor for changes in vision between professional appointments and is available free from the Foundation,” said Ms Heraghty.
For more information or a free Amsler grid call Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au