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.
14 October is World Sight Day, and Vision 2020 Australia is 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.
Vision 2020 Australia is asking all Australians to take the pledge to love their eyes, and:
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 said,“Almost half a million Australians missed having an eye test over the past year and a half as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.” she adds.
“This World Sight Day we’re asking all Australians to love their eyes by pledging take three simple steps:
“Have an eye test as soon as you can, don’t ignore changes in your vision and maintain your ongoing treatment if you have an existing eye condition.
“Optometrists in all states are permitted to provide urgent care, so people should not delay seeking treatment if they notice a change in their vision.
“An eye test is a simple, quick and effective way to love your eyes and protect your vision.” Sparrow says.
Key tips for looking after eye health:
Facts about blindness and vision loss in Australia
Original story from Third Sector Australia. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.