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“Are you the 1 in 7 with macular degeneration?” asks Nick Papadopoulos from Optometrist Parramatta

Did you know that 1 in 7 people over 50 have evidence of macular degeneration? An alarming statistic given the rapidly ageing Australian population!

We’re supporting Macular Disease Foundation Australia in urging people to visit their optometrists this Macular Degeneration Awareness Week (22nd-28th May).

An eye test and macula check is 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, family history, and smoking (3-4 times more likely for smokers!). 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 2030!

“Early detection is key to saving sight”, said Nick, the owner of Optometrist Parramatta.

“The very early signs of macular degeneration can now be easily identified with an eye test. Early diagnosis gives the best opportunity to ave 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 immediately. 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 appointments and is available free from The Foundation and associated Optometrists,” said Mrs Heraghty.

Optometry Australia chief executive officer Genevieve Quilty urged people to go to their local optometrist this week and commended the Macular Disease Foundation Australia for helping to raise awareness of eye health in general. The awareness week is a great reminder to make an appointment to visit your optometrist today,” said Ms Quilty. “Let’s work together and stop Australians going blind.”

For more information on macular degeneration, or to pick up your free Amsler grid, visit us in-store or call us on 9891 2020

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