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Don’t Overlook the Symptoms

The latest research shows that only 8 per cent of Australians are able to correctly identify a symptom of Macular Degeneration, an eye disease affecting one in seven Australians over the age of 50.

“Given early detection is critical to saving sight, the lack of symptom recognition could risk blindness,” said Michael Hare, Eyecare Plus optometrist. “Macular degeneration causes loss of central vision which is vital to the ability to read, drive, recognise faces and see colours clearly. Everyone over 50 years should have their eyes regularly examined.

Macular Degeneration symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Dif culty with reading or any other activity with ne vision.
  • Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent.
  • Dif cult distinguishing faces.
  • Dark patches or empty spaces appearing in the centre of your vision.

Regular eye examinations and macula checks also provide the opportunity to discuss the role and importance of nutrition and lifestyle, which are critical considerations for good eye health and risk reduction.

“If you experience any sudden change
in vision you should visit your optometrist immediately,” says Michael Hare, “never dismiss vision dif culties as just needing glasses, experiencing eye strain or getting older.”

More than 80 per cent of vision loss in Australia is caused by four conditions:

  • Macular Degeneration (MD) – the leading cause of blindness in Australia, affecting central vision.
  • Cataract – the eye condition responsible for the largest single direct health cost, with cataract removal the most common of all elective surgery procedures.
  • Diabetic Eye Disease – almost all vision loss caused by this condition can be prevented by timely treatment.
  • Glaucoma – early diagnosis and treatment are important to control glaucoma and protect sight. Half of those with glaucoma are undiagnosed and untreated.

For people over 50, Michael Hare recommends a comprehensive eye examination every 12 months at a minimum. This will ensure changes to the eyes are identi ed and monitored in order to prevent or minimise vision impairment and loss. Prevention is key.

For more information on EyecarePlus contact us today

Eyecare Plus Southport
P: (07) 5532 9566

Eyecare Plus Benowa
P: (07) 5597 0038






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Alana Lowes

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