Three quarters (76%) of all Australians consider their eyesight to be their most important sense, with three in five Australians stating they’re worried about the quality of their eyesight according to a new report from Optometry Australia.
To mark the start of 2020: the year of good vision for life, Optometry Australia has released the 2020 Vision Index Report, designed to cover the importance that Australians place on their eyes, as well as their understanding of eye health.
Lyn Brodie, CEO of Optometry Australia says the 2020 Vision Index Report highlighted that the majority of Australians understand the benefits of an annual regular eye examination (57%), one third of Aussie’s don’t undertake regular checks (35%), and an alarming one in eight Aussies have never seen an optometrist in their life (12%).
Exploring the nation’s habits, beliefs and attitudes towards their eye health, the report also found that 14% of Australians fear wearing glasses and one in two contact lens wearers don’t wash their hands before inserting them, leaving their eyes open to developing a range of nasty eye conditions. Additionally, one in three Australians (31%) believe eating carrots will improve their eyesight when in fact, a variety of different but good nutrients may contribute to healthier eyes.
Ms Brodie said that “With 2020 being a well-known term often attributed to perfect vision, and good vision a key factor for living a healthy, happy life, the year 2020 represents a significant opportunity to focus attention on eye health.
“The launch of the 2020 Vision Index will help us to shine a light on the importance of regular eye examinations and help encourage more Aussies to focus on their vision in 2020.”
While the report takes a birds-eye look at the eye health of Australians, it also aims to highlight the intrinsic link between eye health and preventable chronic diseases, conditions and their risk factors, underscoring the significant extent to which eye health affects general health and wellbeing.
Ms Brodie says that “A visit to the optometrist is not just about getting prescription glasses, but a comprehensive eye examination can also help identify eye conditions and diseases that can be treated 90% of the time if detected early.
“Many eye conditions are preventable or treatable, so making time for regular eye examinations is essential to overall health and maintaining good vision in 2020 and beyond,” said Daryl Baker, National President of Optometry Australia.
According to the new findings, three in four respondents are aware that eye examinations can also help uncover broader issues about their general health (77%), with the biggest trigger for a visit to an optometrist resulting from Aussies citing poor long distance vision (82%), short distance vision (81%), floating dots in vision (58%) and light sensitivities (47%).
For further information about the new report and to access the full 2020 Vision Index, head to www.goodvisionforlife.com.au.