“I encourage all Australians to enter the competition and help spread the word about saving sight.”
Ita Buttrose, Head Judge
Macular disease is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia and includes diabetic eye disease and macular degeneration.
These diseases occur at the macula, the central part of the retina at the back of the eye. This part of the eye processes all visual images and is responsible for our ability to drive, see colours clearly, read and recognise faces.
Macular diseases can often be diagnosed before symptoms occur.
An eye test is essential – early detection can save sight.
Diabetic eye disease - Who is at risk?
Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic eye disease. More than a third of people with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic eye disease in their lifetime.
An eye test at least every two years (or more often if recommended by the optometrist or ophthalmologist) is essential for anyone living with diabetes to detect the early stages of the disease before irreversible vision loss occurs.
Macular degeneration – Who is at risk?
People over age 50 are at increased risk of macular degeneration. Those who smoke or have a direct family history of macular degeneration have a significantly increased risk of developing the disease. One in seven Australians over age 50 show some evidence of macular degeneration and the incidence increases with age.
People over age 50 should have their eyes tested and macula checked.
Macular Disease Foundation Australia
Macular Disease Foundation Australia is committed to reducing the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia through education and awareness programs, research, provision of support services and representing the best interests of the macular disease community.
To find out more about macular disease, phone Macular Disease Foundation Australia on free call number 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au.