Looking after your eyesNational Pharmacies
Did you know that in 2016 it was estimated that more than 430,000 people in Australia experienced vision impairment or blindness? Of these people, 84 per cent were 50 years or older and 90 per cent of their conditions were deemed preventable.
The following five eye conditions cause 90 per cent of all vision impairment in Australia: cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-relayed macular degeneration and uncorrected or under- corrected refractive error-myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.
What can you do?
Having regular eye tests can prevent vision loss and are a must if…
- You have a family history of eye disease (such as glaucoma or macular degeneration)
- You are over 40 years of age
- You have diabetes
- You notice a change in vision
- You are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
Eye tests can also identify health conditions that present eye symptoms such as diabetes, brain tumours, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid disease and autoimmune disease.
How to maintain eye health
There are a number of things you can do to help the health of your eyes and the first one is to have regular eye tests. Other things you can do include:
- Quit smoking
- Protect your eyes from injury by wearing eye protection (this includes during sport and DIY)
- Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses and a hat when out in the sun
- Maintain good health through a healthy diet and regular exercise
How can your pharmacist help?
Your pharmacist can assist with treating simple eye conditions such as recommending appropriate lubricated eye drops, gels or ointments. However, they may also refer you to your GP or optometrist, especially if you present with blurred vision, red eyes, contact lens, a foreign body in the eye or only one red eye.
There are certain eye symptoms that indicate emergency attention. These include worsened eye conditions, vision loss in one or both eyes, darkening or veiling of vision, sudden double vision, severe eye injury or trauma, vision disturbance with a severe headache, slurred speech or mental confusion
Remember your National Pharmacies pharmacist and Optical team are always there to help and get that eye test you have been delaying.
Author: Robyn Johns
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.