Illness, injury and ageing can affect your eyesight, so it’s important to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. Find out what we’re doing to help improve eye health in Australia and prevent vision loss.
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Eye health in Australia
In Australia, more than 450,000 people are living with vision impairment or blindness. Common eye conditions that cause vision loss include cataracts and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina from diabetes).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities:
- suffer vision impairment and blindness at 3 times the rate of other Australians
- have high rates of trachoma (an eye infection) in some areas
It’s also important to get regular eye tests. Around 90% of all blindness and vision impairment in Australia is preventable or treatable if detected early.
Most Australians (90%) say that sight is their most valued sense, so we need to make sure everyone has access to the eye care they need.
What we’re doing about eye health
We work on policy and programs to improve eye health services and prevent and treat eye conditions.
We helped to create a national framework to respond to VISION 2020 — the World Health Organisation’s call to eradicate avoidable blindness.
The research helps us to focus our policy and programs on specific needs such as:
- improving eye health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- managing trachoma in Australia
- providing eye health services through the Rural Health Outreach Fund
- helping people to manage their diabetes through the National Diabetes Services Scheme