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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

Some eye conditions are caused by genes or ageing. But you can reduce your risk of many eye conditions by caring for your eyes and leading a healthy lifestyle.

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.

We also fund research into eye health and eye conditions. This includes funding for a national eye health survey and the National Health and Medical Research Council

The research helps us to focus our policy and programs on specific needs such as:

Support services

Vision 2020 Australia

Vision 2020 Australia is part of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, an initiative of the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

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