Protecting Australians’ most precious sense


Australians are being encouraged to book in regular eye tests to protect the health of their eyes amidst new research revealing eyesight is our nations’ most valued sense. This message is being reinforced during Macula Month, an annual campaign aimed at driving awareness of the risks of macular diseases.

When asked about their top sense related health concerns, Australians rated going blind (45%) as their top concern ahead of losing memory (40%), losing a limb or mobility (17%), hearing (6%) and speech (2%)[1]. Today, approximately 1.7 million Australians exhibit some evidence of macular disease such as blurred vision or sensitivity to light, with the majority of those people aged over 50[2].

Bupa Optical Optometrist Karen Makin said early detection is the key to protecting your eyes against macular diseases which are the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.

“We recommend people book in regular eye tests, every two years but more often if your family has a history of eye disease, you are diabetic, or you are over 65.

“While eye tests are vital for detecting eye issues such as macular disease, they are also an important tool for identifying general health issues. This is because the eye is the only place in the body where one can get a direct non-invasive view of a persons’ blood vessels which can tell a broad story about an individual’s current and future health risks,” said Karen.

Bupa Optical’s digital retinal imaging technology which is available as part of a standard eye test allows optometrists to gauge the health of the macula in just a few minutes.

“The biggest problem about macular disease is that you can be living with early signs of the disease without knowing it, but when symptoms begin to appear they can quickly develop into difficulty reading, issues with distinguishing faces, dark vision patches and distorted vision.”

“Just like a successful marriage, eye tests are there for both good times and bad, so don’t put one off because you think you have perfect vision… prevention is truly the best medicine when it comes to the health of your eyes,” said Karen.

To book an eye test at your local Bupa Optical store, visit here

For more information on Macula Month visit here.  

 Media reference number: 22/106

[1] https://www.mivision.com.au/2022/05/eyes-closed-to-anti-vegf/

[2] https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/about-macular-disease/overview/