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World Sight Day

2012-10-11image-tools (70)World Sight Day is a global day of awareness around the issues of blindness and vision impairment.

Established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000, World Sight Day takes place on the second Thursday of October each year. This year, World Sight Day is on Thursday 11 October 2012.

This year’s theme is prevention and the important message that in Australia 75 per cent of blindness and vision loss is preventable or treatable. Ensuring all Australians get their eyes tested is key to helping everyone protect and preserve their sight.

Even more so, the message to maintain good eye health is important in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people where around 94 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.  Alarmingly blindness rates are 6.2 times higher and vision impairment 2.8 times higher for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adult population in comparison to the wider Australian adult community.

More than half a million Australians over 40 live with some form of vision impairment. This number is expected to reach 800,000 by 2020 unless Australians are proactive about saving their sight.

There are five conditions that contribute to approximately 80 per cent of avoidable blindness and vision loss in Australia (in alphabetical order): age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and uncorrected or under-corrected refractive error.

For more information, please visit www.worldsightday.org.au