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Aussies blind to signs of waning vision

One in seven Australians aged over 50 are experiencing the early signs of blindness, but many are doing nothing about it.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia and survey results released on Tuesday show many people are skipping crucial check-ups which could help retain their sight.

Regular eye examinations can detect conditions and ensure appropriate treatment is recommended, said the Macular Disease Foundation, which commissioned the YouGov Galaxy poll.

More than 80 per cent of the 623 people surveyed in February knew they should have an eye examination at least every two years, foundation chief Dee Hopkins said.

“Even though they know this, almost 40 per cent gamble with their sight by skipping out on these exams,” she added.

“They’re often juggling the needs of kids and elderly parents. It’s also the age when a lot of other health tests are required. Unfortunately, eye exams often get pushed to last on the list when people are time poor.”

The foundation has launched an online tool www.checkmymacula.com.au to help people understand the seriousness of macular degeneration.

The quiz asks a series of questions and provides a risk analysis and link to schedule an eye check or get further information.

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