Aussies fear losing their sight but most won't fix it

NEW research released by OPSM reveals 86% of Aussies fear losing their sight more than any other sense.

But despite this concern, more than half (53%) admit they would not be driven to get their eyes tested if their GP recommended it.

Instead, motivation occurs once a noticeable change in vision has already occurred.

To improve the nation's vision and raise awareness of eye health, OPSM's charity partner OneSight has set a personal challenge for all Australians - close your eyes for one minute and imagine what your world would be like without sight. For 563 million people the world is a blur.

With over 700 OPSM optometrists available and 4,500 volunteers, OneSight travels to remote and regional areas to provide eyewear and optometry services to Indigenous Australians, homeless shelters and disadvantaged schools.

Robyn Weinberg, OneSight Director Australia and New Zealand, explains, "Having helped over 10,000 Aussies in 2014, we know first hand how life-changing proper eye care can be.

"Whilst OneSight helps those less fortunate, we've also noticed the need to remind all Australians that good vision is a basic human right and should not be taken for granted. Stop and take a moment to appreciate your vision."

OneSight simply wants Aussies to reflect on how valuable their vision really is by taking it upon themselves to choose 60 seconds out of their day to close their eyes.

Anthea Muir, President OPSM Australia and New Zealand says, "At OPSM we believe in quality eye care for all, not just those who can afford it. We are incredibly proud of our work with OneSight and our optometrists who continue to volunteer their time to improving sight amongst those in need."

"Early detection is key to preventing vision loss, and with 66% of Aussies having noticed a change in their vision within the past five years, I strongly encourage all Australians to experience One Dark Minute. You really don't know what you've got until it's gone," concluded Muir.

The majority of Aussies also admit they are not knowledgeable when it comes to eye diseases; less than one in five (17%) know of diabetic retinopathy and only 29% understand age related macular degeneration.

To take One Dark Minute close your eyes for 60 seconds and ask yourself - what would the world be like if you lived in darkness forever? For more information on One Dark Minute head to opsm.com.au/onedarkminute



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