Health project to save eyesight in Hepburn Shire

A new health project in the Hepburn Shire is set to help residents save their sight. 

Hepburn was chosen as one of six local government areas to launch Vision 2020 Australia’s Vision Initiative 

According to Vision 2020 Australia statistics, 60 per cent of residents over 40 are at increased risk of eye disease. 

Figures show one in four Hepburn residents have never had an eye test. 

The new vision initiative works with local health professionals and the community to raise awareness of the need for regular eye tests to reduce avoidable vision loss. It also aims to highlight the importance of rehabilitation services for people who are blind or vision impaired. 

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Carla Northam said Hepburn residents were identified as having an increased risk of blindness and vision loss due to a high proportion of people living with risk factors associated with eye conditions. 

Hepburn’s high proportion of people with increased risk of eye disease... should ring alarm bells for the community.

Vision 2020 Australia CEO Carla Northam

“We know people who are over 40, have a family history of eye disease, people with diabetes, smokers and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent have an increased risk of developing certain eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or refractive error,” Ms Northam said.

“Hepburn’s high proportion of people with increased risk of eye disease coupled with the number of people who are not getting regular eye tests should ring alarm bells for the community. The good news is that 90 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable, if detected early.”

The new eye health project has also commenced in the Central Goldfields, Bass Coast, Moira, Whittlesea and Glenelg. 

The Vision Initiative is the Victorian government’s public health response to the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss.

Visit www.visioninitiative.org.au for more information on eye health and vision care.