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Macular Degeneration Awareness Week (1)

May 21, 2014

Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Fowler, has joined forces with Cabramatta Optometrist Dr William Trinh to raise awareness of eye health during Macular Degeneration Awareness Week 25-31 May 2014.

Macular Degeneration (MD) is a chronic disease which affects central vision. It is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia.

Mr Hayes and Dr Trinh are encouraging local residents to have their eyes tested and ensure the macula is checked.

"Vision impairment is an important issue facing the present and future generations particularly of older Australians. The disease can greatly affect a person’s quality of life, level of independence and overall well-being, Mr Hayes said.

Dr Trinh, recipient of the prestigious Professor Lederer Award for Optometry, stressed the importance of regular eye examination.

"Sometimes early stages of an eye disease do not have symptoms so it is important to have an eye examination every one to two years.

"The earlier the disease is detected, the more vision a person is likely to retain", Dr Trinh added.

MD affects one in seven Australians over the age of 50 and its prevalence is set to rise in the absence of prevention and treatment measures.

Although there is no cure for MD, there are treatment options that can slow down its progression depending on the stage and type of disease, including:

 Having regular eye tests and making sure macular is checked

 Not smoking

 Keeping a healthy lifestyle with controlled diet and regular exercise

 Taking zinc and antioxidant supplement, in consultation with a doctor

 Adequate eye protection from sun exposure