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Macular Degeneration Awareness Week

May 23, 2013

Macula Degeneration Awareness Week is being held this year from Sunday 26 May to Saturday 1 June.

As part of the campaign Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Fowler and local optometrist Dr William Trinh are encouraging local residents to have their eyes tested and ensure the macula is checked.

Macular Degeneration (MD) is the name given to a group of degenerative diseases of the retina that cause progressive loss of central vision.

"MD is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australia. It affects one in seven people over the age of 50 with increasing incidence with age.

"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.

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:

  1. Having regular eye tests and making sure macular is checked
  2. Not smoking
  3. Keeping a healthy lifestyle with controlled diet and regular exercise
  4. Taking zinc and antioxidant supplement, in consultation with a doctor
  5. Adequate eye protection from sun exposure

Dr Trinh, last year’s 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.

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