Clear call to see the risks

A NEW eye health program is coming to Greater Dandenong with a view to target vision loss.
Vision 2020 Australia’s Vision Initiative will focus on sight in the municipality over the next two years, along with the City of Brimbank, the Shire of Campaspe and Swan Hill Rural City Council.
The areas have all been identified as communities at increased risk of eye disease and will receive individually targeted initiatives, ranging from training for primary health professionals to educational materials and eye health awareness campaigns.
Vision Initiative’s aim is to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision loss and it’s been piloted in Darebin, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe since 2012.
Research shows that 75 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early.
Most at risk are people aged over 40, who smoke, have diabetes, have a family history of eye disease and who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Vision loss is linked to increased risk of falls, hip fractures and depression and can hamper independence in older people.
Dandenong MP Gabrielle Williams said the program would help Greater Dandenong residents to take control of their eye health and support them to have regular eye tests.
“This targeted support will ensure people at greater risk of eye disease in our local community will be able to access the information, care and treatment they need, when they need it,” she said.