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Data from the 2021 Census, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week, has revealed that millions of Australians are currently living with eye conditions that impact their daily life.

The collected data shows that over 6.6 million (25.6%) of Australians were short-sighted, around one in five (5.5 million or 21.9%) were long-sighted and one in twenty had diabetes, with Type 2 diabetes the most common.

Further data revealed that the rate of diabetes in males and females was similar, and increased with age from 10.3% for people aged 55-64 years to 14.9% for people aged 65-74 years. Almost one in five (19.2%) people aged over 75 years had diabetes.

Diabetes can be a precursor to diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that can cause blindness if not detected and treated early in patients. Optometrists are reminded to join the KeepSight program, a national eye health awareness and recall program targeting Australians with diabetes. Involvement in KeepSight will complement and bolster the ongoing care that optometrists provide to patients.

The Australian Census is a method of data collecting that is conducted every five years, with the intent of telling the economic, social and cultural make-up of the country. The next Census is planned for 2026.

Optometry Australia soon to release its 2022 Vision Index

In 2020, Optometry Australia commissioned research to gain a broad understanding of Australians’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviours around maintaining their eye health. The resulting inaugural 2020 Vision Index was launched just before the onset of the global pandemic.

We felt it was prudent to conduct similar research in 2022, to understand if and how things may have changed and what impact the pandemic may have had on Australians and their eye health.

Much like the 2020 Vision Index, this year’s report reveals a nation that places great importance on eye health in principle, yet misconceptions remain barriers to maintaining it.

Optometry Australia will release the 2022 Vision Index to members and Australian media next week.

Filed in category: General news

Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.