Macula Month

May is Macula Month!

Macula Month – 1 to 31 May 2019

Macula Month is an initiative of Macular Disease Foundation Australia and runs for the month of May. It is an annual campaign designed to raise awareness of macular disease, which includes age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, along with other less common diseases of the macula. Macular disease is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Australia.

Macula Month 2019 calls on Australians to reduce their risk of developing macular disease by following four simple steps:

Step 1: See your optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination including a macula check;

Step 2: Adopt an eye healthy diet and lifestyle;

Step 3: Have a conversation with your family about eye health; and

Step 4: Order a free information kit.

To order a kit or find out more contact Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au/resources

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australians over 50, with 1.29 million people having some evidence of the disease [1]. Age-related macular degeneration causes progressive loss of central vision, leaving the peripheral or side vision intact.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease refers to a range of conditions, the most common being diabetic retinopathy. Over one million Australian adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. Nearly as many are believed to have diabetes but are undiagnosed. The prevalence of diabetes is climbing rapidly posing major public health and economic concerns [2]. Diabetes can result in a number of serious complications including diabetic eye disease. Most people with type 1 diabetes and over 60 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes will develop diabetic eye disease within 20 years of diagnosis. The significant increase in diabetes prevalence is expected to increase the number of people with diabetic eye disease [3]. Early diagnosis and intervention can dramatically reduce vision loss.

Macular Disease Foundation Australia

Macular Disease Foundation Australia’s (MDFA) vision is to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease in Australia through education, awareness, research, support services and representation. It is the national peak body for the macular disease community providing independent, free, expert advice on preventing and living well with macular disease. For more information call 1800 111 709 or visit www.mdfoundation.com.au

References:

1. ‘Eyes on the future – A clear outlook on age-related macular degeneration’. Report by Deloitte Access Economics & Macular Degeneration Foundation, 2011. 2018 prevalence estimates are derived from a straight line extrapolation between 2015 and 2020 estimates in this report.

2. Guidelines for the Management of Diabetic Retinopathy. NHMRC 2008.

3. “Out of Sight – A Report into Diabetic Eye Disease in Australia”. Baker IDI and Centre for Eye Research Australia 2013.- See more at: https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/Macula-Month-Links-background-info#sthash.UehwwLmx.dpuf

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