Baby boomers,born between 1946 and 1965, are at risk of macular degeneration, Australia’s leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss.
“All the baby boomers are now aged over 50and that means they’re at risk of macular degeneration.For this reason it iscritical to have an eye test and macula check and adopt eye health diet and lifestyle practices,” said Ita Buttrose, Patron of Macular Disease Foundation Australia.
“Baby boomers havechanged the definition of ageing.More than any generation before,they’re working longer,travelling widely and have big plans for their future.Theyare the first generation who can expectto live a decade or two of relatively healthy life after retirement.
“That’s why it is important that part of their plan for the future includes preventative steps to save their sight from macular degeneration,” said Ita. “Follow the Foundation’s eye health diet and lifestyle recommendations such as eating dark green leafy vegetables especially spinach, fresh fruit and fish. Exercise regularly and don’t smoke.These practices are not only good for your eyes, they’re also good for your bones, heart and brain.
“I saw theimpact vision loss had on my father’s life. He had macular degeneration and now my uncle, his youngest brother,does too. Fortunately he is receiving effective sight saving treatment because his macular degeneration was detected early and he received timely treatment.At 92, he is still able to drive.
“A direct family history of macular degeneration meansa 50 per centchance of developing the disease. So if, like me, you have a directfamily member with the diseasebe vigilantwith your eye health,” said Ita.
Health Minister SussanLey is joining Ita in support of Macular Degeneration Awareness Week. “As a baby boomer myself, this is a timely reminder of the importance of an eye test and macula check. With a third of all Australians aged over 50 many are now in the higher risk category, with latest estimates indicating 1.2 million Australians already have some evidence of the disease,” said Minister Ley.
Macular Disease Foundation Australia Chief Executive Officer Julie Heraghty explained, “A person can have the very early signs of macular degeneration without even knowing. That’s why an eye test is essential.
“In between appointments use a simple tool, theAmsler grid,to monitor changes in your vision,” saidJulie.“Never dismiss any changes in vision as just getting older. Act quickly, because early detection can save your sight.”
For a FREE macular degeneration information kit and Amsler grid contact Macular Disease Foundation Australia on 1800 111 709 or visit click here.