Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today joined Mr John Molloy of Penrith Spectacles to encourage people who are either over 50 years of age, smokers or people who have a family history of macular degeneration to observe Macular Degeneration Awareness Week by visiting their local optometrist for an eye health check-up.
“Macular Degeneration (MD) is Australia’s leading cause of blindness and early detection is vital to save sight” Stuart Ayres said.
“Age, smoking and family history have been identified as being the three main risk factors for Macular Degeneration with smokers being three times more likely to develop MD.
The Macular Degeneration Foundation advises that early detection is essential in addressing the eye condition and encourages people at-risk to have their eyes tested. Anyone who experiences a sudden change in vision should see their ophthalmologist urgently.
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:
· Difficulty with reading or any other activity that requires fine vision;
· Distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent;
· Distinguishing faces becomes a problem;
· Dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision.
Mr Molloy said “It is important to remember that in the early stages there may be no visual symptoms therefore an eye test is essential to detect the early signs of Macular Degeneration,”
“The best solution if you are one of the people at-risk is to have regular eye tests before the more-progressed symptoms are identified.”
Macular Degeneration Awareness Week runs from 24-30 May 2015.
For more information, a free information kit and a magnetised Amsler grid, contact the Macular Degeneration Foundation on 1800 111 709 visit www.mdfoundation.com.au or see your local optometrist.