Optometrist wants you to keep your eye on the ball during Macula Month

Optometrist Desmond Foo (right) conducting an eye test.
Optometrist Desmond Foo (right) conducting an eye test.

A LOCAL optometrist is urging people to get their eyesight tested to safeguard against the leading cause of legal blindness in Australia.

Macula Month, which runs for the entirety of May, aims to raise awareness about the symptoms and side-effects of macula-related diseases.

The macula is located at the back of the eye and holds the most amount of light receptors, allowing it to control central, high definition and colour vision.

Specsavers Livingston optometrist Desmond Foo said age-related macula degeneration was responsible for 50 per cent of all cases of blindness and severe vision loss.

He estimated one in seven Australians over 50 years-old had some type of this disease and said the best way to tackle the issue were regular eye tests.

“You probably don’t see symptoms too early, because it’s a gradual vision loss, but I’m really pushing people to be more aware,” he said.

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Mr Foo said age-related macula degeneration was hereditary and urged people to be more aware of their family history when it came to eye problems.

“Just over 10,000 Canning Vale locals over 35 and older don’t know about their family history when it comes to eye health,” he said.

“If you have immediate family with macula degeneration, you have a 50 per cent higher risk of developing it yourself.

“When I ask people about family history, it’s amazing how many people aren’t too sure.”