Ms Gersbeck said Australians’ eye health is at-risk as the population ages.
It is estimated that almost 85 per cent of all vision impairment will be among those aged 50 years and over and that the growing diabetes epidic is also expected to dramatically impact Australian eye health.
“We know that as Australia’s population ages we will see an increase in the number of people with age-related eye diseases and conditions, and being armed with accurate data will help us tackle those conditions efficiently and effectively,” Ms Gersbeck said.The managing director of CERA, Professor Jonathan Crowston, said: “At the moment we use decade-old data. There is a clear need for an evidenced-based picture of eye health in Australia.
“The survey will give us clear evidence of what the eye health issues are, the extent of the probl and where our efforts need to be directed. Importantly, having hard evidence means we can direct frontline eye health services to where we need th most,” Professor Crowston said.
“The collection of data on blinding conditions such as trachoma has enabled us to reduce its prevalence in rote indigenous communities from 14 to 4 per cent over the past eight years.”
The new funding from the federal government in conjunction with the nearly $1 million already raised through cash and in-kind contributions from the non-government and private sectors will enable the survey to get underway in the coming months.Vision 2020 Australia mber contributors are the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Optometry Australia and the Brien Holden Vision Institute
Private sector contributors are Luxottica, Novartis, Zeiss and Designs For Vision.