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18 sports commentators volunteer as ambassadors for World Glaucoma Week

27/02/2013
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Eighteen sports commentators have volunteered to be ambassadors for Glaucoma Australia during World Glaucoma Week on 10-16 March.

The commentators are shown on the (reduced-in-size) poster that is being produced and distributed to ophthalmic practices by Glaucoma Australia.

The Theme 'The Sporting World is a Wonder to See Every Day, Don't Let Glaucoma Get in the Way' is being used for the first time and will continue in use for an indeterminate time.

"Glaucoma Australia is very pleased to be assisted by 18 well-known and respected sport commentators, who have volunteered to be glaucoma ambassadors, GA's national executive officer," Mr Geoff Pollard, said. "Together they will add their voice and image to an awareness campaign being run during the Week. Our campaign reminds everyone, particularly those aged over 40, to have an optic nerve check without delay.

"Almost everyone in Australia is involved in, or watches sport. Having a team of high-profile commentators, representing 12 different sports, is a novel way of promoting health awareness and asking the community to take charge of their own eye health, by undertaking a simple eye check. Sporting activity is after all a particularly enjoyable and visual experience and glaucoma shouldn't get in the way.

"The campaign aims to enthuse the estimated 40% of Australians who don't have their eyes checked on a regular basis to do just that! Comprehensive eye tests, including a review of the optic nerves, by eye-health providers will go a long way to detecting the 150,000 Australians who have glaucoma but don't yet know it.

"The sight-threatening disease glaucoma affects approximately 3% of the adult population. Currently only 50% of the estimated 300,000 Australians with glaucoma know they have it. It is also known as 'the sneak thief of sight' as usually there are no signs and symptoms in the early stages.

"If detected early enough, up to 75% of all sight loss is avoidable. A regular optic nerve check, as part of a comprehensive eye examination, is the best opportunity to preserve vision for someone with glaucoma."

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