Research

Eye health message starting to resonate: Optometry Australia

The review of ergency department presentations revealed 19,640 patients presented with eye conditions considered non-urgent in 2016-17, down 25% from the more than 26,000 reported in 2014-15.{{quote-a:r-w:375-I:2-Q:“It is clear that our messages are starting to resonate with Australians – regular eye examinations can help to identify erging, and potentially vision-threatening eye health issues.”-WHO:Lyn Brodie, OA CEO}}The review of ergency department presentations revealed 19,640 patients presented with eye conditions considered non-urgent in 2016-17, down 25% from the more than 26,000 reported in 2014-15.OA CEO Ms Lyn Brodie pointed to a 7.7% increase in eye-related Medicare consultations last year and said the drop in non-urgent presentations could be related to the organisation’s efforts to the raise the profile of optometry through its Good Vision for Life campaign.“This drop in non-urgent presentations could relate to people’s better understanding of the important role of optometrists in managing Australian’s eye health and that more people are seeking opinions of optometrists for acute eye conditions rather than attend ergency departments,” she said.“It is clear that our messages are starting to resonate with Australians – regular eye examinations can help to identify erging, and potentially vision-threatening eye health issues such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as highlighting other diseases such as high blood pressure, propensity for stroke, diabetes and some cancers.”Aside from non-urgent cases, between 2015-16 and 2016-17, ergency departments also saw 1.5% less presentations for eye related conditions across all diagnostic block and triage categories. However, despite this drop, almost 120,000 people still presented in ED wards in 2016-17 with eye conditions.Image courtesy: Flickr | Jason Parks