Eye health program to go further

08 Apr 2016 Shepparton News, Shepparton VIC (General News) A program aimed at improving eye health and preventing vision loss will be expanded to Campaspe Shire in the next two years. The Vision 2020 Australias Vision Initiative has been piloted since 2012 in Greater Shepparton, Darebin, Greater Geelong and Latrobe. Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the program would be introduced into Campaspe, Swan Hill Rural City, Brimbank and Greater Dan denong, which had all been identified as communities at increased risk of eye disease. The program works to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision loss in communities at risk among those who do not have regular eye tests. Through our partnership with Vision 2020 were investing in projects that are helping to promote the preven tion and early detection of eye disease in our local community. This import ant program will help people in Cam paspe Shire take control of their eye health and support them to have regu lar eye tests, Ms Symes said. Ms Symes said people most at risk included people who were over the age of 40, smokers, people with diabetes and those with a family history of eye disease as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. She said vision loss was also linked to increased risk of falls, hip fractures and depression and could stop older Victo rians from living healthy and indepen dent lifestyles as they aged. Research shows that, if detected early, 75 per cent of vision loss was r preventable or treatable, she said. Copyright Agency licensed copy (www.copyright.com.au)