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During Macular Degeneration (MD) Awareness Week, Centre for Eye Health (CFEH) helped to draw attention to this serious eye disease and how optometrists can help reduce its impact on the Australian community.
MD is responsible for 48% of severe vision loss in Australia and is the leading cause of blindness, affecting one in seven people over the age of 50. Those with family history have a 50% chance of developing the disease, and smokers are three times more likely. We commend the Macular Degeneration Foundation for its wonderful work and recommend that you join them, and us, in the fight against vision loss from MD by ensuring that susceptible patients are given every opportunity for early detection.
A weapon in the battle against MD
MD is the second most detected eye disease at CFEH, accounting for 23% of confirmed diagnoses, and macula assessments represent 33% of referrals. Optometrists frequently refer patients for further investigation because they are deemed at-risk of developing MD (based on family history or lifestyle factors) or are suspected of early MD (based on their own clinical findings).
An important free service here to help
Many at-risk or suspect patients cannot afford to wait for advanced imaging, or may not be able to afford to pay for private diagnostic services. The good news is that CFEH provides advanced imaging and assessment at no-charge. The patient is not unnecessarily burdened with fees, but can also be referred by you to a specialist if and when required.
An extension of your practice
The Centre’s highly qualified clinical staff use state-of-the-art equipment, such as the Cirrus and Spectralis OCT’s, to provide detailed information and establish a baseline to monitor early changes. Consultant ophthalmologists review cases as required and when specialist care is recommended.
How to utilise CFEH