Australians regard their eyesight as their most important sense.
This was one of the main findings highlighted in the 2020 Vision Index Report released by Optometry Australia, the peak body for optometrists in Australia.
An apt year for the report to come out, with 2020, known as a term synonymous with perfect vision.
The report surveyed 1,000 Australians exploring their habits, beliefs and attitudes towards their eye health, and covered topics such as glasses, contact lenses, eye conditions, disease, nutrition, workplace, driving, sport and digital behaviour.
With 76% of us regarding our eyesight as our most important sense, 60% are worried about eyesight quality and more than half of us (57%) know we need a regular annual eye examination.
These key findings illustrate just how important Australians value their eyesight. For many, however, there is still a level of complacency about our sight, as more than a third of us (35%) don’t have regular eye checks and, incredibly, 12% of Australians have never seen an optometrist in their life.
In most cases we will only see an optometrist if we have problems seeing things, either; far away (82%) or up close (81%).
Nearly a third of us (31%) still believe the myth that if we eat carrots our eyesight will improve. And, whilst it originates from WW2 propaganda which popularised the notion that carrots help you see better in the dark, it doesn’t mean there isn’t an element of truth to it.
Carrots are high in antioxidants beta carotene and lutein; which a recent study showed has several beneficial effects on our eye health, including being able to improve or even prevent age-related macular disease, the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment.
Research has shown that a variety of vegetables containing lutein, and zeaxanthin, will help improve our eye health more than carrots, including spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, kale and corn.
The 2020 Vision Index report also shows the link between good eye health and preventable chronic diseases, highlighting that overall good eye health impacts our general health and wellbeing.
A regular appointment to see your optometrist covers much more than a prescription for your glasses. It also provides you with a comprehensive eye examination which can help identify eye conditions and diseases that, most of the time, can be treated if picked up early.
Visit your local Eyecare Plus practice for your next comprehensive eye exam.