Fewer Australians have been getting their eyes tested this year.
According to Medicare there has been a significant drop in the number of people seeing their optometrist.
Optometry consultations have dropped by 7% due to COVID. And, alarmingly, amongst some of the most vulnerable people who need eye health assistance, low vision consultations are down by 20%.
These drops in eye health care are concerning to Optometry Australia, the peak optometry group in Australia.
Patients have been putting off important eye health appointments until after COVID but as lockdowns around the country have continued to drag on, by putting optometry appointments on hold people have been placing their eye health at risk.
Whilst many eye conditions have subtle symptoms, the seriousness of a potentially vision threatening disease can only be seen during an eye examination.
Any changes to your vision need to be discussed with your optometrist.
Use Your Health Cover
If you haven’t seen your optometrist this year, and you are one of the nearly 50% of people who have private health cover, you have an even greater incentive to get your eyes checked as majority of private health fund benefits may expire at the end of December.
You have been paying premiums all year, so take advantage of the benefits your health fund makes available to you. Now is a best time to focus on your eye health and take advantage of your optical benefits.
Health funds do not allow us to roll over our benefits each year. Once 1 January rolls around the benefits that you did not use the year before will lapse.
It is important to have your eyes checked every two years because your prescription can change. And, as we get older our eyes are prone to eye conditions such as presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. The earlier these conditions are found, the more expedient the treatment.
If you have not had your script checked in a while you will be surprised to discover how much lens technology has improved. Today, lenses are much thinner and lighter with a wide choice of lens coatings.
Lenses not only help you see the world more clearly, but they can also be personalised to your individual needs. Aside from being thinner and lighter they come with anti-reflective and scratch resistant coatings. They can reduce the effect of harmful UV rays, block out blue light glare from computer screens and photochromic lenses can transition from clear to dark when you walk outside.
How to Use Your Rebate
There are many ways to use your health fund rebate.
Who doesn’t need a spare pair of reading glasses at home! Now is the best time to get that extra pair so that you don’t spend another afternoon turning the loungeroom upside down looking for your reading glasses.
What about a pair of prescription glasses for sport? What about contact lenses? If you have yet to try on a pair of contact lenses now is a good time. Did you know that you can try a trial set of contact lenses at no charge?
There are many eye health services and ‘no gap’ frames you can claim on your private health insurance.
As Covid restrictions to the number of people allowed inside a practice may still apply in some states it is important to call first to book an appointment with your local Eyecare Plus optometrist.
All health funds are welcome at all Eyecare Plus optometry practices. Book an appointment today.