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Eye Checks - The Best Form Of Prevention

30 October 2001

Despite the development of new technology the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) says regular eye checks are still the best way to prevent sight loss.

"80% of blindness is preventable," says Chris Inglis, RNZFB Blindness Awareness and Prevention Divisional Manager.

"The leading cause of preventable blindness in New Zealand is glaucoma - with regular eye checks the level of damaged sight could be dramatically lower."

New computer technology launched yesterday in Australia will help reduce the number of preventable blindness, but Ms Inglis believes the best form of prevention is still through regular eye checks.

"The key to preventing sight loss caused by glaucoma is early detection," says Ms Inglis.

"Although the new technology is innovative, it is imperative that you still have regular eye checks by an eye specialist.

"People over the age of 50 are most at risk, but if there is a family history of glaucoma then it is crucial that you get your eyes checked regularly."

Glaucoma has very few symptoms until it has developed. Some warning signs include blurred vision, seeing coloured rings around light and pain.

Glaucoma affects the peripheral vision, causing vision to narrow resulting in tunnel vision.

The Foundation's Blindness Awareness and Prevention Division aims to reduce the level of preventable blindness in NZ.

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