News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Kiwis Would Rather Lose Limb Than Eyesight - Survey

Media release: 5 February 2013

________________________________________

Kiwis Would Rather Lose Limb Than Eyesight - Survey

Eight out of ten (80%) New Zealanders would rather lose ten years of their life than their eyesight - yet nearly a third believe that they don't need regular eye tests unless there is a problem with their vision.

The results of the Auckland Eye survey, which interviewed more than 1100 respondents throughout the country, shows that the majority of Kiwis would prefer to lose a limb - an arm or a leg - than their eyesight.

More than half (57%) of Kiwis in the survey did not know about macular degeneration, a common eye condition which is a major cause of loss of vision in adults over 50.

Auckland Eye ophthalmologist Dr Ng says the survey results show that while most New Zealanders value their eyesight, there is a lack of public education and awareness when it comes to basic preventative eye healthcare.

"The results of the Auckland Eye survey shows that Kiwis are aware that loss of vision and blindness will severely impact their lifestyle, but at the same time, they don't know how easily that can be prevented just by simple preventative care like regular eye checks," says Dr Ng.

"The survey does show that nearly 6 out of 10, or 59% of New Zealanders had a professional eye test last year, which was a pretty good result. We feel it is very important to increase public awareness of common eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, childhood eye problems and even to teach just what do to in the event of trauma to the eye," she says.

Almost one in five Kiwis believe that if they can see, their eyes must be healthy.

Dr Yvonne Ng says unfortunately this is not always the case.

"There are eye diseases, such as glaucoma, where central vision is often preserved until the disease is advanced. Once vision is lost, little can be done to restore it. Many eye diseases should therefore be detected early, so that if intervention is necessary, it has the potential to be sight-saving," says Dr Ng.

Eight out of ten respondents (81%) say their eyesight is the most important out of the five senses, but one in six (16%) respondents say that they would favour a 50% decline in the quality of their eyesight over a permanent 50% pay cut. Six out of 10 (59%) of respondents have had an eye test that wasn't part of the driver's license requirement in the past year and over three quarters (73%) would rather lose their hearing than their eyesight. One fifth (19%) of Kiwis believe that if they can see, then their eyes must be healthy.

When asked what would have a severely negative impact on their quality of life, Kiwis overwhelmingly (96%) said significant vision loss, with six out of 10 (57%) also citing deterioration in dental health, half (47%) saying high blood pressure and four out of 10 (44%) saying high cholesterol. One out of 10 (11%) respondents also said that loss of vision was the most worrying health issue for them.

"It makes sense to take care of your eyes. You only get one pair to use in your life. It's actually quite sad for us when we see patients with eye health problems that we know could have been easily preventable," says Dr Ng

"We recommend that everyone should get their eyes checked regularly. The cost is relatively low compared to the cost of ongoing problems or blindness," says Dr Ng.


Dr Yvonne Ng - Bio

Paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus MBChB (Auckland), FRANZCO Fellow, paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus, British Columbia's Children's Hospital, Vancouver Retinoblastoma Fellow, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Yvonne provides specialist services in general and paediatric ophthalmology with a sub-specialty interest in eye movement disorders and retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye condition.

To that end, she underwent two years of post-fellowship subspecialty training at children's hospitals in Vancouver and Toronto.

Yvonne consults at Auckland Eye and also provides assessments at satellite clinics in Henderson, Botany and Albany. She is a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Auckland and regularly lectures and provides clinical teaching to medical students, optometrists and general practitioners. Yvonne has also been a fellow of RANZCO since 2000, and Senior Medical Officer

at the Auckland District Health Board since 2001, providing clinical and surgical services in paediatric as well as general ophthalmology.

Educated in Auckland, Yvonne is also conversant in both Cantonese and Mandarin.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Werewolf: From The Lost Continent

It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Blue Eyed & Soulful

Last year’s Muscle Shoals documentary was a reminder that on some of soul music’s most hallowed tracks, the studio band consisted of a bunch of white guys from rural Alabama... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news