27.05.2011

Vision loss in Aborigines branded "a disgrace"

Vision loss in Aborigines branded "a disgrace"

By Alexa Kaczka

A new study revealing that vision loss among Aborigines in Australia is far worse than those in from other ethnic backgrounds has been described as a "disgrace" by experts.

Hugh Taylor, a long-time campaigner for Aboriginal eye health, made the comments after a new report showed that, although many citizens from Aboriginal backgrounds have diabetes and require annual eye checks, only one in five are likely to have the tests.

Mr Taylor said that, considering these tests can pick up the early signs of treatable vision loss, the statistics are "a disgrace".

He noted that one of the "shocking aspects" of the study is that Aboriginal children are born with much better eyesight than other Australians, but their vision has significantly deteriorated by the age of 40 due to undetected eye problems.

Meanwhile, new studies into the development of retinopathy of prematurity and how it can be stopped or slowed have the potential to change the lives of thousands of children, claims Alexandra Dedman, senior research evaluation manager from Action Medical Research.

by Alexa Kaczka


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