Hinkler MP Keith Pitt gets his eyes tested by EyeQ optometrist Craig Martens as part of a new eye health campaign launched in the Bay on Monday.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt gets his eyes tested by EyeQ optometrist Craig Martens as part of a new eye health campaign launched in the Bay on Monday. Blake Antrobus

Health campaign launched to help sight-challenged residents

IT WAS vision problems at 14-years-old that prompted Keith Pitt to visit an optometrist to correct his eyesight.

But the Hinkler MP is encouraging people over 50-years-old to go for a simple eye test that could save their sight, as part of a new campaign launched on World Sight Day.

Mr Pitt visited EyeQ Optometrists in Hervey Bay to launch the Do You See What I See? initiative, which encourages people over 50 to think about their eye health and prioritise regular tests.

"Around 80% of eye diseases are treatable, and in some cases they can be fixed, so early detection is important,” Mr Pitt said.

"We do have an older demographic, that's because it's a great place to live.

"So I would encourage all of them, particularly those over 50, to go down, see their local health professional and get tested.”

The recent National Eye Health Survey found over 50 per cent of participants over 50 years old who were diagnosed with an eye disease, were previously unaware they were living with the condition.

That same survey found 80 per cent of vision impairment and blindness is preventable and treatable through early detection.

EyeQ Hervey Bay optometrist Craig Martens said finding eye diseases gave people the best chance of preventing vision loss.

"That's why it's so important that eye health is made a priority when it comes to looking after your health... there are a number of tests optometrists can perform that will detect the first signs of eye disease before you start to notice symptoms,” Mr Martens said.

Hervey Bay is one of nine locations where the Do You See What I See? initiative will be running through October and November.