Vision Initiative

Vision Initiative

A partnership promoting eye health and vision care

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background may be more at risk of developing an eye condition.

It is estimated that blindness is 6.2 times higher and vision impairment 2.8 times higher for Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians.

High rates of smoking and diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people means they are more at risk of developing cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. In addition, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people may also be less likely to regularly see or have access to a GP or eye health professional.

The good news is that 94 per cent of vision loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is preventable or treatable.

If you are of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, it is important that you have regular eye tests with an eye health professional. If you have diabetes, make sure to have an eye test once a year or as recommended by your eye health professional.

A low cost spectacle scheme is available for people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Victoria through participating optometrists. For more information, visit the website of the Australian College of Optometry.

For more information on eye health and vision care, talk to your local GP, health worker, optometrist or your ophthalmologist.

Save Your Sight – Get Tested

For more information

Visit the following websites:

Indigenous Eye Health Unit (Melbourne University)

Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision

Health InfoNet

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

 

Download our information sheet:

Download

Indigenous eye health in Australia (PDF)  

Indigenous eye health in Australia (RTF)