This section provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about eye health and vision care. There are also specific questions about:

I didn’t know that I had a vision problem until my eye care professional told me—is that normal?

Often people are not aware that there is an issue with the health of their eyes as many conditions do not initially cause any noticeable problems. Half of the people with glaucoma in Australia are unaware they have the disease. This is often also the case with diabetic retinopathy, with many people unaware of the condition until it is in the later stages.

Do people who are blind see black?

No. Most people with vision impairment have some vision, often they have a small patch of vision or are able to determine light and shadows.

Will eating carrots improve my vision?

Generally speaking, no—unless your diet is extremely low in vitamin A. This was a rumour developed and propagated by the British in World War II when they had radar and were trying to keep the invention under wraps.

A healthy diet including plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and fish will assist to maintain healthy eyes.

Is it expensive getting an eye test?

No. In Australia, Medicare covers the cost of a basic eye examination once every two years (or more often if deemed necessary by an eye care professional). Other eye health services may also be partly covered by Medicare.

Low cost spectacle schemes are available in most states and territories to help people on low incomes obtain glasses.

If I wear glasses will I become dependent on them?

No. Glasses enable you to see more clearly and when you take them off you will notice the difference. As your eye has some focusing ability it will try to readjust to overcome the blur when you first remove your glasses.