Hinkler has third highest rate of macular degeneration

MACULAR Disease Foundation Australia has released alarming statistics showing the Hinkler electorate, which includes Hervey Bay, has the third highest prevalence of macular degeneration in Australia.

An estimated 9720 people in Hinkler had macular degeneration in 2012 and that number was predicted to grow by 92% to 18,687 by 2030.

Only Hindmarsh in South Australia and Flinders in Victoria were estimated to have a higher prevalence of macular degeneration in 2012.

The statistics are highlighted in a comprehensive report called Mapping the Landscape.

This report maps the estimated prevalence of macular degeneration in all 150 electorates now and in 2030.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia primarily affecting older Australians and causing over 50% of blindness and severe vision loss.

Macular degeneration symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • difficulty with reading or any other activity with fine vision
  • distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent
  • distinguishing faces becomes a problem
  • dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision

It's Macular Degeneration Awareness Week and the foundation has recommened all Australians over the age of 50 have an eye test and make sure their macula is checked.

What is it?

  • The macula is the central part of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye 
  • The macula processes all central visual images and is responsible for a person's ability to drive, see colours clearly, read and recognise faces
  • Macular degeneration causes damage to the macula, resulting in central vision loss


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