Are we losing sight of the fact that one in seven Australians aged over 50 have age-related macular degeneration?
That's the question a new campaign urges us to ask ourselves to help prevent the country's leading cause of preventable visual loss.
Detecting the disease early can provide a window of opportunity to avoid or delay the burden of vision loss on the patient and their loved ones.
However, a recent survey commissioned by Macular Disease Foundation Australia found that while awareness is high, one in three people over 50 haven't had their macula checked in the past two years.
Two-thirds of AMD-related blindness is caused by wet (neovascular) AMD, a condition that affects 133,000 Australians. It is caused by the formation of fragile blood vessels which leak fluid and blood within and under the retina.
Wet AMD often affects a person's ability to read, drive, recognise faces and perform activities that require detailed vision.
As a chronic, degenerative eye disease, wet AMD often has a rapid and devastating impact on patients' lives, especially if it is not managed early.
"The early signs of AMD may not always be noticeable, but with wet AMD, the most aggressive form, vision changes are often sudden and severe," said foundation chief executive Dee Hopkins.
"We believe in the value of awareness and early detection. It is important to have your eyes examined and macula checked by an eye care professional on a regular basis."
The See What's Next campaign encourages us to put an eye examination on our health checklist, and specifically ask to have the macula checked to reduce our risk of losing sight of what's important.
Find out more about the campaign HERE
For more news from the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, click HERE or call the foundation helpline 1800-111-709.