MOST of us enjoy a sweet snack from time to time, but few people think of the damage too much sugar can do to our eyes.
The Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO) is urging people to reduce their sugar intake in order to avoid potential blindness.
Today is World Diabetes Day and the ASO is reminding people right across Australia that diabetes and blindness due to diabetes are preventable.
Diabetes-related eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in Australia.
The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they are to develop damage to the retina.
ASO spokesperson and Australian of the Year James Muecke said sugar was responsible for more disease and death than inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.
"Well over half of the 1.7 million people with diabetes in Australia aren't having their sight-saving eye checks," Dr Muecke said.
Dr Muecke said reducing intake of sugar and processed foods reduced the risk of diabetes-related blindness and could also slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
"A regular test with an eye health professional can help detect diabetes-related eye disease in its infancy and make treatment less invasive and much more successful," he said.
Dr Muecke was awarded Australian of the Year for his work in fighting blindness in poor communities, particularly blindness caused by type 2 diabetes.
The ASO has been a vocal campaigner for the cause of convincing Australians to eat less sugar, calling for the introduction of a sugar tax back in 2016.
Click here to register for a webinar with Dr Muecke from 6pm on November 17.