Eye Health

Poor eye health can limit an individual’s education, employment and social opportunities; it can also increase the risk of injury and lead to dependence on services and other people ref=33151.

While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, especially those living in remote areas, often have better eyesight than non-Indigenous children ref=32347, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are three times more likely to experience vision loss or blindness than non-Indigenous adults ref=32155.

Uncorrected refractive error, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are the main causes of vision loss and blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ref=32155, but trachoma and trichiasis also occur in some remote communities despite no longer being a public health problem in any other developed country in the world ref=34288.

The good news is that 90% of vision loss and blindness among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is preventable or treatable, and there are positive signs that eye health initiatives are closing the vision gap ref=32155.

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Life before the drought by Julie Weekes

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