New research indicates that millions of Australians and New Zealanders are still not having regular eye tests, despite growing awareness of debilitating eye conditions.

The study was commissioned by Specsavers in the lead up to World Glaucoma Week (12-18 March 2017) and captured the responses of 1,000 adults from each country.

Findings showed that more than six million Australians over the age of 35, and more than one million New Zealanders over the age of 18, hadn’t had an eye exam in the past two years, putting them at risk of preventable eye conditions such as glaucoma.

“About 91,000 New Zealanders over the age of 40 suffer from glaucoma,” Glaucoma New Zealand Executive Manager Helen Mawn states. “On top of this, due to the lack of noticeable symptoms when glaucoma is in its early stages, half of all New Zealanders living with glaucoma don’t know they have it.”

Glaucoma Australia National Executive Officer Geoff Pollard notes that half of all Australians living with glaucoma are also unaware they have the condition. “If it isn’t diagnosed before it takes their sight, they may be left with irreversible blindness,” he says.

Specsavers held a campaign urging Australians and New Zealanders to have their eyes tested regularly in an effort to educate and increase awareness of the dangers of glaucoma.

Every Specsavers eye exam uses the latest eye testing technology, including digital retinal photography, to help track changes in eye health over time.