Wednesday, 11 July 2012

JulEYE ~ don't take your vision for granted

Last week Sam , six , had a followup appointment and vision check at the Children's hospital eye clinic. Sam has worn prescription glasses, fulltime, since he was 20 months old.

Sam is currently having his eye patched 2hrs each day to improve the strength in his weaker eye. Much to his dislike.This visit his prescription was changed by the Specialist Paediatric Ophthalmologist  , only five months after new glasses *$igh* but I know it is for his benefit.

We didn't detect his vision problem apart from the white eye reflection which I picked up in photos when he was 11 months old. I was terrified *.

Sam has a genetic disease "Neurofibromatosis 1" - which can result in an optic glioma, his eyes were being already being checked (initially every 3-4 months) to detect any issues - early- if they occurred.

Fortunately while he hasn't had an Optic glioma , he does have myelinated retinal nerve fibres plus myopia (causing nearsightedness). He still has photos with a white eye reflection - potentially a serious symptom of some eye diseases.

I know what Sam's white eye reflection is - myelinated retinal nerve fibres plus myopia - white fibres cover his lens. It has affected his vision though wearing glasses helps corrects this.

I just hope he doesn't end up with a turned eye ('cross eyes' -like me) because when a child has vision issues that go undetected it can cause the brain to switch off that eye (like lazy eye).It was only on subsequent visits they found he was longsighted in his other eye. I am glad we were having his eyes checked.

When I received another email asking me to mention about JulEYE I agreed to mention the campaign.

Why ?

Every 65 minutes, an Australian loses part or all of their vision – this may explain why one third of Australians list blindness as their most feared health condition alongside cancer. Yet the majority of Australians do not get their eyes tested regularly, despite the fact that 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable. The Eye Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, is once again encouraging all Australians to get their eyes tested in July as part of its annual ‘JulEYE’ campaign, kicked off on July 1st.

Week 2 of the campaign focuses on diabetes and eye health - and urges people with diabetes - no matter their age - to make regular eye checks part of their diabetes management plan

Don' forget your children’s eye health . They are also encouraging parents to have their children’s eyes tested and be aware that vision problems are not exclusive to the elderly only and can affect babies and young children.

As a mother, who has faced such issues I wanted to share this.I am aware that is quite widespread in Australia.Undetected vision problems are estimated to affect one in four Australian children. Parents need to be aware of the importance of children’s eye health and that regular eye checks are just as important to a young child’s overall health and well being as other regular health checks, therefore, good eye health begins with testing from birth.

The Eye Foundation is asking all Australians - no matter their age - to get their eyes tested this julEYE, and place eye tests every two years on their family’s calendar of regular medical checks.

AS parents we need to protect our children’s vision and our own.The eye foundation would love others to mention this and help spread the word about this great cause!

For more information or to link to the Eye Foundation website please go to

• Follow on Twitter- @EyeFoundation;

• Like on Facebook- The-Eye-Foundation

• Chat to them on their blog-

The amazing - Rachael Leahcar , 17, from Team Delta on Channel Nine's hit TV show.The Voice Australia suffers from a rare eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

I can't stress enough how important sight is. I am partially blind in one eye for a completely different reason (head injury as a child at school with undiagnosed partially detached retina).I have some peripheral vision but a huge blind spot in my central vision.

*Everyone please note - white eye reflection is not normal and you should get a referral to an Opthamologist asap if you see it in your photos. It could be life threatening if left unchecked.I still get hits on this topic every week.

This is a non sponsored community announcement - because it is so important to me.