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Vision Impairments

Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration (MD) is the leading cause of blindness in Australia, affecting central vision.  MD is primarily age related and most frequently affects people over the age of 50.  One in seven people over the age of 50 are affected by the disease and the incidence increases with age.  It is sometimes referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration or 'AMD'.
Source -
www.mdfoundation.com.au  MDF  
 
Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by complications of diabetes.  Diabetes causes damages to the blood vessels that nourish the retina, the seeing part of the eye.  There are over 800,000 Australians who have diabetes but only half of them know they have it.  Every person with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy.  Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can cause loss of vision and blindness.  People with diabetes are 25 times more likely to lose vision or go blind than those without diabetes.
Source -
www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au State of Victoria. All rights reserved 

Retinitis Pigmentation
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the name of a group of retinal dystrophies that cause degeneration of the retina of the eye.  Retinitis pigmentosa is a disease of the eye that the affected individual is born with.  It is a disease of the retina, though not a contagious one.  The word "pigmentosa" refers to an associated discoloration of the retina, which becomes visible to an eye physician on examination.  It is thought that one child is born with RP in approximately every 3,000 births in Australia.  It is important to recognise that it is no one's fault and that RP can strike in a family with no known history of it.  In fact, RP results from an imperfection in a tiny gene that causes an incorrect protein to be supplied to the retina.  Over time this causes photoreceptor cells to die and progressive loss of vision results.
Source -
www.retinaaustralia.com.au  Retina Australia 2008

Cataract 
A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in the eye and is one of the leading causes of vision impairment.  While cataracts most commonly occur in those who are older, they can develop in younger people as well.  Some are even born with a cataract.
Source -
www.visionaustralia.org.au 2006-2008 Vision Australia

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye diseases in which the optic nerve at the back of the eye is slowly destroyed.  In most people this damage is due to an increased pressure inside the eye - a result of blockage of the circulation of aqueous, or its drainage.  In other patients the damage may be caused by poor blood supply to the vital optic nerve fibres, a weakness in the structure of the nerve, and/or a problem in the health of the nerve fibres themselves.  Over 300,000 Australians have glaucoma.  While it is more common as people age, it can occur at any age.  As our population becomes older, the proportion of glaucoma patients is increasing.
Source -
www.glaucoma.org.au