As the month of November comes to a close and men all over Australia get ready to ditch their Mo’s we take a closer look at the gender differences in eye health. Throughout November, Movember campaigners have advocated for men and their families to have meaningful conversations about the factors that keep them healthy in both body and mind. This includes talking about eye health – an integral aspect of our general health and wellbeing that may often be overlooked.
The Medicare stats are compelling
Recent Medicare statistics reveal that men are less likely to utilise eye health services. Of the 8.67 million optometric services provided in 2016, women received around 57.6% of services compared to 42.4% of men. The research also found that men aged between 45 and 74 years old used the least level of optometric services (around 1.84 million services) compared to those provided to women in the same age group (around 2.40 million).
Eye safety is no exception
Interestingly, this trend extends to eye safety as well. The Medicare data cites men as 83% of the 11,078 registered cases in 2016 in which optometrists removed a foreign body embedded in the eye. Acknowledging that more men than women would require treatment as a result of a male gender skews across occupations such as trades and labouring, Luke Arundel of Optometry Australia says that the data highlights the need for Australians to be more vigilant about eye safety.
Eye health as a factor of overall well-being
Our eyes are one of the most important organs for living a full life. According to a report commissioned by Vision 2020 Australia in 2009, vision loss increases one’s risk of developing depression three-fold. If not properly managed, it can also negatively impact one’s social connectedness and sense of independence, particularly if the loss of a driving license also occurs.
Start the conversation
Given that 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable, it’s vital that you urge the men in your life to make their health a priority and have their eyes tested every two years. It is without doubt the easiest way to combat preventable vision loss that can affect men’s overall health and well-being.
Don’t delay, click below to find your nearest optometrist and book an appointment today.