1.2 Million Australians Ignore Their Failing Eyesight

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27th October 2010, 02:59pm - Views: 1585

1.2 Million Australians Ignore Their Failing Eyesight

Research shows that Australians are in denial when  it comes to looking after 

their eyesight

Under Embargo until 12:01 am Tuesday, 26 October, 2010 Nationwide research conducted

on behalf of Budget Eyewear shows that many Australians are in denial when it comes to their

failing eyesight – in fact more than 1.2 million


Australians are knowingly going about everyday life

with failing eyesight. And with the ageing population projected to dramatically increase in coming

years, this trend is set to worsen as the overall level of apathy toward personal wellbeing deepens.

“More and more people are putting off getting their eyes tested,” said Grant Fisher, Head of

Optometry at Budget Eyewear. “Two of the main reasons for this, according to our own research, is

that people simply don’t think they have time or because they don’t want to spend the money.” 


In reality, eye care has never been so affordable and simple. In Australia, Medicare offers one

comprehensive eye test every two years


. Yet over 33% of respondents surveyed on this topic by

independent research firm Pure Profile, had no idea about the existence of this Medicare benefit,

with the lack of awareness most predominant among 18-24 year olds


. A further 20% had heard of

the benefit, but weren’t sure how it worked, or applied to them



“I was shocked at the statistics, it’s really very sad that so many people are knowingly walking

around with poor vision, for no reason,” said Cath Armstrong, founder of Cheapskates.com.au.

“Certainly in 2010 cost really isn’t a barrier to receiving quality eye care.”

The research also revealed that 54% of Australians would rather spend $10 (the maximum out of

pocket expense for an eye test thanks to Medicare) on a small gift for a loved one while only 9%

would put the money toward their eye care


. And, 27% of male respondents would rather head to

the pub for a schooner with a mate than put the $10 toward eye care


, further indicating the overall

lack of concern about eye care in Australia. 

“Not having an eye test every two years, is really neglecting your eye health and can have an

impact on everyday activities like driving, work productivity, playing sports, reading and socialising

Misc Miscellaneous Budget Eyewear 1 image

with friends.” said Mr Fisher. “Australians wearing glasses have a greater choice in the range of

products and services available to them. It’s important to get the right lens and frame that suits

your lifestyle and, doesn’t break the wallet. Your Optometrist can help you with a comprehensive

eye test and, assist you in selecting a pair of glasses or contact lenses that suits your lifestyle and

your budget.” 

“With summer on the way, we think about sunscreen and our skin. What most people don’t

know is that our eyes are more delicate than our skin”, said Mr Fisher. “This fact alone, makes

it so important to get your eyes checked, make sure they’re healthy and, if you wear glasses

that the prescription is up to date. Also, that you have the right sunglasses with the best UV

protection from the Australian sun. Your Optometrist can help with all of this.”  

Additional research findings from the survey



South Australia has the most vision correction wearers at 81% - over 10% more than the

national average;

The Australian Capital Territory has the highest level of awareness about the Medicare eye test


97% of Australians over 65 years old wear vision correction while 47% of people from 18-34

years old wear vision correction;

Tasmanians are least likely to put an extra $10 (the out of pocket expense for an eye test)

toward eye glasses. Instead, they are most likely to spend this money on small gift for a loved


People in the Northern Territory are most likely to spend that extra $10 on a schooner with a

mate than put the money towards eye care; 

Our cousins from across the ditch don’t fare much better when it comes to caring for their eyes

70% of those surveyed had no idea about how much an eye test was; and,

30% of New Zealanders would preferred to buy a new pair of shoes, than invest the $70 on an

eye test!


Notes to editors:

Interview opportunities are available with Cath Armstrong at Cheapstakes and Grant Fisher

For further information please contact: Rebekka Thompson-Jones at Woosh, tel: 02 8001 8818 or 0401 090 034,

email TJ@wilkinson-group.com.au or Cait Tynan at Budget Eyewear on cait.tynan@luxottica.com.au or 0421273336

Misc Miscellaneous Budget Eyewear 2 image

About Budget Eyewear

With a combined chain of over 110 outlets throughout Australia and New Zealand, Budget Eyewear

a Luxottica retail brand

company,  has been in operation since 1977. Budget Eyewear is commitment to satisfying its customers through providing

quality eyewear at value-for-money prices.

About Luxottica Group S.p.A.

Luxottica Group is a leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, with over 6,300 optical and sun retail stores in

North America, Asia-Pacific, China, South Africa and Europe and a strong and well-balanced brand portfolio. Luxottica’s key

house brands include Ray-Ban, the best known sun eyewear brand in the world, Oakley, Vogue, Persol, Oliver Peoples,

Arnette and REVO, while license brands include Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph

Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network covering 130

countries, the Group manages leading retail brands such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in North America, OPSM and

Laubman & Pank in Australasia, LensCrafters in Greater China and Sunglass Hut globally. The Group’s products are

designed and manufactured in six Italy-based manufacturing plants, two wholly-owned plants in China and a sports

sunglass production facility in the U.S. In 2009, Luxottica Group posted consolidated net sales of Euro 5.1 billion.



The Leading Edge, 2010 research commissioned by Budget Eyewear



Pure Profile research looking at the Australian population, commissioned by Budget Eyewear, 2010

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