Don't struggle with reading the fine print

If you’ve struggled to read fine print or mistakenly worn clothes inside out or back to front, you may be one of the 70 per cent of Australian adults who need to have their eyes checked.

New research from Galaxy has shown difficulty reading fine print is the most common problem with 51 per cent, followed by being unable to see the TV menu clearly (22 per cent) and having difficulty seeing while driving (21 per cent). However, one in four (24 per cent) are worried about the possibility of needing to wear glasses or contact lenses.

The research found four in 10 people, or the equivalent of 7.3 million Australians, were worried about the possibility of losing their sight as they aged and a further one in four worried about needing glasses or contact lenses.

Among Australian adults not currently wearing glasses, 29 per cent felt negatively about the prospect as they aged.  More specifically, 16 per cent hated the thought of it, 13 per cent wanted to know if there were alternatives to help them read and five per cent worried glasses would make them look old.

“It plays into a gender stereotype, but this research has found men are even more reluctant than women to admit to difficulties with their sight,” optometrist Tsu Shan Chambers said.

“However, when problems include issues such as not being able to see when driving, I would urge anyone having trouble with their sight to see an optometrist. A host of different solutions are available, such as contact lenses, and it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have to wear glasses.”

Of those Australians already wearing glasses, many did not feel positively about them, with 30 per cent saying they found them a hassle to take on and off, 27 per cent did not like wearing them, 18 per cent found it difficult to find glasses they liked, 17 per cent worried about losing their glasses, and 16 per cent found it hard to find glasses comfortable to wear.

The impact of sight difficulties 

Almost two million Australians admit to having done something “silly” because they can’t see properly. These include:

  • Applied hair spray instead of deodorant
  • Worn a blouse inside out
  • Mistaken a stranger for someone they know
  • Used the wrong cream as suntan lotion
  • Used the wrong ingredients when making a pie
  • Left cream not rubbed in on their face
  • Eaten a lolly with the wrapper on
  • Used conditioner instead of shampoo in the shower
  • Not recognised a friend waving at them.

Ageing eyes (presbyopia) is a condition that affects all Australians but three in four (76 per cent) said they were unaware everyone’s eyes age at a similar rate and will become presbyopic at age 43.

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