Glaucoma Australia Launches its new 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge for World Glaucoma Week 2022
Let’s take glaucoma blindness out of the picture.
Glaucoma Australia has launched a new fundraising initiative, 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge, encouraging Australians to share a photo of an amazing sight every day for seven days to raise funds to help end glaucoma blindness this World Glaucoma Week (6–12 March 2022).
The 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge, part of Glaucoma Australia’s annual Treat Your Eyes campaign, is asking Australians to capture everyday moments to remind them sight is precious while raising much-needed funds for early detection programs and critical support services.
Individuals and teams will be prompted to find, snap and share seven ‘sights’ during World Glaucoma Week, with daily themes such as ‘quirky’, ‘scenic’ and ‘culture’ to inspire their creativity. The challenge is designed to encourage people to get out and about, explore the visual beauty of their local area and raise money for an important cause.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The disease affects 300,000 Australians, with 50 per cent unaware that they have the disease because they haven’t had a comprehensive eye exam. There is no cure for glaucoma and vision loss is irreversible, making early detection and treatment key to saving sight. Glaucoma Australia CEO Annie Gibbins says, “Anyone can develop glaucoma and the risk increases with age. About 1 in 10,000 babies are born with glaucoma; by age 40 about 1 in 200 have glaucoma, rising to 1 in 8 at age 80. Sight is incredibly precious and all too often, it’s something people don’t think about until something goes wrong. But Australians have the power to save their sight by getting their eyes tested and raising funds for ground-breaking research, education and support programs.
“The Treat Your Eyes campaign began as an awareness initiative highlighting the importance of getting an eye check to identify the early signs of glaucoma. The inaugural 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge is amplifying that sight-saving message by asking the community to get creative and fundraise so that we can take glaucoma out of the picture.”
Glaucoma Australia ambassador and Aussie music legend Kirk Pengilly is throwing his support behind the 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge. He says it’s a potent reminder that your sight enables you to do things you may take for granted, such as going for a run, riding a bike, snapping a photo or simply seeing your loved ones.
“Vision loss is largely preventable through early detection, treatment adherence and by supporting the work of our Australian researchers in the fight against this insidious disease,” says Annie Gibbins.
With no known family history of glaucoma and the only one in his family without prescription glasses, 45-year-old father-of-two Shannon Davis was completely shocked when an eye exam revealed he was legally blind.
“I was shocked, confused when I was told I had glaucoma and that it was already very advanced in its progression. I had lost a large and irreversible amount of my vision in both eyes,” says Shannon.
Associate Professor Ashish Agar, Glaucoma Specialist and President of the Australian Society of Ophthalmologists, says this can happen to people in the late stages of glaucoma.
“The results of recent research might surprise you. The visual field defects are complex, and patients don’t notice the gradual change in vision. The brain is very clever at hiding peripheral vision loss which is why the disease can sneak up on you. Having checkups are crucial to every Australians eye health, especially those with a family history of glaucoma.”
Shannon hopes Glaucoma Australia’s new fundraising initiative, 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge, will encourage Australians to place high value on their sight and be proactive with regular eye exams. Judging the entries for the 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge will be photographer Liz Hemmings, The Forensic Nutritionist Fiona Tuck, Managing Director of Mivision magazine Todd Tai and CEO Glaucoma Australia Annie Gibbins.
To find out how to register for the 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge or to sponsor someone who is snapping, visit: sevensights.org.au
7 Sights in 7 Day Challenge is an initiative of Glaucoma Australia and is supported by our Platinum Sponsor, MyHealth1st and Gold Sponsors, Mivision, Shopper – Australia’s leading specialist in retail out-of-home advertising, and Nova Eye Medical.