National Eye Health Survey

The National Eye Health Survey (NEHS) is the first representative nationwide study of the burden of eye disease in Australia and seeks to close a major gap in the evidence base, providing up-to-date prevalence rates on blindness and low vision for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Current data on vision loss is over twenty years old. Data from the NEHS will assist in the planning of future eye health and vision care programs. 

Completed in June 2016, the NEHS field work involved almost 5,000 Australians completing a simplified eye examination and a standardised general questionnaire across 30 testing sites in Australia in urban, regional and remote areas. 

Survey results, enable the development and implementation of integrated national eye health policies, plans and programs, and enhance efforts for cross sector engagement and effective partnerships to strengthen eye health in Australia.

Led by Vision 2020 Australia and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, the NEHS provides the first true picture of vision impairment and blindness in Australia. 

The Australian Government committed funding of $1.776 million to the NEHS along with contributions of close to $1 million from the non-government and private sectors. 

The NEHS was supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund, with other contributions coming from Brien Holden Vision Institute, Centre for Eye Research Australia, NACCHO, Novartis, Optometry Australia, OPSM, the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Zeiss.

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More information and background on the NEHS can be found in the resources section.

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