The success of KeepSight to date is directly linked to the role optometrists play in providing regular eye examinations, monitoring the eye health of people with diabetes, and providing timely treatment or referral to an ophthalmologist if necessary.

KeepSight Program Director Taryn Black says “This helps to prevent or delay the progression of diabetic eye disease and reduces the risk of vision loss. Optometrists’
professional expertise and ongoing support are essential to ensuring that people with
diabetes receive the necessary eye care to manage their condition and prevent vision

For optometrist Barbara Vermeulen, co-owner at Specsavers Victor Harbor in South Australia, KeepSight is an example of optometrists putting patients first. She said
the program enables her and her co-workers to continue doing all they can to prevent
avoidable vision loss.

“As an optometrist who cares deeply about early intervention and looking after my
patients, I am proud to support KeepSight and recommend it to all of my patients with
diabetes,” said Ms Vermeulen.

Ms Black agreed. “Optometrists are trusted by their patients and are seen as professional
and reliable sources of advice and support. They play a key role in educating people with
diabetes about the importance of regular eye checks and provide advice on how to manage
their eye health. Without the optometry sector’s support, KeepSight would not exist.

“The number of sign ups that have occured via optometrists reflects the program’s focus on industry collaboration. While we still have a long way to go, we are pleased to see that a
significant amount of people with diabetes are now receiving additional reminders to attend
their diabetes eye checkups.

“Together we are working towards early detection and prevention. It is unacceptable that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and vision loss in Australia. We must unite in
the fight against diabetes,” she added.