An estimated 4.3 billion people suffer from the same health problem regardless of gender, age or ethnicity: vision impairment. Whether moderate or severe, vision impairment can have far-reaching social and economic impacts.
A Closer Look at Vision Health
(Family Features) As the number of Americans with visual impairment is expected to double by 2050, vision health has an obvious role in the national health conversation. Uncorrected vision is highly noticeable among certain groups, like the elderly and workers who rely on vision for safe and effective job completion. According to the Vision Impact Institute, two other groups significantly impacted by poor vision are drivers and children.
When you consider how changing technology and business models like ride-sharing companies and delivery services are adding drivers to the road, this impact becomes all the more crucial. If eye exams were part of the standard for renewing driver’s licenses then these issues could be called out by an eye care provider in advance of potential accidents on the road.
Uncorrected vision problems in children can have serious negative impacts on their educations and future employment opportunities. In 2014, researchers studied the impact on academic performance after providing a vision screening and free eyeglasses to low-income and minority elementary school children in the U.S. The study found that among fifth-grade students both the screening and eyeglasses significantly improved student achievement in math and reading.
As 80 percent of all learning occurs through vision, a simple pair of eyeglasses could correct poor vision and drastically change the course of a child’s life.
There are many correlations between vision health and the financial, educational and safety implications it can have on society. To learn more about vision standards and giving vision a voice in the national healthcare dialogue, visit visionimpactinstitute.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Vision Impact Institute
(BPT) - Growing older means inevitable changes in your body, and you often have a clear vision of how to deal with those changes. You work out to reduce heart disease risks, eat foods that meet your changing nutritional needs, and rely on corrective lenses to help mitigate age-related vision changes
But are you aware of your chances of developing cataracts - a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision - that naturally develop as you age? Or that, once cataracts develop, leaving them untreated could ultimately rob you of your eyesight? If you're not clear on how cataracts could affect your life, or what the treatment options for them are, you're not alone. In a recent survey conducted by Alcon of more than 1,000 adults aged 60 and over who have been diagnosed but not treated for cataracts, only 25 percent of respondents said they have a full understanding of the condition.
"According to Prevent Blindness, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, yet so many people who have been diagnosed do not have an understanding of cataracts and treatment options," says Dr. Edward Holland, director of cornea services at Cincinnati Eye Institute. Dr. Holland has partnered with Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, as part of the Know Your Cataract EYE-Q awareness campaign, to help educate Americans on this vision impairment.
While you can test your own Cataract EYE-Q by visiting www.CataractEYEQ.com, Dr. Holland offers some information to debunk a few additional myths.
Myth 1: Cataracts are a rare condition.
Truth: Millions of people older than 60 have cataracts. Prevent Blindness also notes that by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have cataracts or have had them removed. Even with the high prevalence of cataracts, the recent Alcon survey showed only 25 percent of respondents say they have a full understanding of the condition.
Myth 2: Cataracts are preventable.
Truth: While nearly half (45 percent) of respondents in the Alcon survey did not know that this is the case, cataracts are not preventable.
Myth 3: Other vision conditions cannot be corrected during cataract surgery.
Truth: Other vision conditions can be corrected during cataract surgery. In fact, in the recent survey, three in four (75 percent) respondents did not realize the surgery can also correct other vision conditions, like astigmatism, a common, treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye causing blurred vision. During cataract surgery, the natural lens in your eye is replaced with an artificial lens or intraocular lens (IOL). Some patients may benefit from advanced IOLs that can address other vision conditions, like astigmatism, and potentially reduced dependency on glasses.
Myth 4: If you can see just fine, you're not going to get cataracts.
Truth: Because cataracts develop slowly over time, it's possible to not realize you have them until they really begin to impair your vision. Watch for symptoms such as difficulty seeing well at night and especially when trying to drive at night, cloudy vision, halos around lights, double vision in one eye, light sensitivity and colors appearing faded.
Myth 5: Cataract surgery is dangerous and painful.
Truth: Even though 38 percent of the people surveyed by Alcon said they were more afraid of undergoing eye surgery than any other kind of surgical procedure, cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed and safest procedures performed each year, with little recovery time or inconvenience to patients' daily activities.
"Of all the surgeries available to us as we age, cataract surgery is one of the few that truly allows patients to turn back time and reclaim their vision in ways they never thought possible," says Dr. Holland.
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