According to a new pre-print study accepted by The Lancet, rates of global blindness and vision impairment continue to increase. By the year 2050, the number may reach 900 million people.
Vision loss is a global problem. According to recent research led by Rupert Bourne, Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University:
- 8 million people have a mild vision impairment
- 1 million people have a major vision impairment
- 3 million people are blind
Bourne and his team predict blindness and vision impairment will double in the next 30 years unless experts can take steps to address the issue.
“It is encouraging that age-adjusted prevalence of blindness has reduced over the past three decades, yet due to population growth, progress is not keeping pace with needs,” said Bourne. “We face enormous challenges in avoiding vision impairment as the global population grows and ages” (Medical Xpress).
Cataracts are Treatable with Cataract Surgery
One of the most common types of eye diseases is cataracts, the leading cause of degenerative vision loss among people older than 55. Some common symptoms of cataracts include:
- Clouded or blurry vision
- Double vision
- Fading of colors
- Appearance of halos
- Difficulty with night vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
Cataract-related vision loss can be reversed through cataract surgery, a safe and simple procedure. Approximately three million Americans undergo cataract surgery annually, with a success rate of 98 percent or higher (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery). This means 95 percent of patients who select a standard artificial lens (called an intraocular lens or IOL) during cataract surgery experience completely restored vision.
Call Your Ophthalmologist
Three out of four cases of disease-related vision loss can be avoided through prevention and treatment. Many conditions can be treated with simple outpatient procedures. You can preserve your vision and prevent vision impairment by scheduling an annual comprehensive eye exam. Your ophthalmologist will provide you with a full evaluation of your eye health and discuss any necessary treatment options.