A Vision Crisis Is On The Way: Help the Public Prepare

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If you haven’t already, you need to check out a new report that has implications for every optical business and vision care practice. It’s a report that’s relevant to every American and their family and, as a result, is directly at the core of what quality, qualified eyecare professionals and optical retailers are charged with doing every day: helping their patients see better and informing them authoritatively about eye health.

There’s a vision crisis on the short horizon in this country and regular vision care can help detect and often prevent much of it. The report that hammers this home is the 2012 update of the “Vision Problems in the U.S.” report, an amazing compendium of research—and resources—just released late last month by Prevent Blindness America and the National Eye Institute. The study, conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, provides prevalence rates and estimates of cases of age-related eye conditions. A full version of the study is also available at preventblindness.org/visionproblems.

You probably know this but consider how you can communicate to your patients about facts like these from the report. There has been an alarming increase in four most common eye diseases since 2000, including:

  • 2,069,403 people age 50 and older have late AMD (age-related macular degeneration), a 25 percent increase
  • 24,409,978 million people age 40 and older have cataracts,
  • a 19 percent increase
  • 2,719,379 million people age 40 and older have open-angle glaucoma,
  • a 22 percent increase,
  • 7,685,237 million people ages 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy,
  • an 89 percent increase

All data from the report can now be obtained through a new searchable database at preventblindness.org/visionproblems enabling users to research a wide range of information including eye disease and condition numbers broken down by state, age, sex, and race.

Sift through the data and develop some important messages for your patients, suitable for generating important posts for your website, your Facebook page and your Twitter posts as well as in materials in your office from your patients’ eye health authority: you.

maxelrad@jobson.com