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Healthy Vision Month --- May 2005

May is Healthy Vision Month. In the United States, an estimated 80 million persons have potentially blinding eye diseases, one million are blind, and 3 million have low vision (1). The leading causes of blindness and uncorrectable vision loss in the United States are age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and diabetic retinopathy. The number of U.S. residents aged >40 years with age-related eye diseases is expected to increase by approximately 40% by 2020 (2).

Vision objectives are a new focus area in Healthy People 2010. Healthy Vision 2010 addresses the vision objectives that include visual impairment, regular eye examinations for children and adults, vision screening for preschool children, injury prevention, and vision rehabilitation (1). Healthy Vision 2010 materials designed to educate the public and health-care providers are available at http://www.healthyvision2010.org.

CDC collaborates with the National Eye Institute through Healthy People 2010 and the National Eye Health Education Program. In addition, CDC has developed a program to increase public and professional awareness of efforts to reduce visual impairment and eye diseases. CDC also engages in applied public health research to enhance eye health.

References

  1. US Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010 (conference ed, in 2 vols). Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2000. Available at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.
  2. Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. Causes and prevalence of visual impairment among adults in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol 2004;122:477--85.



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