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Announcements: Healthy Vision Month --- May 2011

May is Healthy Vision Month. Because vision impairment affects all communities across the nation, CDC's Vision Health Initiative, in collaboration with the National Eye Institute, encourages all persons in the United States to make vision a health priority.

In the United States, approximately 25.2 million adults have self-reported vision impairment; of these, approximately 6.5 million are aged ≥65 years, 15.0 million are women, and 5.8 million are black or Hispanic (1). Many adults at high risk for serious vision loss do not receive needed eye care. Data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey indicate that approximately 5 million high-risk adults could not afford glasses when needed, and only 42% had dilated eye examinations in the preceding year (2).

Early detection and timely treatment of conditions that cause visual impairment can delay eye disease progression and prevent vision loss. Recommended eye care differs by age and risk factors; however, most persons should have periodic, comprehensive, dilated eye examinations as recommended by their eye-care providers (3). Additional information on Healthy Vision Month, the Vision Health Initiative, and strategies for prevention and control of common eye diseases is available at http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth and http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.

References

  1. Pleis JR, Lucas JW, Ward BW. Summary health statistics for U.S. adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2008. Vital Health Stat 2009;10(242).
  2. Zhang X, Saaddine JB, Lee PP, et al. Eye care in the United States: do we deliver to high-risk people who can benefit most from it? Arch Ophthalmol 2007;125:411--8.
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Patterns Committee. Preferred practice pattern guidelines. Comprehensive adult medical eye evaluation. San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2010. Available at http://www.aao.org/ppp. Accessed May 2, 2011.

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