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Announcements: Healthy Vision Month — May 2012

May is Healthy Vision Month. The theme of this year's observance is "Healthy Vision: Make It Last a Lifetime." CDC's Vision Health Initiative joins with the National Institutes of Health's National Eye Institute in encouraging everyone to make vision and eye health a lifetime priority.

Vision impairment is associated with the inability to perform daily activities, such as reading, driving a car, and preparing meals. Moreover, vision impairment is associated with an increased risk for falls, fall-related injuries, social isolation, and poorer overall health (1,2). Millions of persons in the United States have undiagnosed vision problems and eye conditions (3). Vision disorders are the seventh most common chronic condition for the U.S. general population, the fifth most common for adults aged ≥65 years, and the third most common for those aged ≤17 years (4).

Early detection, timely treatment, and the use of proper eye-safety practices can prevent or delay vision impairment. According to the National Eye Institute, a comprehensive dilated eye examination by an eye-care professional can detect certain eye diseases and conditions in their early stages, before vision loss occurs (3). Additional information regarding activities that promote early detection and treatment of eye diseases and strategies for preventing and controlling common eye diseases is available at http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth and http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.

References

  1. Li Y, Crews JE, Elam-Evans LD, et al. Visual impairment and health-related quality of life among elderly adults with age-related eye disease. Qual Life Res 2011;20:845–52.
  2. Wood JM, Lacherez P, Black AA, Cole MH, Boon MY, Kerr GK. Risk of falls, injurious falls, and other injuries resulting from visual impairment among older adults with age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011;52:5088–92.
  3. National Eye Institute. About Healthy Vision Month. Bethesda, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute; 2012. Available at http://www.nei.nih.gov/hvm/about. Accessed May 1, 2012.
  4. Anderson G. Chronic care: making the case for ongoing care. Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; 2010. Available at http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/50968chronic.care.chartbook.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2012.

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