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Announcements: Healthy Vision Month — May 2013

The May 2013 theme for Healthy Vision Month 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.

In 2010, approximately 4 million persons in the United States aged ≥40 years had vision impairment (including low vision and blindness); by 2050, this number is projected to reach 13 million (1). Vision impairment is associated with inability to perform daily activities such as reading, driving a car, and preparing meals. Vision impairment also is associated with an increased risk for falls, fall-related injuries, depression, and reduced overall health (2–4). Millions of persons in the United States have undetected vision problems and eye diseases. Vision disorders are the seventh most common chronic condition for persons aged ≥65 years, the ninth most common for those aged 50–64 years, and the third most common for those aged ≤17 years (5,6).

Early detection, timely treatment, and the use of proper eye safety practices can prevent or delay vision impairment. The American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend a regular, comprehensive dilated eye examination to potentially detect and treat vision problems early. Additional information about activities that promote prevention, early detection, and treatment of eye diseases leading to vision impairment is available at http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth and http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.

References

  1. National Eye Institute. Projections for vision impairment (2010–2030–2050). Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute; 2010. Available at http://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/vision_impaired.asp#4.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Opththalmol Vis Sci 2011;52:5088–92.
  4. Zhang X, Bullard KM, Cotch MF, et al. Association between depression and functional vision loss in persons 20 years of age or older in the United States, NHANES 2005–2008. JAMA Ophthalmol 2013 Mar 7:1–9.
  5. 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.
  6. Martin LG, Freeman VA, Schoeni RF, Andreski PM. Trends in disability and related chronic conditions among people ages fifty to sixty-four. Health Aff (Millwood) 2010:29:725–31.


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