Healthy People 2010
Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) for the first time included a chapter on vision as well as hearing. HP 2010 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It identifies the most significant threats to health and establishes national goals to reduce those threats.
Chapter 28 of Healthy People 2010 assert the national goal to “improve the visual and hearing health of the nation through prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation.” Vision objectives include increasing the proportion of people who have regular dilated eye examinations and increasing the proportion of children aged 5 years and younger who have vision screenings. Healthy People 2010 also proposes to reduce visual impairment as a result of refractive errors and to reduce blindness and vision impairment among children aged 17 years and younger. The chapter calls visual impairment “one of the 10 most frequent causes of disability in America,” discusses the importance of vision rehabilitation, and addresses visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract, and refractive error, saying that “visual impairment is associated with loss of personal independence, decreased quality of life, and difficulty maintaining employment. For older adults, visual problems have a pronounced negative impact on quality of life, equivalent to that of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer.”