According to a recent study out of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, nearly 50 percent of people (47.4 percent) of the 2,044 U.S. adults polled rated vision loss as the worst possible health outcome, surpassing such other conditions as loss of limb, memory, hearing, or speech. Top concerns among respondents were a diminishing quality of life ranked followed closely by loss of independence.
The study, “Public Attitudes about Eye and Vision Health,” was published in the August 4, 2016 edition of JAMA Ophthalmology, an international peer-reviewed journal published monthly by the American Medical Association (AMA).
Across all ethnic and racial demographics, nearly 88 percent of Americans surveyed viewed eye health as critical to overall health, yet shockingly 25 percent were completely unaware of any eye conditions that could affect their sight. 65.8 percent were aware of cataracts, 63.4 percent were aware of glaucoma, roughly 50 percent knew about macular degeneration, and only 37.3 percent had heard of diabetic retinopathy.
“Many Americans were unaware of important eye diseases and their behavioral or familial risk factors,” write the study’s authors, Adrienne W. Scott, MD; Neil M. Bressler, MD; Suzanne Ffolkes, BA, MA; John S. Wittenborn, BS; and James Jorkasky, MBA. “The consistency of these findings among the varying ethnic/racial groups underscores the importance of educating the public on eye health and mobilizing public support for vision research.”
Still, the best way to protect your sight is with annual vision screens. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye exams accordingly:
Before Age 3: Your child should have his or her eyes screened during regular pediatric appointments.
Between 3-19: Eye exams every one to two years during regular pediatric or family physician check-up appointments.
Between 20-39: Have a complete eye exam at least once between the ages of 20 and 29 and at least twice between the ages of 30 and 39.
Between 40-64: People should have a baseline eye disease screening at age 40. Based on the results of the initial screening, an ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams.
Over 65: Seniors should have complete eye exams every one to two years.
Low vision ranks behind just arthritis and heart disease as the third most common chronic cause of impaired functioning in people over 70, says Dr. Eric A. Rosenberg of Weill Cornell Medical College and Laura C. Sperazza, a New York optometrist. So, when was your last eye exam? Many sight-robbing conditions, such as glaucoma, can be effectively managed and vision loss halted if detected early.
Cataract and Glaucoma Treatment in Annapolis, Maryland
The Anne Arundel Eye Center (AAEC) is a regional leader in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. A consultation with board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles will help guide you through the treatment process and help you determine the best course of action.
Staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals, AAEC’s state-of-the-art treatment center is dedicated to making the best eye care accessible to everyone.
If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Samuel Boles, Dr. Nicole Kershner Regis, Dr. Kathryn Turner, and the eye care specialists here at AAEC by calling 410-224-2010. AAEC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will help guide you on your healing journey.