Loss Of Vision Worst Ailment Compared To Other Conditions

by Dr. Meenakshy Varier on  August 6, 2016 at 10:31 AM Research News
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Many Americans consider vision loss equally bad as losing one's limb, hearing, memory or speech, a new survey revealed. The findings highlight the importance of support for eye and vision health research.
Loss Of Vision Worst Ailment Compared To Other Conditions
Loss Of Vision Worst Ailment Compared To Other Conditions

They consider eyesight loss as the worst ailment that could befall them when compared to other conditions as loss of limb, hearing, speech or memory, a new multi-ethnic survey has revealed.

The nationwide survey was commissioned by a non-profit health organization called Research America. Adrienne W Scott from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and colleagues analysed the results of an online countrywide poll of over 2,000 US adults including non-Hispanic white individuals and minority groups to understand the importance and awareness of eye health in the US population. Of the survey respondents, the average age was 46 years, 48% were male, and 11% were uninsured. 63% reported wearing glasses.

Researchers discovered that 88% of the participants believed that good eyesight is vital to overall health and well-being. About 47% of the respondents reported that losing their eyesight would have the biggest impact on their daily lives. Overall, survey respondents ranked vision loss as equal to or worse than memory loss, hearing loss, speech loss, or loss of limb. Some of the main concerns associated with blindness or vision impairment were the quality of life and the loss of independence.

When it comes to awareness of eye diseases, 66%were informed about cataracts; 63% knew something about glaucoma; 50% were aware of macular degeneration; and only 37% had awareness on diabetic retinopathy.

Additionally, 58% and 76% knew that family history and too much sunlight were possible risk factors for loss of eyesight, respectively. About 50% knew that smoking can put a person's eyesight at risk of damage. On the other hand, one-quarter of the survey participants did not know any eye conditions.

As the total population and average life expectancy on Earth continue to increase, so has the prevalence of blindness and impaired vision.

The findings of the survey published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology emphasize the fact that good vision is one of the keys to overall sense of well-being.

Authors of the new report say that understanding the importance of eye health to populations across racial and ethnic groups may help direct strategies to preserve eyesight among Americans. Doing so may also help inform policymakers to make eye research one of the health priorities in the country.

Source: Medindia

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