17.11.2009

Americans lack knowledge of age-related vision problems

Americans lack knowledge of age-related vision problems

By Adrian Galbreth

Despite the prevalence of age-related vision problems, Americans lack significant knowledge of such conditions, according to a survey.

The American Optometric Association"s (AOA"s) American Eye-Q survey found that there is a concerning lack of public knowledge and misunderstanding regarding age-related eye diseases and conditions.

The survey assessed public knowledge and understanding of issues related to visual health and found only 18 per cent of those questioned were aware that macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 64.

Less than a quarter understood the effects of glaucoma and 89 per cent incorrectly believed that it is preventable – in fact it is only treatable if caught in its early stages.

Mark Wilkinson, chair of the AOA"s vision rehabilitation section, said: "When left undetected and untreated, many age-related eye diseases can damage your vision permanently."

Founded in 1898, the AOA represents around 36,000 doctors serving nearly 6,500 communities across the US.

by Emily Tait


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