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Eye Health

“More than 3.4 million Americans aged 40 years and older are blind”

What are common eye diseases?

  • Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age (ages 20–74) Americans.

  • Cataracts are a major cause of vision loss. Among Americans aged 40 years and older, 24.4 million, have cataracts.

  • About 2,000,00 Americans aged 50 years and older have AMD

  • Glaucoma can be controlled and vision loss stopped by early detection and timely treatment.

  • Amblyopia (or lazy eye) is the most common cause of vision loss among children.


Vision loss fast facts

  • Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.

  • Approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition. Nearly 3 percent of children younger than 18 years are blind or visually impaired, defined as having trouble seeing even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.

  • An estimated 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

  • Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older and one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children.

  • 90% of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable.

Children's eye health

  • In the United States, about 1 in 4 preschool-aged children have an undiagnosed or untreated vision problem.

  • Your child’s pediatrician will likely screen your child’s vision as part of their regular checkups.

Common vision problems in children

  • Refractive errors: This eye condition includes myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (when the cornea or lens has a different shape than normal). Refractive errors occur when light does not correctly focus on the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. This condition causes blurred vision.

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye): This eye condition occurs when vision in one eye is reduced because of a communication error between the brain and the affected eye. The brain will rely more and more on the stronger eye, while vision in the weaker eye gets worse.

  • Strabismus (crossed eyes): This eye condition can affect one or both eyes. When a child has strabismus, their eyes do not focus on the same object at the same time. As a result, their eyes have trouble maintaining the correct position.

  • Convergence insufficiency: This eye condition affects how the eyes work together when looking at objects close up. Convergence insufficiency can cause blurry or double vision when a person looks at any object close up, including a book, computer, or digital device.


Eye Conditions and Diseases (National Eye Institute)

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