Worldwide Refractive Blindness – An Avoidable Cause
of Vision Loss
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 285 million people in the world are visually impaired. It is estimated that 39 million are blind and the rest have low vision. A large portion of these people are over the age of 50, and the main causes of vision problems are refractive errors.
What are Refractive Errors?
Refractive errors in the eye are related to common eye diseases such as presbyopia, astigmatism, hypermetropia, and myopia. These eye conditions cause the image falling on the retina to be unfocused, making it difficult for the person to see clearly.
When a person is suffering from refractive errors or other eye conditions, they may experience a loss in education and employment opportunities. Untreated visual impairment could be the cause of a lower quality of life as well as decreased productivity.
Access to Optometry Services to Prevent Blindness
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, although some people lose their vision due to infectious diseases or other problems. Even though 80% of these visual impairments can be cured or prevented, many people around the world don’t have access to the optometry care that is needed. Many of the people suffering from blindness due to refractive errors live in low-income areas. They don’t have the resources to pay for the primary eye care services that are required for their condition.
Many countries are experiencing an increase in the elderly population, which increases the need for visual care during the aging process. At the same time, there are an estimated 12 million children worldwide with visual impairment due to refractive errors. These conditions could easily be treated and prevented with primary eye care services.
Changing Lives with Vision Care
It is difficult to measure the economic value of an intervention to correct refractive errors. When a person regains their vision, their entire life will change! So, it is imperative that we focus on the humanitarian efforts that are needed to deliver quality eye care to people in all socioeconomic conditions.
Here at Village Eyecare, we offer top-notch primary eye care for people in the Chicago area. We are always looking for ways to be involved in community outreach and worldwide programs to help every person receive the eye care and vision correction lenses that are needed.
We are affiliated with a number of organizations including: VISION 2020, Lions Club International, The Illinois Optometric Association, The American Optometric Association, and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH). We encourage our patients to bring their unused eyeglasses to our office for donations. Additionally, we have participated in programs such as the VisionWalk to raise funds for research to cure blindness.
If you have questions about optometry services in Chicago or you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved, then we encourage you to contact us right away. We want to provide the best vision services to support patients suffering from blinding eye diseases.
Do you have any questions about refractive blindness or other visual concerns? Then you are invited to call our office. We are here to help!