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How Will We See in 2050?

How will we see in 2050?  Not well, accord­ing to the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health (NIH).

The num­ber of peo­ple with visu­al impair­ment should dou­ble by 2050, says the Nation­al Eye Insti­tute.  That spikes num­bers up to 8 mil­lion for blind­ness and doesn’t account the 16.4 mil­lion that are expect­ed to face fix­able eye issues like near or far­sight­ed­ness.  

In 2015, stud­ies showed that legal blind­ness affect­ed 1 mil­lion Amer­i­cans. NIH pre­dicts that rate will inflate by 21 percent/decade and reach 2 mil­lion by 2050.  

These are big, scary num­bers.  It should be not­ed that the youngest baby boomers are approach­ing their six­ties, and this accounts for a mas­sive por­tion of high pre­dic­tions for visu­al impair­ment.

This means that our vision is not nec­es­sar­i­ly grow­ing worse.  Rather, the num­ber of peo­ple enter­ing the at-risk age is grow­ing. Many defi­cien­cies onset nat­u­ral­ly after 40, so it’s easy to under­stand that the most pop­u­lat­ed gen­er­a­tion is get­ting old­er and dri­ving per­cent­ages through the roof.

Who else is affect­ed?

  • Baby boomers (see above)
  • Non-His­pan­ic white women.  This group rep­re­sents the largest por­tion of the study’s pre­dic­tions.  Blind­ness will affect 610,000 non-His­pan­ic white women by 2050 and see anoth­er 2.15 mil­lion with vision decline.  
  • African Amer­i­cans.  African Amer­i­cans are at the high­est risk for devel­op­ing glau­co­ma,  which leads the demo­graph­ic to account for the next largest per­cent­age of blind­ness.
  • His­pan­ics.  His­pan­ics have high rates of dia­betes,  which often comes with eye dis­ease.  By 2040,  His­pan­ics will account for more visu­al impair­ment cas­es than African Amer­i­cans.

The find­ings sig­ni­fy that there is ample oppor­tu­ni­ty to catch vision loss before it comes.  Most sight prob­lems are cor­rectable in ear­ly stages. Improve­ments and reme­dies ear­ly on could sig­nif­i­cant­ly delay the last­ing and wors­en­ing effects of the defi­cien­cy.

The researchers behind the study encour­age the nation to adopt more proac­tive and fre­quent eye exams. By detect­ing ear­ly,  we can help pre­serve the eye health of our cur­rent and future gen­er­a­tions.

If you are in any of the demo­graph­ics at height­ened risk for blind­ness,  sched­ule an appoint­ment with your optometrist to dis­cuss the health of your eyes.  If you are ready for any refrac­tive pro­ce­dures,  like Lasik vision cor­rec­tion,  come into Dia­mond Vision for a con­sul­ta­tion and see which method of cor­rec­tion is right for you

September 12th, 2016|Comments Off on How Will We See in 2050?

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