Vision in Oldler Americans

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Older Americans are not being hampered by vision problems as much as previous generations, research has discovered. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about the research and some possible reasons for the decline in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

There has been a dramatic drop in vision impairment among older Americans over the last generation.

The prevalence of self-reported eyesight issues that limit activity declined by well over 50 percent in just two and a half decades, according to data from two nationally representative surveys.

The prevalence of activity-limiting visual impairment is decreasing and has been decreasing. In 1984, close to 1 in 4 older people reported having problems reading newspaper print because of vision loss, compared to 1 in 10 in 2010.

The study appears in the latest issue of the journal Ophthalmology. Although the study did not explore the reasons for the reduction, researchers say advances in cataract surgery, declines in smoking and better treatments for diabetes have all played major roles.

It is not clear if advances in screening for age-related vision issues have contributed to their decline.

Regular eye exams are important for everyone as they age, especially people with diabetes and other health conditions that can lead to vision loss.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.