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HomeminewsA Billion Suffer Presbyopia – Aussie Study

A Billion Suffer Presbyopia – Aussie Study

Australian researchers have, for the first time, provided the first comprehensive global estimate of the extent of presbyopia around the world.

That number is a staggering one billion people at least, and of those, it is estimated that half are without glasses.

All of us will experience deteriorating sight as we get older. By the age of 45, the lens in our eyes will start to lose its elasticity, affecting our ability to focus on near objects – usually meaning we need reading glasses. This is called presbyopia.

A comprehensive study, published in the December issue of the academic journal, Archives of Ophthalmology, and undertaken by a team headed by Professor Brien Holden, CEO of the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), revealed that an estimated 517 million had either no eyeglasses or inappropriate eyeglasses. As a result, their ability to complete important daily tasks is restricted. Most (386 million, or 94 percent) lived in the developing world.

“The study is a vitally important illustration of one of our greatest public health issues – the number of people who have impaired vision due to uncorrected or under corrected presbyopia and the drastic affects that has on their everyday lives,” says Professor Holden.

In the developed world, most people have access to the necessary eye examination and vision correction for presbyopia (usually a pair of glasses), that will allow them to complete a range of important tasks requiring the ability to see close objects clearly.

However, in the developing world a massive number of people are prevented from completing these same tasks because they do not have glasses and the impact on their lives is enormous.

“The estimated global economic impact of avoidable blindness and vision impairment is U.S.$42 billion. At least half of this is due to uncorrected refractive error, such as presbyopia. We simply can’t afford not to address it,” Professor Holden says.

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