An important part of the Sight Center’s mission is to minimize the incidence of blindness through education and prevention.
If you have one of the following conditions or diseases, or know someone who does, it is important to understand what to expect from the condition.
The links below will help you stay informed about the disease and remain up-to-date with the latest research and treatment options.
Interesting Facts about Vision Loss
Did you know?
- Vision problems affect one in 20 preschool age children (ages 3 to 5) and 25 percent of school-age children (ages 6 to 17).
- Over one million Americans aged 40 and over are currently blind, and an additional 2.4 million are visually impaired. These numbers are expected to double over the next 30 years as the baby boom generation ages.
- Every seven minutes a person in the United States loses his or her sight, often as part of the aging process. Seventy percent of severely visually impaired persons are age 65 and older. Fifty percent of that group is legally blind.
- For people age 65 and older, the rate of legal blindness is 135 per 1,000.
- Legal blindness does not necessarily mean total blindness; 90 percent of people who are legally blind have some remaining vision.
The leading causes of vision loss or blindness include:
- Glaucoma — a disease that causes gradual damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain.
- Macular degeneration — a condition that affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision and is the most common cause of legal blindness and vision impairment in people over 60.
- Cataracts — a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. This most likely results with advancing age.
- Diabetic retinopathy — a complication of diabetes where retinal blood vessels break down, leak or become blocked, impairing vision over time.
- Optic nerve atrophy — a degeneration of the optic nerve fibers which can lead to loss of clarity and/or changes in the field of vision.
Refer to the following web sites for more information on Vision Loss and Blindness.
- The Center for Partially Sighted
- Perkins School for the Blind
- The American Council of the Blind
- The American Foundation for the Blind
- The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind
- Prevent Blindness America
- The National Federation of the Blind
- American Printing House for the Blind
- Braille Institute of America
- The Seeing Eye
- National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments
- AFB Senior Site