Number of Those Affected by AMD and Low Vision to Increase Substantially in Near and Distant Future
By Staff Editor
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – CHICAGO (Jan. 22, 2015) – Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects more than 2 million Americans ages 50 and older. And, according to the recent Prevent Blindness “Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems” report, that number is expected to jump to 3.4 million in 2032 and 4.4 million in 2050.
AMD is a disease that affects part of the back of the eye called the macula, the central part of the retina. This can cause the central vision to become blurry or wavy. It may also cause a blind spot in the center of vision.
According to the Future of Vision report, the current average age of AMD patients is 80 years old, the highest of any of the major eye diseases. As such, the increase of the population aged 80 and older will lead to rapid growth in the AMD population over the next 20 years. In addition, whites and women are at higher risk for AMD, and will continue to dominate the total affected population with AMD. Projected medical treatment costs related to AMD are currently $4.9 billion a year, with an increase to almost $10 billion in 2032 and $14 billion in 2050.
By 2032, Prevent Blindness estimates that the visually impaired population aged 40 and older will increase by a staggering 65 percent to nearly 5.3 million.
Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month. The primary goal is to educate not only on AMD and low vision, but also to make the public aware of the free services that the group provides.
The group hosts a dedicated website, “The AMD Learning Center,” found at preventblindness.org/amd, which provides a variety of educational tools including AMD risk factors, treatment options, an Adult Vision Risk Assessment tool and downloadable fact sheets.
Additional Prevent Blindness resources providing information and materials on AMD and low vision include:……..
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Source: Health News Digest