The annual number of new cases of blindness and low vision among people aged 45 years and older is estimated to double during the next 30 years, suggests a study published online November 2 in JAMA Ophthalmology, according to a report in Medscape.
The results may help policymakers plan for the future and decide how to allocate resources to help people with loss of vision, an often life-changing issue.
"[A]ssuming the prevalence and mortality rates stay constant, we expect a greater need for services for those patients with [low vision] as the aging population increases over the next several decades," Tiffany Chan, OD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues write.
Most low vision and blindness are related to aging, and both contribute greatly to disability in the United States. Visual impairment can interfere with daily activities and increases the risk for falls and medication mismanagement.