Seeing the Facts with Eye Care and Vision Statistics
Few things in life are more important than our eyesight. Just ask someone who has lost theirs. Drs. Gordon and Wildon Wong, of Gordon Wong Eye Designs and Optometry in La Jolla, CA, know this better than most. They also know that the excellent vision and vision care most of us enjoy is something we should never take for granted.
A great way to make this point is to share with you a few interesting and pertinent eye care and vision statistics that are readily available from such authoritative sources as the American Academy of Ophthalmology, National Eye Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and American Optometric Association
As is obvious from the figures below, impaired vision is a widespread problem in our country. Fortunately, eye doctors like Dr. Wong can help most patients see clearly.
- More than 150 million Americans spend $15 billion each year on corrective eyewear. About 37 million of these wear contact lenses.
- About 11 million Americans over age 12 need vision correction but cannot get it.
- Between 600,000 and 700,000 laser surgery procedures (LASIK and PRK) are performed each year.
- About 4 million Americans over age 40 are visually impaired, a quarter of which are legally blind.
- Each year, more than 2 million eye injuries occur in the United States. Using protective eyewear can prevent nearly all of them.
- Amblyopia, the most common cause of vision loss in children, affects 2-3% of them. All children aged 3-5 should be screened for it, though only one out of five are.
- About 8% of men and 0.5% of women with Northern European ancestry are color blind.
Because our population is aging, the number of patients who are blind or visually impaired from eye diseases is expected to double within the next decade. You can minimize your chances of being one of those by making regular eye exams a part of your health and wellness plan.
- Cataracts: This clouding of the lens is the number one cause of vision loss, affecting nearly 25 million Americans age 40 or older. Half of those age 75 and over have cataracts.
- Glaucoma: Increased pressure in the eye can cause loss of sight, and it affects nearly 3 million in the United States age 40 and over. African and Hispanic Americans, those over age 60, and anyone with a family history are at higher risk and should have their eyes examined at least every two years.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Around 2 million Americans age 50 and over are affected by this breakdown of eye tissue that causes impaired vision. By age 80, one in ten Americans, predominantly women, will develop it.
- Diabetic retinopathy: This is a preventable condition that affects nearly 8 million diabetics in the United States age 40 and older. It is the leading cause of blindness in this country. Because early diagnosis and treatment can prevent irreversible damage, diabetics should have their eyes examined annually. Roughly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, more than a quarter of which are unaware they have it.
- Dry eye syndrome: This treatable condition becomes more likely with age and affects about 5 million Americans, women twice as often as men, age 50 and over.
- Eye infections: Almost a million patients see their doctor annually for treatment. The most common reason is related to the wear of contact lenses.
The Vision Specialists Keep Things in Focus
The optometrists at Gordon Wong Eye Designs and Optometry are all about vision. They thoroughly and methodically check every aspect of your eyesight and, if needed, prescribe corrective lenses to restore clear vision.
They can also help you acquire the razor-sharp eyesight you always dreamed of, without glasses or contact lenses, using laser surgery or implantable contact lenses.
The doctors at Gordon Wong Optometry are also highly trained medical professionals who can detect and treat diseases of the eye before they irreversibly damage your vision. Make an appointment with them right away if you notice unusual symptoms such as decreased vision, eye redness or pain, flashes of light, halos around lights, or double vision.
Do not become a statistic. Even if you think your vision is perfect, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Gordon Wong Eye Designs and Optometry. A yearly exam will help keep your vision sharp and your eyes disease-free. Contact us online or call the office at (858) 454-4699.