The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will conduct a consensus study to examine the core principles and public health strategies to reduce visual impairment and promote eye health in the United States. The study will describe limitations and opportunities to improve vision and eye health surveillance; reduce vision and eye health disparities; promote evidence-based strategies to improve knowledge, access and utilization to eye care; identify comorbid conditions and characterize their impact; and, promote health for people with vision impairment. The study will also examine the potential for public and private collaborations at the community, state, and national levels to elevate vision and eye health as a public health issue. Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, was one of the thought leaders who participated in the National Academies report committee, with much of his recent National Eye Institute (NEI) research informing the committee recommendations.
The report includes some of Varma’s research on the nation’s prevalence of visual impairment and blindness -especially among aging baby boomers, older women and minorities – that is expected to double by 2050 to impact more than 16 million Americans. By 2050, 86.7 million boomers will be over the age of 65 – almost 1 in 5 Americans – when many debilitating eye diseases and vision loss from glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy (DR), age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases can occur.
The study will focus on the following topics:
- Public health burden of eye disease and vision loss
- Prevention and care of eye disease and impaired vision
- Evidence-based health promotion interventions for vision loss
- Collaborative strategies to promote vision and eye health as a public health priority
Check out the full release below: