Survey reveals sight loss fears
Published on 11 October 2012 11:30 AM
More than half of people polled in a new European survey are worried about losing their sight as they get older.
A study published to mark World Sight Day on October 11 found that 53% of people are concerned about age-related sight loss.
The poll found loss of vision was the second biggest health concern of ageing, after memory loss.
More than twice as many people said they were most concerned about developing sight loss compared to other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. More than 5,000 people across five EU countries were involved in the survey.
Many of those surveyed said they also believed that more resources should be dedicated to preventing vision loss.
The poll of people in five EU countries was carried out by a group of patient and professional organisations known as the European Forum Against Blindness (E-FAB).
Experts at E-FAB say many people in Europe needlessly lose their sight every year. They want more to be done to diagnose vision problems earlier.
World Sight Day
World Sight Day is held every October to raise awareness of blindness, visual impairment and rehabilitation of the visually impaired.
A variety of events are taking place to mark World Sight Day this year, such as walks and the distribution of posters, bookmarks and information leaflets. A Parliamentary Roundtable will also be jointly hosted by MEPs and E-FAB to discuss the problem of preventable blindness and the results of the latest survey.
Narinder Sharma, chief executive of AMD Alliance International, a non-profit organisation looking to raise awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), said: 'The results from the survey confirm that many people rank vision loss and preventable blindness as a major personal health concern and this is reasonable as we know that the risk of blindness from retinal conditions is increasing.
'Almost two thirds of people in the survey stated that late diagnosis and lack of regular eye tests are major barriers to detection, which suggests that we still need more investment in our eye care services to meet the challenge of preventing blindness in Europe.'
Copyright Press Association 2012