What are the main causes of blindness in adults?

Posted on: 17 April 2012 by Gareth Hargreaves

Eye health is often overlooked, but by ignoring symptoms you could be putting your sight at risk.

Sight loss in adultsIt is estimated that 218,000 people had severe sight loss (blindness) in the UK in 2008 (Access Economics, 2009).

The leading causes of severe sight loss are: 

  • 50.5 per cent of people were blind due to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
  • 12.5 per cent due to cataract 
  • 16.6 per cent due to glaucoma
  • 8.7 per cent due to diabetic retinopathy 
  • 2.1 per cent due to refractive error 
  • 9.7 per cent due to other eye diseases.

Even if your vision seems OK, an eye test can detect problems you don't know you have – and save your sight. It is highly recommended that you have an eye test at least once every two years.

Many older people are needlessly living with sight loss. Almost two thirds of sight loss in older people is caused by refractive error and cataract. Both conditions can be diagnosed by a simple eye test. In most cases the person's sight could be improved by prescribing correct glasses or cataract surgery.

Source: RNIB


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