Seven Interesting Statistics Related to Eye Health

“Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful,” said Helen Keller.

Helen Keller was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century. She was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist, and lecturer. She lost her eyesight at 19 months due to a brief illness; who better than Keller will know the value of Eye health?

Health-related statistics provide people with insights into health issues and conditions affecting a population. These statistics help people correlate the incidence rates with age, lifestyle, food habits, etc. Further, they help people adopt methods to improve their health or reduce such incidents. Here are seven eye facts that indicate the need for precautions to preserve eye health.

1. Glaucoma has affected 12 million people in India.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerves, eventually leading to vision loss that cannot be restored. It has affected about 12 million people in India, and about 1.5 million have lost their vision due to the disease.

The reason for the staggering number is the slow progression of the disease and the absence of signs and symptoms at the early stages of the disease.

The cause of glaucoma is yet to be fully understood. However, it is most often related to high internal pressure in the eye, called intraocular pressure. Early detection of glaucoma can help ophthalmologists slow or prevent the progression of vision loss.

Hence, regular eye examination, which includes intraocular pressure, helps detect eye conditions like glaucoma and protect your eye health.

2. Age-related macular degeneration accounts for 8.7% of all blindness worldwide.

Macular degeneration refers to damage to the central part of the retina. A person with macular degeneration has normal peripheral vision but develops a dark spot at the centre.

The risk factors for age-related macular degeneration include age above 60, obesity, smoking, and hypertension.

3. There are 3 million corneal blind people worldwide, and 60% of them are children under 12.

Corneal blindness is a group of eye disorders that cause changes in the cornea’s transparency, leading to corneal scarring and blindness. The common causes of corneal blindness are infections, trauma, inappropriate care while using contact lenses, and overuse of steroid medications.

Some measures to prevent corneal blindness and preserve eye health, include:

  • Facial hygiene and using clean water to avoid infections.
  • Adequate intake of vitamin A

4. One out of six children aged between 5 and 15 years have myopia.

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is among all age groups’ most common eye conditions. The prevalence in younger age groups has increased manifold over the past few years due to excessive usage of smartphones and other digital screens. Studies show that half of the population may develop myopia by 2050.

5. Thirteen million people worldwide have blindness due to cataracts.

A cataract is a gradually progressive eye condition wherein the lens of the eye develops opacity, obscuring the passage of light. In the early stages, it does not affect vision. In contrast, it matures at the age of about 50–60, interfering with daily activities.

It is more common in older people as the tissue in the lens undergoes changes with time, causing opacification. In addition to age, other risk factors include diabetes, excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, previous eye injury or inflammation, previous eye surgery, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, and alcoholism.

6. Approximately 3 million people aged 40 years and older have vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy in India.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of uncontrolled blood glucose levels that affects the eye’s retina. The condition progresses without showing signs or symptoms, making it challenging to identify the disease.

If left undiagnosed or untreated, it may cause irreversible blindness. Hence, specialists recommend diabetic individuals undergo periodic retinal screening to rule out the risk of retinal damage.

7. Retinopathy of prematurity is a significant cause of preventable blindness in children.

It is estimated that around 15 million children are born preterm worldwide. Infants before completion of at least 32 weeks of gestation and weigh less than 1.5 Kg are prone to retinopathy. These babies have underdeveloped or abnormal blood vessels in their retina, which can lead to blindness. Consult well known pediatric ophthalmologists in Bangalore, for early detection and the right treatment to preserve eye health.  

Summing up

Watch this video: Know these facts about your eyes

The statistics demonstrate that people are prone to eye conditions due to various factors, including age, screen time, dietary habits, sleep cycles, environmental changes, etc. In addition to healthy habits, regular eye checkups with one of the best eye hospitals in Bangalore, will help detect eye abnormalities early and preserve eye health.