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Vision health, ageing and promoting functional ability

December 14, 2018  · 2 min read

Ensuring that older people are able to maintain functional ability across the life course is critical with a rapidly ageing global population. While some people age without experiencing drastic changes in their vision, there are several eye diseases and conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR), which do not have noticeable symptoms in their early stages and greatly impact the functional ability of people as they age.

New research and initiatives are emerging globally to address this growing concern. For example, while a new Artificial Intelligence eye screening programme was launched in Thailand, there is also innovative research to improve the early detection of AMD is taking place in Australia and the development of new ways to treat eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration are emerging in Singapore.

“Being responsible and protecting our eyesight is part of how we keep healthy (while) aging." – Dr Jane Barratt

Every year in Canada more than 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight and with the increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity, the incidence of vision loss is expected to increase nearly 30 percent over the next ten years. The Eye See You (ESY) campaign was created to raise awareness of vision health issues and to ensure that Canadians across the country are able to access the appropriate information about their eye health.

This holiday season, the ESY campaign is running a social media photo contest to draw attention to vision health. The contest is in full swing, and Ms Louise Gillis, President of the Canadian Council of the Blind, has already joined by sharing an image on Twitter of something that matters to her this holiday season!

To learn more about the importance of promoting vision health throughout the life course, as well as the Eye See You campaign, contact IFA Secretary General Dr Jane Barratt.

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