National survey shows citizens concerned with vision health but unaware of important eye diseases
A national survey of U.S. residents across all ethnic and racial groups showed good vision health was a priority, with respondents also showing high support for ongoing research for vision and eye health.
The online nationwide poll included 2,044 U.S. adults. Poll questions measured respondents’ attitudes on the importance of eye health, concerns about vision loss, support for eye health research, and awareness of eye diseases and risk factors, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
According to the poll results, 87.5% of respondents said good vision is important to overall health, and 47.4% said losing vision is the worst possible health outcome. Asian and Hispanic respondents ranked blindness behind only cancer as the worst possible health outcome, while white respondents ranked blindness behind only Alzheimer disease.
However, awareness of major eye conditions and risk factors was “uneven” among major eye disorders and racial/ethnic groups. In total, 65.8% of respondents were aware of cataract and 63.4% of glaucoma, but awareness was consistently lower among Asian and Hispanic respondents. Half of respondents were aware of macular degeneration and 37.3% of diabetic retinopathy, while 25% were not aware of any eye conditions.
Research, prevention and treatment of eye and vision disorders were considered a priority among 81.5% of poll respondents, with nearly 46% believing the average $2.10 per person spent on research each year by the federal government is not enough, according to the poll results.
“This contemporary and comprehensive survey suggests that most Americans across all ethnic and racial groups describe losing eyesight as having the greatest impact on their daily life when ranked against other conditions including loss of limb, memory, hearing or speech,” the study researchers said. – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.