The National Eye Institute (NEI) and the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) conducted a national survey to assess public knowledge, attitudes and practices around eye health and disease. More than 3,000 adults were selected at random to participate in this national telephone survey which was conducted between October 2005 and January 2006. The findings reinforce the critical need to educate the public about common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration.
- Most Americans do not know the risks and warning signs of diseases that could blind them.
- Only 8% knew that there are no early warning signs of glaucoma.
- Only 16% had ever heard of the term low vision, which is vision loss that neither eyeglasses nor medical therapies can help.
- More than 70% surveyed say that a loss of their eyesight would have the greatest impact on their day-to-day life.
- Many said they consider the loss of eyesight to be worse than losing an arm or leg, or the ability to hear or speak.
- Hispanics knew the least about eye health.
- Hispanics were the least likely to have their eyes examined.
- 41% said that they had not seen or heard anything about eye health or disease in the last year.
NEI and the Lions Clubs recommend that people get their eyes examined regularly by a health care provider. Regular eye examinations will help protect people’s vision by detecting eye diseases early they are most effectively treated.
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