Friday, September 13, 2013

Eye Diseases Rising at Rapid Rates in U.S.

Most dramatic is the rise in diabetic retinopathy, says Jeff Todd, chief operating officer of Prevent Blindness America, which issued the report.

Diabetic retinopathy involves damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It can lead to blindness. In the past 12 years, it has risen an alarming 89%, Todd tells WebMD. Nearly 8 million people ages 40 and above now have it.

"We suspect that is largely due to the spike in diabetes and the diabetes epidemic we are facing as a country, as well as the increase in Hispanic and African-American populations, which tend to have a higher rate of diabetes," he says.

Another vision problem, age-related macular degeneration, is up substantially, with a 25% increase, Todd says. The macula is the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision. More than 2 million age 50 and older are affected now. Read the entire article.

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