CHICAGO (Sept. 12, 2013) – Almost 3 million Americans have low vision, according to the National Eye Institute. And, those numbers are expected to increase to more than 5 million by 2030 and close to 9 million by 2050. Low vision is defined as vision loss that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses, medicine or surgery. And, it may impact a person’s ability to do everything from working, driving, reading, or even walking safely around the home.
To directly address the needs of those with low vision and their caregivers, Prevent Blindness America has launched a new online resource: “Living Well with Low Vision,” http://lowvision.preventblindness.org. The goal of the new website is to make it as easy as possible for people to educate themselves about loss of vision, to meet the daily challenges resulting from it, and to continue to have a high quality of life.
Living Well with Low Vision was specifically developed from the point of view of patients and patient advocates. The information on the site conveys the message that seniors experiencing vision loss are not alone, that other people have come through the experience with their independence and quality of life intact, and that adapting to vision loss is not an overwhelming, impossible task. Patient advocate and low vision educator Dan Roberts, M.M.E., serves as editor-in-chief for the online resource.
This new site, which is designed with viewing accommodations for differing levels of vision loss, provides:
- an extensive list of searchable low vision resource directories;
- a database of 1,500 municipal paratransit services;
- a library of self-help guides and workbooks for people living with low vision, as well as their caregivers
- an up-to-the-minute blog with news and features of interest for people living with age-related eye disease and significant visual impairment.
“As our population ages and the national diabetes epidemic continues to skyrocket, the impact of low vision on patients and their families will increase tremendously,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “Through this new Living Well with Low Vision program, we can provide the public with the necessary resources to learn what low vision is, what to expect from the condition, and what tools are available to help limit the effects.”
About Prevent Blindness America
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates and regional offices, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.