Vision loss is a growing problem. Currently, it’s estimated that half a million Canadians are living with significant vision loss, and with that number expected to increase by 30 per cent over the next decade, there isn’t any room for complacency.
Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) believes that addressing the problem involves a shift in attitude around vision loss as it relates to aging.
Our identities are defined to a large degree by the things we do. When our ability is diminished, for whatever reason, be it a physical or mental change that impacts our function, our sense of self also often changes. Family and friends may also see us differently. The single greatest impact on functional ability in older people comes from sensory impairments like the loss of vision. Every year, more than 50,000 Canadians lose their sight and more than 5.5 million Canadians live today with significant eye disease that could cause vision loss.
Initiatives designed to harness the power of collaboration and commitment to a cause have the strongest ability to succeed, yielding positive impacts on many levels. Last Spring, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) joined forces with the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) on a campaign with goals of awareness, education, and action, all aimed at improving the vision health of Canadians. Led by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA), the CCB was part of a coalition of physicians and patient groups from across the country that identi ed the need to champion a Canadian’s ‘right to sight’… and through this idea, the Eye See You campaign was born.
While sharply focused on issues related to protecting and maintaining vision health, the Eye See You campaign also focuses on the need for individuals and families to be fully informed and educated about the treatment options available to them. The campaign addresses physicians as well, supporting their autonomy to decide the most appropriate, evidence-based treatment for their patient.
“The Eye See You campaign recognizes the critical relationship between patients, including their family and doctors in discussing treatment options, making educated choices and helping remove barriers to the most appropriate treatment and care available,” says Dr. Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing.
Maclean’s: Vision Loss Due to Diabetes on the Rise
Worldwide, the prevention of unnecessary vision loss associated with diabetes has a particular urgency surrounding it. The risk of blindness due to untreated diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) is serious. With DR alone, approximately one in three adults with diabetes is affected by the condition – a staggering 93 million people worldwide.
Sobering facts like these inspired this year’s theme for World Diabetes Day (November 14). “The theme ‘Eyes on Diabetes’ reflects how critical we believe the role of eye health to be within diabetes management,” says Dr. David Cavan, MD, Director of Policy & Programmes, International Diabetes Federation.
National Post: From Loss to Ability – Rethinking Aging and Vision
Many of the retinal conditions that cause vision loss and blindness – age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and refractive error – are treatable if the appropriate and available treatments are started in a timely manner; this accessibility is not always the case.
Canadian policy makers need to stand together with older and aging Canadians by protecting their access to approved retinal treatments as prescribed by their physicians. By safeguarding access, policy makers have the unique opportunity to help improve the quality of life not only of the individual but also of the patient’s family and the broader community.
Yahoo: Awareness Campaign Alerts Canadians to be Vigilant About Eye Health
Estimates suggest that more than 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight every year due to conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts and refractive error.More than 5.5 million Canadians have a significant eye disease that could cause vision loss. Citing an impending crisis in vision health, the International Federation on Ageing, in collaboration with several partner organizations, today announced the launch of an awareness campaign to remind Canadians, especially those 45 years and older, that they need to be especially vigilant and engaged in the health of their eyes.
The Eye See You awareness campaign is coordinated by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) to build awareness, gather insights and stimulate action on health issues that matter to Canadians. The public education and awareness campaign was created through an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer.
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