January is National Eye Care Month, and the stats are flying at me fast and furious! This week, I thought I’d share with you some of the interesting statistics I’ve come across.
According to the Vision Council of America (2006), of the total adult American population:
• 64.0 percent use eyeglasses
• 19.0 percent use contact lenses some of the time
• 85.6 percent use non-prescription sunglasses
• 14.0 percent use pre-made “drugstore” reading glasses
• 12.1 percent use clips for sunglasses
• 4.4 percent use computer glasses
From these statistics, it’s clear that eyewear touches the lives of nearly everyone in the United States. More than 2/3 of the U.S. population wear glasses, alone!
Eyewear is just the tip of the eye care iceberg, though. Millions of people are impacted by eye problems, injuries and diseases every year.
For instance, over the age of 40, 20 million people have a cataract in one or both eyes, and 2.2 million are affected by open-angle glaucoma. 1.8 million Americans over the age of 40 have Macular Degeneration.
Thousands of Americans encounter eye problems due to injury, as well! Of the 9,000 people injured by fireworks each year, 30% incur an eye injury, and 25% involve vision loss or blindness.
Lack of proper protective eyewear causes thousands of injuries each year. In the workplace, 2,000 workers experience job-related eye injuries each year. While playing sports, 42,000 eye injuries occur each year. But maybe most interestingly, from 1998 to 2000, eye injuries due to paintball guns rose from 545 to 1200 injuries a year—More than doubling the injury rate!
All of these statistics lead me to one conclusion. Although we often take our vision for granted, it is certainly not something to be taken lightly. This month of eye care acknowledgement certainly offers us an opportunity to pause, pay attention to what we are lucky enough to see around us, and of course, schedule an appointment with our favorite eye care professionals!
But perhaps you are one such professional already, and I am preaching to the choir! Well, then may I please direct you to the Welch Allyn Ophthalmoscope area of our website?