WASHINGTON — In response to the release today of Prevent Blindness America's (PBA) Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States report — which estimates that vision-related diseases cost the U.S. $139 billion per year and rank as the fourth most costly chronic disease category, surpassing the direct costs of hypertension, diabetes and stroke — the American Academy of Ophthalmology issued the following statement, attributable to Michael Repka, M.D., medical director for governmental affairs.
"Maintaining healthy vision is essential to an overall health-maintenance strategy. When people do not place a high priority on eye health, the toll of eye disease can have devastating implications from both a quality of life and financial perspective. The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges the American public and health policy leaders to fully understand the significant health impact and economic burden that eye disease has in this country and generate stronger support for policies that help address this important public-health issue that far too often does not get the attention it deserves."
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — Eye M.D.s — with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more information, visit www.aao.org. The Academy's EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit www.geteyesmart.org or www.ojossanos.org to learn more.