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As the baby boomers age, the number of Americans who are visually impaired is expected to double over the next 30 years, according to the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America.
"Blindness and visual impairment from most eye diseases and disorders can be reduced with early detection and treatment," says Tommy Thompson, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The leading causes of vision impairment and blindness are:
"Blindness and vision impairment represent not only a significant burden to those affected by sight loss but to the national economy as well, says Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD, director of the National Eye Institute. He called for increased screening and early treatment of diseases.
A copy of the report on blindness and eye disease is available at www.preventblindness.org.