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Vision Impairment Affects Quality Of Life

Because Vision Impairment Significantly Affects Quality Of Life The Society Should Pay Much More Attention To It

It has already been proven that on its own, vision impairment actually does lead to a lower quality of life but a Korean study has gone further to suggest that, people who suffer from vision impairment and  chronic diseases might suffer even more pronounced negative impacts from their daily activities.


From more than the 28,000 adults that were examined during research, the survey data showed that the people suffering from vision impairment were likely to struggle with their daily activities like washing, dressing, mobility or simply going about their daily tasks. In addition to that, they are also likely to experience more pain, anxiety and discomfort compared to people with correct vision.

It gets worse for people who, apart from having vision impairment, suffer from stroke, hepatitis, depression and arthritis. Their day-to-day life becomes an intensified struggle due to their additional conditions.

“Health related quality of life is severely decreased when individuals with vision impairment have other additional morbidities,” said the head of the study, Dr. Sang Jun Park who is an ophthalmology researcher at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital.

According to WHO, the World Health Organization, there are about 285 million people who have vision impairment globally, which includes the 39 million people who are blind and the 246 million more who tend to have low vision. Uncorrected farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism are the leading causes for moderate and severe vision impairment in the world while Cataracts are the main cause for blindness in most developing or low-income nations.

In order to study how vision impairment and the quality of life connected to each other, Dr. Sang and colleagues analyzed the 2008 to 2012 survey data from the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination including the eye assessment results and the answers they got from how hard it was for people to manage their daily activities.

The WORLD Health Organization defines vision impairment as approximately equivalent to the visual acuity of 20/63 and even worse for the better-sing eye. Now, the researchers used this and identified 173 participants to have the problem. A person who has a visual acuity of 20/63 needs 1.5 diopter corrective lenses.

The study team also went ahead to look into 14 common chronic health conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, arthritis, heart attack, hepatitis, asthma, tuberculosis, kidney failure, cancer, depression, anemia, obesity and high blood pressure. The people who suffered from any of these conditions as well as vision impairment had a lower quality life compared to those with correct vision.

The researchers added up the quality of life score for the people with the chronic diseases but without visual problems and those of people with vision impairment and the chronic conditions. The latter scores were much worse apart from the heart attack survivors.

The study did have a shortcoming though, as the authors acknowledge in the JAMA Ophthalmology, that they used few impaired-sight participants. The participants barely even had the conditions that were used to conduct the study. However, Jill Elizabeth Keeffe, an ophthalmologist at the L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India wrote in an editorial that more scientists are delving into the matter because the number of people with impaired vision seems to be on the rise. The researcher went ahead to add that the results from Korea suggested that in most countries, especially those with an aging population, the elder people who had chronic diseases would benefit from eye exams.

“As expected, vision loss has an impact on accessing visual information, but we have learnt about the risks of falls and concerns about safe mobility, and the ability to participate in education, work, social and leisure activities,” Keeffe concluded.


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