Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma are the main causes of sight loss in Ireland, reports the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO).
Fortunately over 75% of sight loss is preventable with early diagnosis and treatment.
The ICO states that there are 220,000 Irish people currently living with vision loss or blindness. It is estimated that 5,000 more people will have impaired vision and 5,000 more people will lose their sight in Ireland within the next five years. This number could be reduced if more people had regular eye tests as it increases the likelihood of problems being spotted and treated early.
“Blindness and vision loss has a major health, social and economic impact,” says the ICO. “The risk of vision loss increases with age and in 10 years time, over 1 million Irish citizens will be aged 65 or older.”
Lending his support at the ICO’s eye health campaign launch in Killarney, Kerry Football Captain, Eoin Brosnan said, "People don't necessarily think about their eye health until they notice something is wrong. The message from the eye doctors is to have our eyes checked regularly, particularly if you are in a higher risk category or if you notice any change in your vision."
The free ICO booklet 'Your Sight, Our Vision' campaign includes eye health information to educate the public about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions, in order to prevent avoidable sight loss.
The booklet is available from your GP or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org