Vision loss increases the risk of other health and wellbeing issues – KCCI Des Moines


According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than four million Americans aged 40 and older have uncorrectable vision impairment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than four million Americans aged 40 and older have uncorrectable vision impairment.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than four million Americans aged 40 and older have uncorrectable vision impairment.
October is Blindness Awareness Month. Millions of Americans are living with vision loss and those conditions also increase their risks for other health and wellbeing issues.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than four million Americans aged 40 and older have uncorrectable vision impairment. That number is expected to double by 2050, as a result of diabetes, other chronic diseases, and an aging population, CBS News reports.
Lori DeMarco lost her vision more than 40 years ago from diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss in the United States. “It’s dark, there’s no color, but remember the static on TVs years ago? When it didn’t’ work? Well, it moves through my eyes like clouds,” DeMarco says.
DeMarco leans on Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey for support. VLANJ is a non-profit helping those living with blindness or vision loss live independent lives.
“Too often people who are blind or have low vision tend to be isolated, and we want to make sure they’re part of a community and they’re getting the skills they need,” says VLANJ President and CEO Bill Schuldt. The organization also helps people advocate in their communities, so places know how to best serve customers. Participants also learn how to take advantage of technology, like seeing-eye apps.
People with vision loss advise sighted persons who want to help not to startle them by coming up and touching their arm. Just simply ask first if they need assistance, and then respect their reply. “I educate people. I’m an educator. So, the way a blind person delivers the message is also important,” DeMarco says.
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