Vision Problems Among Americans More Widespread Than Previously Thought

August 13, 2008 10:53 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A government study revealed that more Americans have trouble seeing than previously estimated, which could lead to more corrective eye surgeries.

Poor Vision Is Good Business

The study examined 12,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control routinely conducts. The study found that 36 percent of people had some sort of astigmatism. Approximately one-third of people were nearsighted, and 3.6 percent were farsighted, which means they can see objects far away, but not up close.

“No one knows for sure what accounts for this. But it’s a pretty smart hypothesis that the increased amount of near work that we’re doing as a population may be increasing the incidence of nearsightedness. And it does suggest that we should be looking into ways to deal with it,” Frederick Ferris, the National Eye Institute’s clinical director, told HealthDay.

This study is published as Toronto’s TLC Vision, which owns the LASIK brand, blamed a $2.2 million second-quarter loss on a lower demand for LASIK, according to Reuters. The 4-cent per share loss wasn’t what analysts were expecting, compared to a 1-cent per share profit for the same quarter in 2007.

Meanwhile, laser correction is rapidly increasing in Ireland, according to the Irish Business News, which reports that business at three clinics has increased 40 to 60 percent over last year. Some clinics are asking the government for more regulation to make sure everyone has to play by the same rules.

Some are calling for closer government scrutiny in the United States, too. In April a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel heard from dissatisfied patients and their families. That panel has recommended the FDA “do more to warn patients about the risks of popular laser vision corrective surgery,” according to a Medicine Net story. The FDA is working with an eye surgery organization to study laser surgeries.

Reference: LASIK and other corrective procedures

Related Topic: Lazy eye procedure


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines