The People's Perspective on Medicine

Vision Problems More Prevalent

Americans don’t see as well as they used to. That’s the conclusion from a survey of thousands of adults. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected data on more than 9,000 people between 1999 and 2002. More than 10,000 participants were included in the study between 2005 and 2008.

Volunteers in the second group were more likely to have visual problems that could not be corrected with glasses. The risk of visual impairment due to cataracts, glaucoma or retinal problems increased 40% in Caucasians between 20 and 39 years of age. The investigators suggest that this change for the worse may be attributed to the higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes.

[JAMA, Dec.12, 2012]

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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>The risk of visual impairment due to cataracts, glaucoma or retinal problems increased 40% in Caucasians between 20 and 39 years of age. The investigators suggest that this change for the worse may be attributed to the higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
Of course, the higher prevalence of Type II diabetes in that age group is directly related to diet, and you have to be eating pretty badly for a good while to get Type2 before 40.
Moreover, I thought glaucoma in young people was more prevalent in African Americans, so if it’s now also observed rising in Caucasians, it would indicate something not at all addressed in this excerpt. Which is pretty skimpy. Or perhaps it’s my damaged retinas that missed the real meat?
OTOH, a 40% rise in a tiny dataset may not be all that big overall. Would be more helpful to have real numbers.

Personally I believe that working with overhead florescent lighting (especially with lower ceilings) and looking at computer screens all day at work will ruin your sight,too. I nearly went blind at one place of employment.There is something about the unseen flicker from both these sources that aggravate, too, it can actually cause seizures. If you look at pictures of Microsoft & Apple offices, even NASA, the ambient lighting is very subdued, not glaring.OSHA needs to put this on their radar for injury prevention.

More information about other factors found besides type II Diabetis, which I sure were uncovered, would have been more beneficial. A short blurb, as above, doesn’t tell you much.

If it was a Health and Nutrition Survey, then why wasn’t there a conclusion about what was being eaten? Diabetes could be related, but NUTRITION seems to be ignored in the findings. Sounds like a waste of money. Obviously many people are not receiving NOURISHMENT these days. Children are fed sugar but not saturated fats and do not get the benefit of fat soluble vitamins.

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