The diabetes and obesity epidemics may be fueling a dramatic rise in the number of people with vision problems, a new study suggests.
Rates of vision problems that can’t be treated with glasses or contact lenses, known as nonrefractive vision problems, increased by 21% between two survey periods: 1999 to 2002 and 2005 to 2008. The findings suggest that as many as 700,000 more people developed these types of vision problems in a short amount of time.
Nonrefractive vision problems include glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetes-related eye disease. They are caused by underlying diseases. Many of these diseases are age-related and would not be expected to increase among young people. Diabetes, however, is occurring in younger and younger people.