Poor, uninsured most likely to see poorly

March 15, 2010

Individuals who are visually impaired are more likely to be in a lower socioeconomic bracket in the United States, not to have private insurance, and to have an eye disease that is undetected.

Los Angeles-Individuals who are visually impaired are more likely to be in a lower socioeconomic bracket in the United States, not to have private insurance, and to have an eye disease that is undetected. Visually impaired persons who are of working age suffer the greatest economic impact because of their disability, said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH.

The survey also showed that the economic impact of visual impairment is greatest among individuals in the younger age groups, those who are of working age, Dr. Varma said.

Visually impaired individuals are less likely to have private insurance. They are more likely to be receiving Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

Regarding employment, the same type of pattern emerges in the national survey. These individuals are less likely to be employed.

"Almost one-third of those who are visually impaired believe that they are prevented from working as a result of their impairment," he said.