Quantifiable data suggest vision loss should be given priority

November 12, 2006

"The distribution and causes of vision loss today are vastly different from 100 years ago when Edward Jackson was in practice."

"The distribution and causes of vision loss today are vastly different from 100 years ago when Edward Jackson was in practice."

Hugh R. Taylor, AC, MD, made the comparison in his presentation "Eye Care: Dollars and Sense," the 63rd Jackson Memorial Lecture, given during the opening session of the 2006 American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting.

However, Dr. Taylor continued, the key difference between then and now is the data set on vision impairment created by Dr. Taylor and his colleagues. Significant investments were made in tracking and quantifying visual impairment in Australia. The results were so consistent with other developed countries that the data set can be applied globally.

"Health planners and policy makers need to take vision loss seriously, give vision loss priority," Dr. Taylor said. "The time to act is now. To prevent avoidable vision loss, we must prevent diseases we can prevent, treat diseases we can treat, and substantially increase research funding."