Some of life’s best moments are experienced through our eyes: seeing that game-winning touchdown, an ocean sunset, the first smile of a child.

Maintaining healthy vision throughout life is key to being able to experience these moments. 

For children, so much of learning is visual, including seeing the letters on the board or the screen or studying and doing homework. According to a recent report, “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues,” visual functioning is a strong predictor of future academic performance in children.

A vision epidemic

However, vision problems continue to go undetected or untreated — one in four children in the United States has a vision problem including conditions that may cause permanent vision impairment such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eyes).  If left untreated, these may continue to affect health and well-being later in life.

In adults, the prevalence and costs of vision problems are set to grow at an alarming rate, fueled by demographic shifts including the aging of the baby-boomer population, increases in average lifespan expectancy, and the growth of the Hispanic population.

“The economic costs of children’s vision disorders are significant, amounting to $10 billion yearly in the United States.”

A costly problem

A recent study showed that by 2050, the number of people affected by vision loss is projected to grow by 135 percent, from 4.4 million today to more than 10 million. Cases of cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and advanced age-related macular degeneration are expected to increase by 77 percent to nearly 70 million adults by 2050.

The economic costs of children’s vision disorders are significant, amounting to $10 billion yearly in the United States. And with adults ages 40 and older, the cost of vision problems is a shocking $145 billion annually.

Your care starts now

It’s difficult to put a price on the personal impact of vision impairment, however. That’s why it is so important to make healthy vision a priority today to save vision in the future.

Fortunately, vision loss from many eye diseases and conditions can be lessened through early detection and treatment.

Getting vision checked regularly through vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams by an eye care professional is the best way to protect the gift of healthy eyesight. Make an appointment today for your family and yourself, and enjoy the best sights that life has to offer.