October 10th marked World Sight Day, a day where the international health community banded together to raise awareness around blindness as a public health issue. The European Forum Against Blindness (EFAB) used World Sight Day to further emphasize the importance of comprehensive eyecare for all in order to reduce costs associated with blindness and other vision issues. They released their findings in a six-country study analyzing the economic impact of blindness.
The study revealed that eye diseases and blindness currently cost the European society about 20 billion Euros. Optometry Today further reported that the estimated cost of blindness alone to the six countries in the EFAB study is 7 billion Euros annually, while day-to-day care for those suffering from blindness account for the rest of the associated costs. The study echoes what many eye care professionals in Europe and the US have been saying for a few years now: the best way to offset the cost of 20 billion Euros is to create a comprehensive intervention plan.
The EFAB is among many groups working diligently towards making blindness a public health priority, due to how costly the issue is to the European society. In order to decrease the cost, the EFAB is working to help eyecare professionals educate the general public about four of the main conditions leading to blindness in Europe, which are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and wet AMD. As these conditions progress into blindness, they can very easily increase the already hefty direct and indirect costs spent on informal care provided by relatives and friends of the blind. The earlier these conditions can be detected and treated, the less likely that one will experience total vision loss.
Optos is proud to partner in the fight against blindness across Europe and the rest of the world. We offer advanced retinal imaging technology that supports the medical community in detecting a number of eyesight conditions well before patients notice a change in their vision. Contact us today to find out which of our devices is right for your practice.