About 90,000 blind people live in Iran: academic

Tehran Times – About 90,000 blind people live in Iran, the director of the National Congress of the Iranian Optometry Scientific Society said, adding that the number of people suffering from low vision is double.

“Some 80 percent of vision impairments, which lead to low vision or blindness are avoidable,”Mehr quoted Abbas Azimi as saying on Sunday.

“Of the total blindness cases in the country, 47 percent is caused by cataract, 12 percent by glaucoma, five percent by diabetic eye diseases, 18 percent by uncorrected refractive errors, five percent by corneal opacities and 13 percent by genetic factors,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, vision impairment rate is high in Sistan-Baluchestan province in comparison with other parts of the country.”

Vision impairment has several economic and social consequences, which can be prevented by improving healthcare and giving information.

The 22nd National Congress of the Iranian Optometry Scientific Society will be held from August 13 to 16 in Tehran.

Vision impairment, global statistics

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person’s experience of vision impairment varies depending upon many different factors. This includes for example, the availability of prevention and treatment interventions, access to vision rehabilitation (including assistive products such as glasses or white canes), and whether the person experiences problems with inaccessible buildings, transport and information.

Globally, it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of distance or near vision impairment.

With regards to distance vision, 188.5 million have mild vision impairment, 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment, and 36 million people are blind. With regards to near vision, 826 million people live with a near vision impairment.

Population growth and ageing will increase the risk that more people acquire vision impairment.

There is some variation in the causes across countries. For example, the proportion of vision impairment attributable to cataract is higher in low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries. In high income countries, diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are more common.

Approximately 80% of vision impairment globally is considered avoidable.