Eyesight and What Effect is Your Environment Having

You might have seen this reported on BBC’s Breakfast News last week, but I thought it was worth highlighting here. There is growing pressure on hospital eye services which is endangering patients’ eyesight, warned the President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Professor Carrie MacEwen. She noted that there has  been ‘an increase of up to 30% in eye clinic attendances over the last five years’, explaining that ‘over 100 million outpatient appointments were made in England alone during 2013-14, of which 10% were for eye care.’ Reasons for the increased demand included the ageing population (of course), coupled with the fact that many common eye conditions which were previously untreatable, such as age related macular degeneration, can now be treated successfully. What she found particularly concerning was the fact that much of the increased demand for eye clinic appointments comes from patients with chronic eye diseases, who are the most vulnerable and at the greatest risk of irreversible loss of vision. To see her full report go to:

https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/2016/03/increasing-demand-on-hospital-eye-services-risks-patients-losing-vision/

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Also published in the last week was a report from the WHO called “Preventing Disease Through Healthy Environments”. The WHO have undertaken an analysis that indicates that 23% of global deaths (and 26% of deaths among children under five) are due to modifiable environmental factors. Young children and older people bear the brunt of the environmental risks, the report finds, with children and under-fives and adults aged 50 to 75 most impacted. So what environmental factors are we talking about and just what diseases can be linked to our environment?

To get some insight into this fascinating topic see:

http://who.int/quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/preventing-disease/en/

 

 

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