Three times more blind people in 2050?
In 2050, 115 million people worldwide will be blind.
British researchers recently posted the above predictions in the medical journal ‘The Lancet Global Health’.
According to this paper, the number of blind people as of 2015 was about 36 million people worldwide.
However, with the increasing and aging population, it predicted that in 2050, if there was no significant improvement in treatment, it would increase to about 115 million people, which is about three times more.
By the way, there are about 320,000 people in Japan with visual impairment.
(This includes people who have been issued a disability certificate due to visual impairment, in addition to those who can not see at all; it also includes people with amblyopia, also called “dim vision”)
The cause of visual disorder is disease. The most common is “glaucoma”, the second most common is “diabetic retinopathy”. These two account for over 40%.
Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is obstructed for some reason and the visual field narrows.
Initially, there is an area (dark spot) where vision is obstructed at a slightly displaced position from the center of the eye, and as the disease progresses, the obstructed range expands.
You might think that if your field of vision decreased, you would soon notice.
However, as you move your eyes or compensate for it with one eye to cover unseen areas, there are many things you don’t even notice, even if the field of vision is decreasing.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to find glaucoma after the area of decreased vision has spread out considerably.
That is the scary part of glaucoma.
Diabetic retinopathy, on the other hand, is caused by diabetes causing the blood flow of the capillaries of the eye to deteriorate, resulting in a lack of oxygen and nutrients to the retina. It is one of the three major complications of diabetes.
Either glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, if left untreated, may cause blindness.
People who have diabetes are encouraged to see ophthalmology regularly, even if there are no eye symptoms.
And those who are not diabetic may also have increased eye diseases such as glaucoma after around 40 years of age.
Since it may advance before being noticed, I recommend an eye examination once a year.