EYE SAY: May 2, 2019

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Older Adults With Vision Loss Use More Hospital Resources

A study from JAMA Ophthlamology in April 2019 found that among Medicare beneficiaries and commercial health insurance enrollees, severe vision loss was associated with longer mean length of stay, higher readmission rates, and higher costs during hospitalization and 90 days after discharge. The researchers concluded that “These results suggest that, by addressing vision-related issues, opportunities exist to reduce lengths of stay, readmission rates, resource use, and costs while enhancing outcomes and patient satisfaction.

The report said that “patients with vision loss who are hospitalized for common illnesses are often not identified as requiring special attention. This perception, however, may affect the outcomes, resource use, and costs for these individuals.” The hospital readmission rates and costs were higher for patients with partial or severe vision loss than for those who had no vision loss. The authors conclude the following: These findings suggest that identifying the presence of vision loss during hospitalization or the discharge-planning period and employing strategies to assist these patients may be associated with improved outcomes, fewer readmissions, shorter length of stay, better patient satisfaction, and (if applied across the United States) a cost savings of more than $500 million annually.” Read the study here.

The Warby Parker Experience

Business Insider takes a closer look at the experience provided by Warby Parker and some of the features that may entice individuals to virtually shop for eyewear. Click here to read more.

Myopia Awareness Week

The World Council of Optometry and Brien Holden Vision Institute are collaborating to bring us Myopia Awareness Week, May 13--19, 2019. Nearly half the world’s population will be myopic by the year 2050—that's almost one billion people in the high myopia category. Myopia Awareness Week is about getting people talking about myopia in homes and optometry practices around the world.

“We want to improve communication about myopia and its implication on lives, particularly children. We want caregivers to understand that children’s eye health is an important part of their overall health and development. We also want to make sure that optometrists are equipped with the knowledge to help treat their myopic patients. Ultimately, our efforts are about building a movement to fight this myopia epidemic that we all we see coming,” says Dr. Scott Mundle, president, World Council of Optometry. Click here to join the movement on social media.

Uncorrected Myopia Costs Global Economy US$244 Billion in Lost Productivity

Vision impairment caused by uncorrected myopia cost the global economy an estimated US$244 billion in lost productivity in 2015, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Ophthalmology.1

As reported by the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the research estimated that 538 million people had vision impairment resulting from uncorrected myopia*, with the East Asia region, which includes China, bearing the greatest burden of productivity loss of around US$150 billion. The South Asia and South East Asia regions also experienced significant productivity loss at over US$30 billion each. This represents in excess of 1% of GDP in each of the three regions.

The authors say a one-off investment of around US$20 billion would establish the services necessary to provide vision correction to all who need it, potentially leading to a significant annual saving in productivity.

Reference: 1- Naidoo KS, Fricke TR, Frick KD, Jong M, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Sankaridurg P, Potential lost productivity resulting from the global burden of myopia: systematic review, meta-analysis and modelling. Ophthalmology. 2019 Mar;126(3):338-346. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.10.029. Epub 2018 Oct 17.
*The estimate included the categories of mild vision impairment (VI) (<20/40 but ≥20/60), moderate VI (<20/60 but ≥20/200), severe VI (<20/200 but ≥10/200) and blindness (<10/200).