Vision Loss

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease. Vision loss can be devastating and expensive, and the toll for individuals, families, and our economy is significant. This is why the breakthroughs we’re seeing in vision research that are preventing and even reversing vision loss are so exciting. The Alliance has a number of resources on vision loss where readers can learn more about age-related diseases like age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, and find the data on vision loss and the innovation we are seeing in the field. You can also find more information on eye diseases and conditions by visiting the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research and the National Eye Health Education Program at the National Eye Institute.

The Alliance, in partnership with the BrightFocus Foundation, has launched an educational awareness campaign aimed at getting older adults and their caregivers to take a closer look at age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This includes a new "pocket film" on AMD. To learn more about the campaign, click here

Related Pages

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Date: October 4th, 2016

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is an eye disease that is a leading cause of vision loss in older Americans. The Alliance's AMD resource page offers vital information.  

Press Room

Age-Related Macular Degeneration a Leading Cause of Blindness for Older Adults

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: October 13th, 2016

Today, on World Sight Day, the Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance), in partnership with the BrightFocus Foundation, has launched an educational awareness campaign aimed at getting older adults and their caregivers to “Take a Closer Look at AMD.”


Press Kit for The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 18th, 2016

Welcome to the press kit about The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy.


Diabetic Retinopathy a Major Threat to Global Health

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 18th, 2016

Today the Alliance for Aging Research released The Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy, a factsheet that gives an overview of the threat the eye disease presents to global health.


Find Stats on Chronic Diseases of Aging and Medical Innovation at Newly Designed Silver Book® Site

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: August 10th, 2015

Site Includes Data on Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Vision Loss, and More


Alliance Releases Updated Silver Book on Vision Loss

Type: National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research

Author: National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research

Date: March 9th, 2012

On March 7, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) joined with the Alliance for Aging Research (AAR) and the glaucoma community in releasing The Silver Book®: Vision Loss Volume II.


Experts in Eye Care and Aging Call for Renewed Efforts in Glaucoma

Date: October 17th, 2011

Experts in Eye Care and Aging Call for Renewed Efforts in Glaucoma Detection and Management among Americans


Alliance Partners with AEVR on Briefing to Discuss Lifestyle and AMD

Date: August 29th, 2011

This briefing was held during International AMD Awareness Week 2011 and co-sponsored by the Alliance for Aging Research, the AMD Alliance International (AMDAI), Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).


Resource Highlights Age-Related Eye Disease and Value of Innovation

Date: September 25th, 2007

The Alliance for Aging Research, in partnership with the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), released a new volume of The Silver Book®: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation dedicated to age-related eye disease--The Silver Book®: Vision Loss.


Alliance Launches Age-Related Macular Degeneration Campaign

Date: July 7th, 2004

The Alliance for Aging Research, a not-for-profit organization, has launched a new campaign on a leading cause of vision loss in people over 60, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Publications




Volume

The Silver Book: Vision Loss Volume II

Date: 2012

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease, and adult vision loss costs our economy more than $51 billion a year. With major advances in vision research bringing new prevention and treatments, it is critical that support for research and incentives for innovation remain a priority.

In order to highlight this important data and encourage conversations and policies that look to investments in innovation rather than short-term cost-cutting and health care rationing, the Alliance for Aging Research has teamed up with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision, to release Volume II of The Silver Book®:Vision Loss. Volume II brings updated data on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma—which along with cataract, are the eye diseases that disproportionately impact older Americans. This new volume also highlights the exciting changes and discoveries in vision research and treatment from the past 5 years.



Fact Sheet

Our T.A.K.E. on Glaucoma

Date: 2011

A Declaration from the Glaucoma Working Group to Take Action to Know your Eyes

Today, more than 40 million Americans are age 65 or older.  By 2050, it is estimated that figure will rise to 88.5 million.  Our nation is aging rapidly, and this demographic shift likely means longer hospital stays, more doctor visits, and greater healthcare expenditures for more and more Americans.  If you're a Baby Boomer and looking ahead to your silver years, you already have plenty to think about: retirement, the economy, elderly parents, and young adult children.  It's hard to find time to focus on your health--especially if you feel healthy!

One condition that's often overlooked as we age is glaucoma--damage to the optic nerve that can lead to progressive, insidious, irreversible vision loss.  Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, affecting 60.5 million people today and set to reach 79.6 million by 2020.  Early detection and proper management can help prevent the serious outcomes of glaucoma.  Yet for some reason, the disease continues to be under-diagnosed and associated with poor treatment adherence.

Why is glaucoma often overlooked by patients, when eyesight is so precious?  We convened a panel of experts known as the Glaucoma Working Group to address this question.  The group examined underlying challenges surrounding glaucoma diagnosis and management, and proposed solutions to help educate, motivate, and empower two audiences: those who are at risk for glaucoma but are not diagnosed ("undiagnosed patients") and those who have been diagnosed but may be under-treated ("diagnosed patients").

This document contains an overview of the Glaucoma Working Group's discussions, which may be of interest to eye care professionals (ECPs), advocacy groups, and policymakers.  It also includes a powerful call to action that we hope will inspire you--the patient--to take an active role in managing glaucoma and help protect the gift of sight.

Scott R. Christensen
President & CEO
The Glaucoma Foundation

Daniel P. Perry
President & CEO
The Alliance for Aging Research

Related Topics: Vision Loss





Blog

HROTW: Taking a Closer Look at Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: July 14th, 2017

For our Health Resource of the Week, we’re taking a closer look at age-related macular degeneration! Learn about the disease's symptoms and how you can protect your eyesight! 


Protect Your Eyesight During Save Your Vision Month

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: March 15th, 2017

It's Save Your Vision Month! Check out some of the Alliance's resources that promote the importance of eye health.


Missed Our #CloserLookAtAMD Twitter Chat? Find It Here!

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: February 16th, 2017

On February 15, the Alliance for Aging Research and partnering organizations hosted a Twitter chat on the age-related macular degeneration (AMD). We discussed the importance of AMD, how the disease affects vision over time, how patients can minimize their risk of getting AMD, and available treatment options.    


Infographic Highlights Severity of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: January 9th, 2017

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects as many as 11 million older Americans. To illustrate the severity of the disease, we have created an infographic.


Expert Answers Questions about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: November 10th, 2016

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects as many as 11 million people across the U.S. For older adults, it’s particularly challenging, as it is a leading cause of vision loss for older Americans. Check out this Q & A from BrightFocus Foundation, featuring age-related macular degeneration specialist Dr. Joshua Dunaief.


Take a Closer Look at AMD for World Sight Day

Author: Breanna Bishop

Date: October 13th, 2016

Today is World Sight Day – a day to bring attention to blindness, eye diseases, and vision impairment! To raise awareness of AMD, the Alliance has partnered with BrightFocus Foundation to launch an educational campaign, called “Take a Closer Look at AMD.” The campaign highlights the importance of regular eye exams, the symptoms of AMD, treatment options, and ways you can protect your sight.


Controlling Blood Sugar Could Slow Progression of Diabetic Retinopathy, Says NIH Study

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: June 13th, 2016

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced encouraging news about diabetic retinopathy, a serious and irreversible complication of diabetes.


Three New Resources for Older Americans Month

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 26th, 2016

As we continue our celebration of Older Americans Month, here are three resources to help older adults live longer and healthier lives. 


The Global Challenge of Diabetic Retinopathy Illustrated

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: May 20th, 2016

This infographic from the new Silver Book®: Diabetic Retinopathy factsheet gives an overview of the global impact of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness worldwide.


HROTW: The Silver Book®: Vision Loss, Volume II

Author: Noel Lloyd

Date: October 8th, 2015

Our HROTW is the The Silver Book®: Vision Loss, Volume II.


Turning a Blind Eye on Patients

Author: Cynthia Bens

Date: May 22nd, 2014

Type: Blog

Alliance Vice President of Public Policy Cynthia Bens discusses AMD and older adults. 


TAKE on Glaucoma

Author: Lindsay Clarke

Date: November 30th, 2012

Millions of people live with glaucoma without knowing that they have the disease. 


Release of The Silver Book: Vision Loss Volume II

Author: Lindsay Clarke

Date: March 12th, 2012

Last Wednesday the Alliance for Aging Research released the 7th volume of The Silver Book series. This latest volume focuses on vision loss and was released in partnership with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision: 2010-2020


Taking a Closer Look at Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Author: Lindsay Clarke

Date: December 13th, 2011

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over the age of 65. Until relatively recently, people diagnosed with AMD faced an almost certain road of progressively worsening vision. For many, that road led to legal blindness. Thanks to new drugs, much of the vision loss from wet AMD can now be prevented—or at least slowed. In many cases, it can even be reversed.


Eyeing a Healthy 2009

Author: Guest Contributor

Date: January 15th, 2009

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month--perfect timing to add an eye exam to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

Newsletter

Under Treatment of a Treatable Disease: T.A.K.E. on Glaucoma

Date: May 1st, 2012

An estimated 2.3 million Americans are living with glaucoma and because it is a disease of aging, that number is expected to climb during this decade—surpassing 3.3 million by 2020—a 50% increase. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that are associated with elevated eye pressure that can damage the optic nerve and cause vision loss. That vision loss can usually be prevented with early detection and proper treatment and disease management, yet glaucoma continues to be one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.

This is because many of the glaucoma cases go undiagnosed and because diagnosed cases too often go untreated.


Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Going Head to Head

Date: May 1st, 2011

Exciting treatments make slowing and even restoring vision loss in wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) patients a reality. Two of the most frequently used treatments are currently in the spotlight as they go head-to-head in clinical trials comparing their effectiveness, and to some extent, exploring their costs.


The Eyes Have It

Date: October 1st, 2007

Every day, our eyes enable us to respond to the smiles on our children’s faces, perform our daily tasks at work, watch our paths for obstacles, and even drive wherever we need to go.

Unfortunately, for many of us aging can make these everyday moments more difficult. Diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts can gradually rob us of a precious way that we interact with the world. As seeing becomes more of a strain, we can become less productive and independent, less safe, and increasingly out-of-touch with the world around us.


Progress in Fighting Eye Disease

Date: October 1st, 2007

The human eye is a complex marvel of biology. Specialized cells take in light, parse it into electrical signals, and transmit them to the part of the brain that reassembles the information into images, motion, color, and depth.
 
 

Related Topics: Vision Loss


The High Cost of Eye Disease

Date: October 1st, 2007

As our population ages, the impact of eye disease on our economy will continue to grow, yet new research and treatments hold great promise to blunt the cost and improve patients’ lives.

Related Topics: Vision Loss


The Eyes Have It

Date: February 1st, 2005

Stem cells could hold the key to stopping and even reversing the blinding effects of aging, according to recent research.

Many scientists have long felt that embryonic stem cells could halt the progression of or even cure a number of degenerative diseases. Their hope has been that researchers could coax stem cells to grow into healthy cells of any type - cells that doctors could then use to replace damaged cells in patients affected by disease. Eye research is one of the first areas where a real application for using stem cells in this way may just be within reach.

Related Topics: Vision Loss


Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Date: July 1st, 2003

The eyes are the first to go, the old adage says. And that means more than simply struggling to read the fine print as we grow older. Aging increases the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans.

Related Topics: Vision Loss