Fading fast? Optometry and an ageing population

14 November 2022
Autumn 2022

Kathy Oxtoby introduces the first article in a series on an ageing population and the implications for eye health and the optometry profession in the UK.

Two million people are living with sight loss in the UK, but this is expected to double to four million by 2050. Around 79% of those living with sight loss are over the age of 64 (Fight for Sight, 2019). 

“Older people are significantly more likely to have sight loss, and as the population ages this is going to become a bigger problem,” says Denise Voon MCOptom, Clinical Adviser for the College.

Currently, there is limited prevalence data for eye conditions in the UK. 

Neal Suchak, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Officer for the College, says that, while the 2008 National Eye Health Epidemiological Model (NEHEM) – a model of adults affected by eye health conditions in the UK – was “a huge step forward in the understanding of disease prevalence, this model is now out of date”. 

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