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Proceedings Paper

The global problem of blindness and visual dysfunction
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Paper Abstract

According to World Health Organization statistics there are approximately 285 million people who are blind, have severe low vision, or are near-blind. Of these, 39 million are blind, and 246 million have low vision problems. About 90% of these live in developing countries. The major causes are uncorrected refractive errors (42%), and cataracts (38%). In the US, there are about 6 million people over the age of 65 who have age-related macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness. For each decade after age 40, it is found that there is a three-fold increase in the prevalence of blindness and low vision. This paper will address the question of what can we, as optical physicists and engineers, do? There is a need for efficient methods to detect problems, investigate function, provide solutions, and develop rehabilitation devices for the visually impaired. Here I will sketch out the magnitude and variety of the problem, examples and future research directions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8482, Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES), 84820A (11 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.928050
Show Author Affiliations
Vasudevan Lakshminarayanan, Univ. of Waterloo (Canada)
Univ. of Michigan (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8482:
Photonic Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Systems (PISCES)
Akhlesh Lakhtakia; Judith Ann Todd, Editor(s)

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