ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Compound in Red Wine Fights Ravages of Age
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
EYE CARE, VISION
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Ginkgo Won't Prevent Heart Attack, Stroke in Elderly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- More than 1 billion people worldwide had age-related farsightedness -- called presbyopia -- in 2005.

And about 410 million of those people were unable to perform tasks that required near vision, according to researchers who predicted that global cases of presbyopia will increase to 1.4 billion by 2020 and 1.8 billion by 2050.

Presbyopia occurs as lenses in aging eyes lose elasticity and the ability to focus on close objects. The condition typically requires older people to use reading glasses, for instance.

"Although known physiology and population demographics suggest that presbyopia is common or nearly universal in people older than 65 years, direct estimates of prevalence are rare," Brien A. Holden, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues noted in the study. "The total number of people with presbyopia is primarily of interest as a precursor to the figures of greatest public health interest: the number of people with impaired vision due to uncorrected or undercorrected presbyopia and the effect on their lives."

The researchers analyzed multiple surveys and concluded that 1.04 billion people worldwide had presbyopia in 2005 and that 517 million had no eyeglasses or inadequate eyeglasses. Of the 517 million people whose daily tasks were impaired by uncorrected presbyopia, 386 million (94 percent) lived in developing nations.

Holden and his colleagues also used the International Data Base of the U.S. Census Bureau to predict future rates of presbyopia and presbyopia-related disability.

"Without intervention to make [eyeglasses] more accessible, the global number of individuals who will have a disability associated with uncorrected presbyopia is predicted to grow to 563 million people by 2020," the researchers wrote. "If the goal of Vision 2020 to eliminate unnecessary blindness and impaired vision, in this case due to uncorrected refractive error, is to be achieved, planning will have to include the provision of human resources, affordable [eyeglasses] and systems of delivery for these half-billion people in need."

The study was published in the December issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

More information

The American Optometric Association has more about presbyopia.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Dec. 8, 2008

Last Updated: Dec. 09, 2008

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