The Refractive Principle
It is time for ophthalmology to embrace refractive surgery – for the sake of humankind
Arthur Cummings | | Opinion
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I have a dream.” Or should I say, we have a dream. “We” being the Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA) The WHO estimates that 2.2 billion people live with some form of visual impairment and at least one billion people live with an impairment that could have been prevented, or is yet to be addressed, with refractive errors and cataracts being the leading causes (1). This one billion people includes those with moderate or severe distance vision impairment or blindness due to unaddressed refractive error (123.7 million), cataract (65.2 million), glaucoma (6.9 million), corneal opacities (4.2 million), diabetic retinopathy (3 million), and trachoma (2 million), as well as near vision impairment caused by unaddressed presbyopia (826 million). Uncorrected refractive errors dwarf the other causes of vision impairment. How can this be possible when the world has never been more prosperous, when poverty is on the decline, and when conditions are generally improving?
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