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Blindness affects African Americans more frequently than Whites and Hispanics. Hispanics, however, have higher rates of visual impairment than other races. The prevalence of blindness and vision impairment increases rapidly in the later years, particularly after age 75.


About 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have been diagnosed with glaucoma, and another two million do not know they have it. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in African Americans over age 40 and anyone over age 60. Although glaucoma can often be controlled if it is diagnosed early, many people go untreated, leading to vision loss or blindness.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease describes the visual complications that result from diabetes. These include cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in working age adults. Diabetic retinopathy affects more than 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older. Prior to age 40, diabetic retinopathy affects Whites more frequently than other races. In people over age 40, African Americans and Hispanics are most commonly affected by the disease.

Low Vision

Low vision is a visual impairment, not correctable by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery, that interferes with activities of daily life. Affecting nearly one in 20 Americans, or about 14 million people, low vision affects one's ability to cook, read, drive and socialize. People at higher risk include those over age 65 and Hispanics and African Americans who are likely to develop low vision before the age of 65.

Take the Quiz

Health Quiz: Glaucoma Quiz

Do you Have Low Vision? Take this quiz and find out.

Content Last Modified: 5/27/2011 10:29:00 AM
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