CDC Report Pinpoints Counties With Most Severe Vision Loss
Imagine choosing where you’d like to live. Many of us do this, especially at the beginning of our careers or marriages. What criteria do you use to decide? Population? Public amenities? Cost of living? While these are all good things to consider, more people are choosing where they want to live based on the overall health of communities. And now, the CDC has released a report showing the prevalence of severe vision loss by county across the U.S. It’s not good news for the South.
Do You Live in a Vision Challenged County?
Here’s an excerpt from the report: “The findings indicate a significant correlation between severe vision loss and poverty for U.S. counties. The highest prevalence of severe vision loss and poverty were found in the southern states.” Note that whether the link between blindness and poverty is causative, and in which direction, is unclear. Check out the map below to see the distribution of severe vision loss in the U.S. by county, by percentage:
Don’t Panic Just Yet
I happen to live in the South, and so do a lot of my readers. Tennessee, in fact, and I enjoy it very much. So why shouldn’t a report like this cause me to pick up and move to the Northeast? It’s simple. I practice living the visual lifestyle, and one of the foundational pillars of that lifestyle is awareness. Case in point: according to the report, lack of eye health knowledge is a contributing factor to severe vision loss.
When reading the CDC report, I noticed their conclusion contains a lot of items that are common sense, yet not necessarily common knowledge. In fact, they conclude that lack of knowledge about eye care and eye health contributes to the prevalence of vision loss in the most challenged (and all) areas. To help, here are the basics they suggest:
- healthy eating
- maintaining a healthy weight
- not smoking
- understanding your family’s eye health history
- using proper eye safety practices
- getting regular eye examinations
So if you live in the South, does that mean you have a greater risk of losing your vision? Not necessarily. But you may have to work a bit harder to overcome a prevalent culture of poor health and self care. And watch out if you don’t live in a vision challenged area. It doesn’t mean you can ignore basic eye and body health simply because you live in an area where vision loss isn’t as prominent.
Remember a key contributing factor to vision loss is lack of knowledge, so no matter where you live, arm yourself with education. Get a physical and schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor you trust. Isn’t your vision worth it?
And, don’t forget to stay tuned for regular posts. Living the visual lifestyle is the primary way to ensure you are doing everything you can to preserve your eye health and maintain clear, comfortable vision for a lifetime.