The charity RNIB Scotland has warned that the number of people in Scotland that suffer from sight loss could double over the next 20 years, and called for a large effort to lower the amount of people who will need treatment . They blame the seriousness of the situation as being due to an ageing population coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle .
The charity is telling candidates for the next Scottish parliamentary elections that they should be more aware of the dramatic rise in sight loss numbers, which could reach nearly one in eight visually impaired Scots by 2031. There are also now a reported 228,000 people in Scotland who are affected by diabetes, with diabetic retinopathy the leading cause of blindness among the adult population.
It is estimated that 50 per cent of sight loss can be avoided by measures including screening, public awareness and anti-smoking campaigns.
John Legg, director at RNIB Scotland, commented “We estimate the total cost to the public sector in Scotland to currently be GBP194 million a year. But this cost will increase significantly because the elderly population is set to rise by 62 per cent over the next two decades.”
He added “Already up to one in six out-patient appointments at some Scottish hospitals are for eye-care .”

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