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August 2004

When Treatment Fails: Caring for Patients With Visual Disability

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(8):1208-1209. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.8.1208

Despite significant advances in the understanding and treatment of oculardiseases over the past decade, the prevalence of severe vision loss throughoutWestern society as a consequence of age-related macular degeneration, diabeticretinopathy, and glaucoma is increasing.1 Inthe United States alone, more than 1 million Americans 40 years and olderare legally blind, and an additional 2.4 million Americans are consideredvisually impaired.2 These figures will increaseas the number of Americans 40 years and older doubles in the next 30 years.2 While ophthalmologists are keenly aware of the effectsof ocular diseases on vision, impairment of sight is often the first of manyproblems that confront our patients following the onset of severe ocular disease.