Adults with learning disabilities at greater risk of sight problems

Adults with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to be blind or have impaired vision according to researchers from Lancaster University.

Professor Eric Emerson and Dr Janet Robertson of the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University have carried out the first ever overall estimate of the numbers of people with learning disabilities and sight difficulties in the UK on behalf of the RNIB and the SeeAbility.

They found that there are over a million adults in the UK with and six out of ten of these need glasses.

They also found that:

An estimated 96,500 adults with learning disabilities are blind or partially sighted. This means that nearly one in 10 adults with learning disabilities is blind or partially sighted.

An estimated 23,000 children and young people with learning disabilities in the UK are blind or partially sighted.

An estimated 579,000 with learning disabilities have refractive errors including long and short-sightedness.

The report added that people with severe or profound learning disabilities are most likely to have sight problems.

The authors commented that: “People with learning disabilities may not know they have a sight problem and may not be able to tell people. Many people think the person with a they know can see perfectly well. People with learning disabilities need to have a sight test every two years, sometimes more often. Regular sight tests and wearing glasses helps people stay healthy and get the most from life. “

The Centre for Disability Research is run jointly by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Health and Medicine.

Related Stories

Employment gap widens for disabled people

date Oct 07, 2005

Cornell University has released a study indicating the employment gap between Americans with disabilities and those without disabilities has widened.

Recommended for you

Miniature pump regulates internal ocular pressure

date Jul 01, 2015

Elevated or diminished eye pressure impairs our ability to see, and in the worst cases, can even lead to blindness. Until now, there has been no effective long-term treatment. In response, Fraunhofer researchers are developing ...

Closing the Australian eye health gap may be in sight

date Jun 30, 2015

Three years after the launch of the roadmap to close the gap for vision, progress has been made but "much remains to be done", according to the authors of a Perspective published online today by the Medical Jo ...

Pioneering gene therapy takes aim at inherited blindness

date Jun 29, 2015

Canada's first human gene therapy trial for eyes—the replacement of a faulty gene with a healthy one—is now underway at the Royal Alexandra Hospital to preserve and potentially restore vision for people ...

Iris research focuses on blood vessel patterns

date Jun 29, 2015

The structure of the microvasculature or blood vessels in the iris could play an important role in people's contraction of eye maladies like glaucoma and cataract, according to a WA-led study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.