skip navigation
Vol. LVII, No. 8
April 22, 2005

previous story

next story
May Is Healthy Vision Month

Each May, the National Eye Institute sponsors Healthy Vision Month (HVM) to make vision a health priority for the nation. HVM 2005 is dedicated to raising awareness among people with low vision and their family, friends and caregivers about the benefits of vision rehabilitation services and adaptive devices. The theme of this year's observance is "Promoting independence through vision rehabilitation."

With low vision, a person can experience physical, economic and psychological changes that diminish his or her quality of life. Low vision can cause difficulty recognizing the faces of friends and relatives; performing everyday tasks such as reading, cooking or sewing; picking and matching clothes; and reading street signs, even with regular glasses or contact lenses. However, through vision rehabilitation these people can regain some of their independence. Rehabilitation services are designed to help people make the most of their remaining vision and enhance their quality of life.

With the aging of the population, vision loss is becoming a major public health concern in the United States. More than 14 million Americans currently have low vision, an impairment that cannot be corrected with standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine or surgery. Low vision is most prevalent among older Americans. Certain racial and ethnic groups, including Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans, are also at an increased risk for low vision.

State and local organizations have been working together to improve the nation's eye health. For more information, visit the HVM 2005 web site at