The need for ophthalmologic care is
staggering. Worldwide, about 45 million people are blind and 135 million
people are severely visually impaired. Globally, it is estimated that the
number of blind and visually impaired will double from 180 million to 360
million people by the year 2020.
The United States is no exception to these daunting figures. “For about 14
million Americans, one of every 20, the inability to see well makes doing
things difficult,” said Paul A. Sieve, M.D., PhD, and Director of the
National Eye Institute.
The most prevalent eye problem in the United States is refractive error,
largely correctible by eyeglasses. It is estimated that more than 150
million Americans use corrective eyewear to compensate for refractive error.
Refractive surgery is an alternative to eyeglasses that has become an
increasingly popular option for patients in recent years.
Not only is the present level of demand for ophthalmologic care high, it is
on a strong upward trend because of national demographics. Aging correlates
with an increased need for vision correction, and the population of the
United States is aging with baby boomers becoming senior citizens and life
The most serious forms of vision impairment – blindness impairment that
prevent patients from obtaining driver’s licenses -- affects more 3.4
million Americans who are age 40 and older, or 2.8% of that population. The
level of such vision impairment in the District of Columbia exceeds the
national average at 3 %, with Maryland and Virginian close behind at 2.49%
and 2.45%, respectively.
The leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the United States
are primarily age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration,
cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. As of the year 2000 census,
more than 119 million people in the United States fall in the age group that
puts them at risk for age-related eye diseases. Moreover, the number of
Americans with age-related eye diseases is expected to double within the
next three decades.
Of the age-related eye diseases, cataracts affect nearly 20.5 million
Americans age 40 and older, or about one in every six people in this age
group. Cataract surgery is the most commonly preformed surgical procedure,
with more than a million surgeries preformed each year. The federal
government spends more than $ 3.4 billion each year treating cataracts
through the Medicare program. Diabetic retinopathy can affect almost anyone
with diabetes, and currently affects over 5.3 million Americans age 18 and
older, or approximately 2.5% of the U.S. population. Glaucoma affects more
than 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older or about 1.9% of this
In sum, demographic trends indicate a
strong and growing need for ophthalmologic care,
particularly in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. We at Wanda Pak, M.D.,
P.C. will strive to preserve and restore vision by providing high quality
comprehensive eye care. We are committed to service in a compassionate
manner and patient empowerment through education of their health and eye
LET’S SEE THE FUTURE CLEARLY TOGETHER !