Utterly Speechless...

Most Americans fear blindness more than getting heart disease, the primary killer of both men and women in the United States, according to the findings of the "Eye on Eyesight" survey.

The "Eye on Eyesight" survey confirms that a significant fear exists when it comes to losing one's eyesight, as 60 percent of Americans say they are more frightened by the prospect of going blind than of getting heart disease. The survey was conducted by Surge Research Inc. on behalf of Choice Magazine Listening, a nonprofit organization which produces and distributes audio anthologies of magazine articles, stories, and poetry, professionally narrated and free of charge for the visually impaired and physically disabled.

"Many of us take our vision for granted. The thought of losing abilities that are basic to us, including important day-to-day functions like reading, creates tremendous fear," said Sondra Mochson, Editor in Chief of Choice Magazine Listening. "Although we hope you'll never need our free service, we do fill a crucial need by providing access to entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking literature for people who have difficulty reading due to vision loss or other factors."

The survey shows that the fear of losing one's eyesight is nearly double that of getting heart disease (63% vs. 37%) for Americans between ages 50 and 64, a group that is at the highest risk not only for heart disease, but also for conditions that can cause visual disability such as diabetes and macular degeneration.

According to the survey, 79 percent of Americans also say that other than their own death or the death of a loved one, losing one's eyesight is the "worst thing that could happen to me," clearly positioning vision as one of the most important elements of one's life, if not the most important.

"Heart disease awareness campaigns touch almost every American, from educating the public about good and bad cholesterol, proper exercise regimens, and healthy diets, to pharmaceutical companies trying to market their cholesterol or high blood pressure medications," said Andrew Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Surge Research Inc. "For many years the Centers for Disease Control has declared heart disease as the number-one killer in America. Yet despite all this awareness, this survey implies a greater concern with quality of life than with a severe medical condition that kills one person every 34 seconds."

Find full article here.

For the first time in my blogging life, I am speechless!


Erin J said...

I don't get this either. Maybe the key is demonstrating that blind people can have an excellent quality of life. For that, we need more blind people HAVING an excellent quality of life, rather than sitting helpless on planes, losing their new babies to CPS or attending EAR conferences. So much work to do...

Becky said...

I have heard this stat before and it is amazing to me. I recently was in to the doctor and it was such an empowering visit. Instead of him commenting on my blindness (as sometimes they see it as an illness), he took my heart rate and blood pressure and asked me if I was an Olympian. I laughed and told him no but I loved cycling, yoga and running. He acknowledged my good health and encouraged me to stay active. I lead an active life and very grateful that I don't have a heart condition!

Anonymous said...

really not that hard to understand. There are so few public examples of blindness in our society people fear what it would be like and they fear it would be a total loss. For them, blindness would be the same as death, except they'd have to continue living, whereas heart disease is a speedy killer.