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Visual Impairment


About 42% of elderly over age of 60 years in Malaysia are estimated to be visually impaired or having low vision of both eyes, 70% of such cases are potentially remediable.


Common causes of visual impairment:

  • Refractive errors (longsighted), cataract, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinal disease



  • Accidents
  • Falls
  • Fractures
  • Reduced functional status
  • Increased dependency
  • Poor quality of life
  • Social isolation
  • Depression


Non drug treatment

  • Refractive errors–correction with glasses
  • Cataract–cataract removal and lens replacement
  • Glaucoma –reduction of intra ocular pressure with medications or surgery in some cases
  • Age related macular degeneration – Laser treatment (photocoagulation) and visual aids
  • Diabetic retinal disease – good blood glucose control and advance stages may require Laser treatment


  • Diabetes – early screening and optimal treatment of diabetes
  • Glaucoma – early screening for those who have family history of the disease


  • Visual aids example: corrective lenses
  • Assessment and advice by occupational therapist and physiotherapist regarding environmental adaptation and safety awareness


Zainal M, Ismail SM, Ropilah AR, et al. Prevalence of blindness and low vision in Malaysian population results from the National Eye Servey. Br J Opthamol, 2002, 86, 951-6.

Last Review : 26 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Joseph Ngeh
: Dr. Mohd Daud Che Yusof
: Dr. R. Sukumar a/l Rajaretnam
Reviewed : Dr. Mohd Daud Che Yusof


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