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Visual Impairment

About 8.1% of elderly over age of 50 years in Malaysia are estimated to have moderate to severe visual impairment/blindness, 86.3% 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


  • 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


Chew FLM1, Salowi MA1,2, Mustari Z3, Husni MA1, Hussein E1, Adnan TH4, Ngah NF5, Limburg H6, Goh PP4. Estimates of visual impairment and its causes from the National Eye Survey in Malaysia (NESII).

Last Review : 23 August 2019
Writer : Dr. Mohd Daud Che Yusof
  : Pn. Normah Bachik
Accreditor : Dr Lee Fatt Soon
Reviewer : Dr. Ho Bee Kiau