The Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG) carries out important global research into blindness and moderate to severe vision impairment (MSVI). The group are responsible for the research leading to the identification of the causes of these issues, which involved studying evidence in 190 countries between 1990 and 2015.
A recent study noted that half of vision impairment in Western Europe is preventable. Professor Rupert Bourne, of Anglia Ruskin University’s Vision and Eye Research Unit, leads the VLEG, which is an international group of ophthalmologists (doctors who specialize in eye and vision care) and optometrists (healthcare professionals who provide vision care, but who are not doctors). Professor Bourne co-ordinates the 100 collaborating ophthalmic epidemiologists involved in the VLEG.
On the VLEG’s research, Professor Bourne said:
“Vision impairment is of great importance for quality of life and for the socioeconomics and public health of societies and countries.
“Overcoming barriers to services which would address uncorrected refractive error could reduce the burden of vision impairment in high-income countries by around half. This is an important public health issue even in the wealthiest of countries and more research is required into better treatments, better implementation of the tools we already have, and ongoing surveillance of the problem.”