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Eye-opening statistics about Black Americans.

While I’ve talked about eye health in a variety of ways, I’ve neglected to talk about racial disparities in eye health.⁣

So here is a start ??⁣

Some eye-opening statistics about Black Americans and their eye health:⁣

?‍?Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in African Americans (AA). AA are ?? ????? more likely to develop glaucoma than white patients.⁣

?‍?Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases of legal blindness in Americans aged 20-74 years. Poor glycemic control, insulin use, and elevated BP are significant risk factors. All of these are in much higher prevalence in AA.⁣

?‍?Race is a significant factor in eye care utilization. AA are less likely than white patients to seek eye care (50% vs. 69%).⁣

Let’s break this down:⁣ ⁣
▪️Patients viewed communication with the doctor as a major barrier to care, yet eye care providers did not identify this as a frequent barrier.⁣

▪️When asked about the attitudes of older Black Americans toward vision and eye care, eye care providers gave predominantly negative comments in contrast to African Americans who expressed positive attitudes.⁣

▪️This shines light on the patient-physician interaction which may contribute to disparities in eye care.⁣

?????? ????: we need to be more aware of inherent and implicit bias as healthcare providers as this is a major cause of AA being less like to seek eyecare and trust their physician. As providers, we need to be partners in health with our patients and it starts by working on being anti-racist and educating ourselves just as we would for any other public health concern.⁣

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