Aging demographics have meant that the prevalence of visual impairment and blindness due to degenerative eye diseases has increased exponentially. The common age-related eye diseases include glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and diabetic eye complications.
The Retinal and Eye Disease Research Group at the Centre for Vision Research has conducted one of the largest and longest epidemiology studies of eye diseases in the world, the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES), which has provided much-needed data on the prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and impacts of common eye conditions affecting older persons.
The BMES data have been used in projects of multiple international consortia, including investigating risk factors associated with AMD. AMD is a major cause of blindness, with known genetic and environmental risk factors.
We have also conducted several childhood population-based studies, including the Sydney Childhood Eye Study, the Sydney Myopia Study and Sydney Adolescent Vascular Eye Study, and the Sydney Paediatric Study. These cohort studies have provided unique epidemiological data on the prevalence and/or incidence of myopia and other eye diseases from infancy to adolescence.