Survey on visual problems
Three per cent have problems with vision
Three per cent of the Norwegian adult population have problems with vision. Approximately 7 per cent of the non-institutionalized elderly population (persons 60 years and over) have difficulties related to everyday activities due to reduced eyesight. Two out of three elderly have had their eyesight examined by an optician, doctor or eye specialist at least once in the past 2 years.
Statistics Norway has conducted a survey on vision impairments on contract with The Norwegian Association of Blind and Partially Sighted. The survey is conducted in association with the traditional Survey on living conditions concerning health, care and social relations. In this larger survey approximately 6 800 persons aged 16 years and over were interviewed about health related issues. For the specialized survey on vision impairments a group of people below the age of 60 having a vision problem and all elderly people (persons 60 years and over) in the original sample received detailed questions about vision and about difficulties they might have in everyday activities due to reduced eyesight.
The survey shows that approximately 3 per cent of the Norwegian adult population have trouble reading newspaper print, also when using glasses – 2 per cent of people below the age of 60 and 5 per cent over the age of 60 have this problem. When elderly (persons 60 years and over) were asked whether they experience difficulties, in addition to or other than problems with reading newspaper print due to vision problems, a higher percentage answered positively. Approx. 7 per cent has difficulties with reading newspaper print and/or performing activities in everyday life. Activities that are most often mentioned are shown in the figure below.
More women experience problems than men
A higher percentage of women report difficulties than men, but there is little difference in the types of difficulties that men and women mention most often.
One out of four of those who report reduced eyesight have been in contact with municipal services or The Norwegian Association of Blind and Partially Sighted.
Two out of three elderly (persons 60 years and over) have had their eyes examined by an optician, general practioner or an ophthalmologist in the past two years. The percentage is somewhat higher for people that have and are aware of their vision impairment than others in the same age group, 75 and 68 per cent, respectively.