Indigenous Australian children are born with much better eyesight than non-Indigenous children, The Conversation reports.
Yet by the age of 40, Indigenous people have rates of vision loss three times that of non-Indigenous Australians. They are six times more likely to be blind than most Australian adults.
Vision problems in Indigenous people result from cataracts, diabetic eye disease and trachoma, which disappeared from mainstream Australia more than 100 years ago thanks to improved hygiene facilities, water infrastructure and living conditions.
In some areas, 4 percent of Indigenous children aged five to nine years old have an active trachoma infection. In the Northern Territory, that rate is 5 percent, which is considered an endemic level.
Trachoma, once called sandy blight (the eyes feel gritty, as if full of sand), is the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness.
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