Fast Facts About Vision Loss
- Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.
- As of 2012, 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older suffer from uncorrectable vision impairment, out of which 1.02 million who are blind; this number is predicted to more than double by 2050 to 8.96 million due to the increasing epidemics of diabetes and other chronic diseases and our rapidly aging U.S. population.
- Approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition. Nearly 3 percent of children younger than 18 years are blind or visually impaired, defined as having trouble seeing even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
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- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that every day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. However, safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection can lessen the severity or even prevent 90 percent of these eye injuries.
- An estimated 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss, but only half visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months.
- The economic cost of major vision problems is estimated to increase to $373 billion by 2050.
- Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older and one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children.
- Early detection and timely treatment of eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy has been found to be efficacious and cost effective.
- 90% of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable.
- Vision loss causes a substantial social and economic toll for millions of people including significant suffering, disability, loss of productivity, and diminished quality of life.
- National and state data show that more than half of adult Americans who did not seek eye care are due to lack of awareness or costs; which often exacerbated by lack of adequate health insurance.
- More than 70% of survey respondents from National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) 2005 Public Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices survey consider that the loss of their eyesight would have the greatest impact on their day-to-day life; however, less than 11% knew that there are no early warning signs of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.