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Eyesight chart

The state of the world's eyesight

Vision is rated as one of the most important senses, yet there are over 200 million people on earth who are visually impaired. 80% of these cases are avoidable. We've collected research and data from independent organisations, and created an infographic to highlight the state of eyesight around the world.

State of the world's eyesight

Facts on the world's eyesight

There are 7.17 billion people around the world, and 285 million are visually impaired. 80% of cases could be easily avoided. Tweet this.

7 million people around the world will go blind this year, mainly because of easily preventable diseases. Tweet this. 

Women and the elderly suffer the most. Over 65% of the visually impaired are 50+, and 2/3 are female. Tweet this. 

Cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors are the two leading causes of visual impairment around the world. Tweet this.

Over 90% of people suffering from visual impairment live in developing countries. Africa is the most vulnerable continent of all.Tweet this. 

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in developing countries. In high-income countries, it is Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Tweet this.

In the USA and the UK, only 5% of the visually impaired suffer from cataracts - compared to a shocking 65% in Africa. Tweet this.

3rd world countries suffer from visual impairment because of a lack of optical help and the infrastructure to combat treatable diseases.  Tweet this.

Cataract surgery takes around 10 mins and costs £28, but cataracts still cause 49% of the world’s blindness due to lack of optical aid. Tweet this.

18% of the visually impaired suffer from uncorrected refractive errors, which result in blurred vision. Tweet this. 

18 million people suffer from River Blindness, a disease caused by a parasitic worm that can live up to 14 years in the human body. Tweet this.

Just a clean bucket of water could help prevent Trachoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in Africa. Tweet this.

80 million people suffer from Trachoma, 99% of who live in Sub-Saharan Africa.180 bn people live in areas where Trachoma is widespread . Tweet this.

The human development index(HDI) ranks socio-economic development globally. It is based on life expectancy,schooling & gross national income . Tweet this.

A high income country such as the US has a HDI of 0.937, whilst Niger’s is 0.304.  Low HDI countries have the highest rates of visual impairment. Tweet this.

Vision 2020 aims to cure the people currently suffering from avoidable blindness. The estimated cost to achieve this is $23.1 billion. Tweet this.

Vision 2020 works to eliminate the causes of blindness, and prevent the projected doubling of vision impairment by 2020. Tweet this.

Achieving the goals of Vision 2020 means investing in Health Care systems and growing a workforce capable of referring and treating patients. Tweet this.

Increasing access to Primary Eye  Health Care is imperative. This means investing in GPs  and optometrists who can treat and refer patients. Tweet this.

The investment in Primary Eye Health Care needed in high income countries is $251.8 billion, whilst 3rd world countries require $56.6 bn. Tweet this.

There is a huge shortage of ophthalmologists all over the world. Ethiopia only counts 1 optician for every 1 million people. Tweet this.

The UK suffers from a shortage of optical professionals. There are just 52 ophthalmologists for every million people. Tweet this.

Secondary eye health care involves hospital services, including contact with ophthalmologists & treatments such as cataract surgery. Tweet this.

The additional investment needed in secondary eye care around the world amounts to $106 billion. Tweet this.

Overall, the amount of money needed to eliminate avoidable blindness and cure those currently suffering from it is $394.2bn. Tweet this.