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Vision Atlas

1.1 billion people live with vision loss.

90% of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

Magnitude

There are 1.1 billion people globally with vision loss.

2 to 3 billion more people need ongoing access to services to optimise their vision and ability to function in society.

Millions more need ongoing access to services every year to prevent vision loss and restore well-being.

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Projections

Vision loss will rise to 1.7 billion people by 2050 without significant investment.

Eye care services are unlikely to cope with future needs.

Almost everyone will need access to eyecare services during their lifetime.

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Preventable or treatable

90% of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

At least 771 million people (90%) have vision loss that can be prevented or treated:

  • 161 million people have uncorrected refractive errors
  • 100 million people have cataract
  • 510 million people have near uncorrected refractive errors.

There are 77 million (10%) people with vision loss that require ongoing management and treatment, for conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

There are also 295 million people with mild vision loss for which cause data is not available.

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Inequality

Vision loss is driven by inequality.

There are differences in the ways different population groups are affected by vision loss.

Vision loss is far greater for those in low- and middle-income countries, among older people and in women.

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90%

live in low- and middle-income countries

73%

are aged over 50 years old

55%

are women and girls

Impact and Economics

Good vision unlocks human potential.

Vision loss results in $410.7 billion in lost productivity annually.

Investing in eye health improves wellbeing, educational attainment, increases workforce and community participation.

Good vision is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Causes

Main causes of vision loss

The primary causes of vision loss include:

  • Uncorrected refractive errors (671 million people)
  • Cataract (100 million people)
  • Glaucoma (8 million people)
  • Age-related macular degeneration (8 million people)
  • Diabetic retinopathy (4 million people)

There are millions more living with conditions that need routine eye care services to prevent or delay vision loss.

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Solutions

Evidence-based, cost-effective solutions already exist.

Eye tests, glasses and cataract operations could alleviate the vast majority of vision loss.

In the World Report on Vision, WHO called for integrated people-centred eye care as part of universal health coverage (UHC). This will make promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative eye care services accessible and affordable for all.

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Downloads

Key messages from the Vision Atlas, yours to keep.

Understand the key stories behind the data featured on the Vision Atlas and communicate the key messages with these digital resources.

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Digital resources available for download from the Vision Atlas
Photo Credits

Magnitude tile: Neil Oakshott, Operation Eyesight Universal, Projections tile: Niranjan Gaire, Avoidable and Impact and Economics tiles: Geoff Oliver Bugbee, Orbis, Causes tile: Ali Fuat Aydin, Engelsiz Yaşama Derneği, Solutions tile: Michael Scholonfeld, Eye Corps