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Good vision unlocks human potential.

Eye health is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Good vision improves health and well being at all ages

The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health1 has analysed the current state of eye health globally and identified the life-transforming impact of eye care.

Eye health is key to ensuring good health, mental health and well-being.

Vision loss increases the risk of premature mortality – this risk increases as vision loss becomes more severe.2 The risk of premature mortality is:

  • 29% higher for people with vision loss that is mild or worse,
  • 49% higher for people with vision loss that is moderate to severe or worse,
  • 157% higher for people with blindness.2
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Poverty, decent work and economic growth

Good vision improves economic opportunities

Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor eye health. Removing the difficulties faced by individuals with vision loss can increase economic workforce participation and productivity and provides greater economic opportunities for individuals.

Vision loss causes $410.7 billion in lost productivity annually1, and $134 billion per year in the United States alone.3

Access to eye care services helps reduce poverty and hunger and increases economic opportunities and employment.

Tiles for SDGS 1, 8 and 2

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Quality education

Good vision improves education opportunities

Educational performance is linked to good vision. Children with vision impairment have poorer educational outcomes and are more likely to be excluded from schools.1

Investing in eye health services improves educational attainment and increases participation in education.

SDGs 4, 1, 2, 8

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Poor vision contributes to inequalities

Vision loss is both a contributor to inequalities and is also an outcome of inequality.

Inequalities are often masked by national averages. Persistent inequity in eye care must be addressed for universal health coverage to be realised.

SDG tiles 10, 5

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  1. Burton, M., Ramke, J., Marques, A., Bourne, R., Congdon, N., Jones, I. et al. Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: Vision Beyond 2020. The Lancet Global Health (2021).
  2. Ehrlich, J. R. et al. Association between vision impairment and mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health (2021).
  3. Rein, D.B., Wittenborn, J.S., Zhang, P., Sublett, F., Lamuda, P.A., Lundeen, E.A. and Saaddine, J. The economic burden of vision loss and blindness in the United States. Ophthalmology 129.4 (2022): 369-378.

Photo Credits

Well-being: Gioconda Armas, Clínica Oftalmológica de la Selva, Poverty, decent work and economic growth: Dimple Pancholi, Quality education: Graham Coates, Vision Aid Overseas, Inequalities: Madeleine Smith, Fred Hollows Foundation NZ (Photographer: Darren James),