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Magnitude and Projections

Globally, 1.1 billion people live with vision loss.

Almost everyone will need access to eyecare services during their lifetime

Distance vision

Almost 600 million people can’t see well in the distance

  • 43 million people are blind
  • 295 million people experience moderate to severe vision impairment
  • 258 million people experience mild vision impairment.
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Near vision

510 million people can’t see well at near

Everyone will lose their ability to focus on near objects as they age. This can be easily treated with a pair of reading glasses.



Children and adolescents

90 million children and adolescents live with sight loss

Of these:

  • 2 million are blind
  • 30 million experience moderate to severe sight loss
  • 58 million experience mild sight loss
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Age chart


1.1 billion to 1.7 billion people by 2050

All categories of vision loss are set to grow:

In many regions, the scale and approach of existing service delivery are insufficient to meet current population needs, let alone the projected increases in vision loss by 2050.


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Maintaining healthy vision

Billions more people require ongoing access to eye care services

Almost everyone will need access to eyecare services during their lifetime. At least 3 billion people need on-going access to services to optimise their vision and ability to function in society.

  • 2.6 billion people with myopia
  • 1 billion people have corrected presbyopia
  • 146 million people have diabetic retinopathy
  • 76 million people have early stage glaucoma.

Photo Credits

Key definitions, ‘Projections’ and ‘Maintaining Healthy Vision’: Graham Coates, Volunteer for Vision Aid Overseas and Nepal eyecare trip, Eye chart image: David Travis, ‘Near vision’ image: Anurag Kumar