Blindness and Visual Impairment Rates to Double in U.S. by 2050

Blindness and Visual Impairment Rates to Double in U.S. by 2050

A recent article, featured in Medical News Today, and initially published in JAMA Opthalmology, featured a new study conducted by lead researcher Dr. Rohit Varma, director of the Roski Eye Institute at the University of Southern California and colleagues. The findings showed more than 8 million people in the United States will be living with visual impairment (VI) or blindness by 2050—double the past studies and mainly due to the aging population.

The results concluded that in 2015, approximately 1 million Americans were legally blind or 20/200 vision or worse. The study also concluded with an alarming prediction that over the next 35 years, VI will increase 25 percent each decade. Also, around 8.2 million people in the U.S. were estimated to have VI as a result of correctable refractive error or errors that can be corrected with glasses, including myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).

When race/ethnicity, age and gender were evaluated, the research found that non- Hispanic white individuals, especially women, are more affected by VI and blindness through 2050. According to the research, African-Americans are predicted to have the second highest burden of VI until 2040 when Hispanics will then have the highest VI burden.

The researchers believe the study results highlight the importance of regular eye screening for early eye disease and correction of refractive errors among the U.S. population. Click here to read the entire article.