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Vision and Eye Care Statistics

By David Gross on June 05, 2018


Photo of female patient having an eye testEvery year, millions of Americans are diagnosed with visual impairment, refractive errors, and eye diseases or injuries. Our team at Deen Gross Eye Centers in Merrillville, IN offers high-quality, comprehensive eye care for the prevention and treatment of various eye conditions.

Today, we explore vision and eye care statistics, and discuss some of the most common conditions in the United States.

Visual Impairment and Blindness

Over 4.1 million Americans over the age of 40 are visually impaired at some level. In fact, more specifically:

  • Nearly three million Americans over the age of 40 have low vision. This condition is present when the best-corrected visual acuity is worse than 20/40.
  • Approximately 1.3 million Americans over the age of 40 are considered legally blind. Individuals with this condition can typically see the letters on a stop sign, but usually cannot make out letters that are smaller. Legal blindness is defined as best-corrected vision worse than 20/200 in the better-seeing eye.
  • About eight percent of men and only 0.5 percent of women of Northern European descent have color blindness, which prevents them from seeing red or green properly.

Refractive Errors

Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are all examples of refractive errors. A refractive error is characterized by an abnormal eye shape that affects the way that light focuses on the retina. Refractive errors are incredibly common among patients in the United States. For example:

  • Nearly 35 million Americans over the age of 40 are nearsighted.
  • Over 14.1 million Americans over the age of 40 are farsighted.
  • Astigmatism can accompany either myopia or hyperopia and is present in about one-third of the population.
  • Over 150 million Americans wear glasses to correct refractive errors.
  • Around 37 million people in the United States wear contact lenses.
  • An estimated 800,000 refractive surgical procedures, such as LASIK or PRK, are performed in the United States every year.

Eye Diseases

There are several eye diseases that can have a negative impact on vision, ranging from mild to severe. For example:

  • By the age of 75, about 50 percent of Americans have developed cataracts. Nearly 25 million individuals over the age of 40 suffer from the condition.
  • About 2.7 million individuals in the United States have glaucoma.
  • Age-related macular degeneration affects nearly 2.1 million Americans over the age of 50. This condition can result in significant vision impairment.
  • Almost 7.7 million Americans are affected by diabetic retinopathy.
  • Dry eye syndrome is experienced by over 4 million Americans.
  • Since 1961, over one million men, women, and children have received a corneal transplant.
  • On an annual basis, approximately one million individuals require a trip to the doctor due to an eye infection.

Eye Injuries

Overall, approximately 2.4 million Americans sustain some type of eye injury; 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented with protective eyewear. More specifically:

  • About 35 percent of all eye injuries occur in individuals between 18 and 45 years of age.
  • Over 2,000 Americans sustain a work-related eye injury every single day; 10 to 20 percent of these cases will result in temporary or permanent vision loss.
  • Household products are responsible for approximately 125,000 eye injuries every year.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

Routine visits to your eye doctor can help prevent you from becoming a statistic. To learn more about the services we offer, contact us online anytime or call us at (219) 769-8989.

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