Tue, 10 Mar, 2015
Some very interesting statistics on the state of the world’s eyesight
Our eyes allow us to see the world around us and, as such, vision impairment has an immense disruptive impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. Low vision is defined as significant visual impairment, which can’t be corrected by glasses, contact lenses and other treatments. But just what is the state of the world’s eyesight and how does Australia compare?
- There are over seven billion people in the world and 285 million are estimated to be vision impaired. Of that 285 million, 246 million suffer from low vision and 39 million are blind.
- Two-thirds of those sufferers are females.
- 80 per cent of visual impairment is preventable or curable.
- Sixty-five per cent of visually impaired people, and 82 per cent of blind people, are over 50.
- The top four leading causes of blindness around the world in order are cataracts, uncorrected refractive errors, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
- The leading cause of blindness in developing countries is cataracts as access to qualified professionals is limited. In developed countries, cataracts rarely lead to blindness as it is treated.
- The leading cause of blindness in developed countries, including Australia, is age-related macular degeneration.
- In developing countries, 80 per cent of visually impaired people have treatable eye conditions, but due to the lack of infrastructure and qualified professional the conditions go untreated.
- In Australia, there are 40 ophthalmologists per million people but in Ethiopia it is just one per million people.