Research to Prevent Blindness

Impact of Vision Loss

Dramatic changes to visual health in the United States are in full swing, driven largely by demographic shifts, especially the aging of the baby-boomer generation. There are several ways to measure the impact of vision loss.


Americans are concerned about
eye health
The cost of treating blindness and low vision
in the U.S. is $6,680
per person, per year.

The federal government spends on average $2.10 per person each year on eye and vision research.

Americans say that's not enough.

Find out what else Americans think about eye health.

Download the RPB-supported survey

According to estimates by Prevent Blindness, the current population with vision loss includes nearly 3.1 million impaired and almost 1.4 million blind. These populations are projected to grow substantially in the future; by 2050, the impaired and blind populations are projected to reach 7.3 million (2.4 times higher than in 2014) and 3.1 million (2.3 times higher than in 2014), respectively.

Economic Impact

National vision-loss-related costs (expressed in constant 2014 dollars) are expected to grow from $145 billion in 2014 to $247 billion in 2032, and reach $376 billion by 2050.

Quality of life

The most important measures of vision loss are those experienced by the individual: a diminishing ability to read, see the faces of loved ones, watch TV or drive a car; a sense of isolation or loss of independence associated with the loss of mobility.

It is to reverse these trends that RPB exists.


Get our email updates filled with the latest news from our researchers about preventing vision loss, treating eye disease and even restoring sight. Unsubscribe at any time. Under our privacy policy, we'll never share your contact information with a third party.