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. Join us today by signing up for our newsletter

Prevent Blindness LogoReview the following resources, courtesy of Prevent Blindness, a powerful ally in the effort to reduce the impact of vision loss:

  1. Review a searchable database of vision problems in the United States.
  2. Check out a map showing the prevelance of vision problems by state
  3. Explore a wealth of data in the Future of Vision report that will help you understand where we are headed in the future if nothing is done to address vision problems today.

Cover of The Silver Book: Vision Loss ReportSee also "The Silver Book: Vision Loss," a joint effort of The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) and The Alliance for Aging Research (March 2012). 



Estimated Number of Cases by Vision Problem Age ≥ 40

Vision Impairment & Blindness 

       Blindness   1,288,275
       Vision Impairment   2,907,691
Refractive Error   
       Myopia ≥ 1.0 diopters                      34,119,279    
       Hyperopia ≥ 3.0 diopters                 14,186,819
AMD*                                                 2,069,403
Cataract                                             24,409,978
Diabetic Retinopathy                             7,685,237
Glaucoma                                             2,719,379 
Total:                      142,648,393

* Age-related macular degeneration, age 50 and older

Content courtesy of Prevent Blindness America, a member of NAEVR.


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