Global Blindness Projected to Triple by 2050

May 2018 | SEE News

By Kate Bryant

Former Vice President of Development

SEEING WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

A new study released in The Lancet Global Health, a leading medical journal, estimates that global blindness will triple by the year 2050. Produced by the Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG), it projects that cases of blindness will increase from 36 million to 115 million by 2050. Other types of eye problems will impact another 200 million people.

Overall, visual impairment is expected to rise to more than 550 million cases. This is exactly why SEE’s work is more critical now than ever before.

A Growing Need

People working all around the globe to end avoidable blindness worldwide have made some progress. Visually impaired people, as a percentage of the total world population, dropped from 4.58 percent in 1990, to just 3.38 percent in 2015. However, the report projects that the overall number of blind people will increase. This is due to a rapidly aging global population.

According to the United Nations’ 2015 report on global aging, more than 901 million people worldwide are over the age of 60. The VLEG expects that number to double in the next 40 years. As the global population ages, more people will develop eye problems, and the number of cases of preventable blindness will increase. Many conditions that are preventable or treatable occur naturally as part of the aging process. These include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), presbyopia, and cataracts.

In short, there is still work to be done between now and 2050.

What We Can Do

In order to keep pace with the growing rate of visual impairment, organizations like SEE must greatly expand the breadth of their global impact. These efforts vastly improve the quality of life for those affected by vision-impairing conditions.

By participating in these efforts, you transform not only the lives of those who are visually impaired, but also those of their families and communities as well. SEE and its partners remain committed to providing the resources that people around the world need to fight avoidable blindness. With the estimated increase in the number of people who will suffer from blindness in the next decades, the work of SEE is only going to become more crucial.

With your help, we can continue to expand the range of our programs worldwide. We hope you’ll partner with us to provide care to those who need it most!

This article was featured in our Spring 2018 edition of Sightings. To read the entire newsletter, visit our Media Page or click here for an interactive version.

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