Vision loss predicted to surge 55 percent by 2050

With World Braille Day having just passed, according to the ‘Vision Atlas’ report by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), vision loss is predicted to increase by as much as 55 percent in the next 30 years, impacting some 600 million new people.

As Statista's Anna Fleck shows in the following chart, as many as 1.1 billion people were thought to have vision impairment in 2020.

This figure is the sum of 510 million people who had near vision loss, 258 million people with mild vision loss, 295 people with moderate to severe vision loss and 43 million people living with blindness.

By 2050, the overall figure is predicted to have risen to some 1.8 billion people, with a breakdown of 866 million people living with near vision loss, 360 million people with mild vision loss, 474 people with moderate to severe vision loss and 61 million cases of blindness.

But why the increase?

According to IAPB, the two main drivers of this problem are an aging population and lifestyle changes.

Data shows that the prevalence of vision loss - such as cataract, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma - increases significantly with age.

If predictions are accurate, this will be a problem, since the number of people over 65 are expected to increase from one in 11 people to one in six by 2050.

In terms of lifestyle changes, IAPB cites factors such as “more sedentary and indoor lifestyles, less-nutritious foods and resulting obesity”, which have all contributed to a surge in the prevalence of myopia and diabetes.

These issues will not be experienced uniformly.

Estimates predict that women made up 55 percent of the 2020 total versus the 45 percent for their male counterparts, and that an imbalance looks set to continue in the near future.

At the same time, with 90 percent of the world’s population thought to be living with a vision condition living in low and middle income countries in 2020, analysts highlight how such impairments are linked to socioeconomic disadvantage, explaining: “Vision loss is both a contributor to inequalities and is also an outcome of inequality.”

One reason cited for this inequality is differing levels of health promotion and access to eyecare around the world, which is particularly the case for marginalized groups.

The IAPB states that 90 percent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.


By Tyler Durden / Editors

A group of editors who collectively write under the pseudonym "Tyler Durden" (a character from the novel and film Fight Club).

(Source:; January 9, 2024;
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