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Statistics on Low Vision & Vision Impairment

Vision is typically regarded as the most dominant of the body’s senses. It plays a central role in every part of your life – throughout every stage of life. In early childhood, you need vision to learn to walk and to learn how to read and write. Once you’re older, you need vision to work, to drive, and to live life to its fullest. Yet, unfortunately, eye conditions that can lead to vision loss are extremely common, especially as people are living longer. In fact, most people who live past 50 years will suffer from some type of vision impairment, often caused by common eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Since many eye conditions that can cause vision impairment and low vision have no early symptoms, it’s essential to visit a qualified eye doctor for regular eye exams. To make your healthy vision last as long as possible, contact Dr. David Yesnick, at Yesnick Vision Center, to book an eye exam.

How common is low vision?

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, these are some basic reports about the numbers of people in different population groups who have low vision:

  • Global numbers – according to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people are either blind or have a vision impairment; of these people, at least 1 billion have vision loss that could have been prevented or is yet to be treated. The leading causes of these vision impairments are cataracts and uncorrected refractive conditions, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia.
  • Children – Approximately 568,202 children in the US have a vision impairment (2017 report). This includes kids from age 0-17, and only includes children who are blind or have serious difficulty seeing clearly even when they’re wearing prescription glasses.
  • Students – Approximately 63, 657 children, youth, and adult students in the US, are classified as legally blind (2017 report). This includes students from 0-21 years old, in addition to specific qualifying adult students, and legal blindness describes low vision that has been defined by law to determine eligibility for certain benefits. In general, it means those with visual acuity of 20/200 or less.
  • Adults – Approximately 26.9 million adults in America, age 18 and older, reported having vision loss in 2017. This use of the term “vision loss” is defined as having trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses, in addition to people who are legally blind.

Who are the adults with low vision?

  • Out of these 26.9 million American adults, about 16.4 million are women and 10.5 million are men.
  • Approximately 19.1 million of these American adults are between 18 -64 years old, and 7.8 million are 65 years and older
  • About 21 million of these American adults were white, 3.8 million are African American, 1 million are Asian, and 305,000 are American Indian; 662,000 of these Americans indicated they were members of other races
  • Approximately 12.5 million people in the US who have vision loss are married, 2.7 million are widowed, 4.5 million are divorced or separated, 5.3 million have never married, and 1.9 million live with a partner
  • About 4.2 million of adults with low vision live in the Northeast, 5.7 million live in the Midwest, 10.6 million live in the South, and 6.4 million live in the West
  • Of the adults who are 25 years old and over, 4 million have less than a high school diploma, 6.3 million have a high school diploma (or GED), 7.5 million have some college education, and 6.4 million completed college and have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • When it comes to the association between income level and low vision, approximately 10 million people in the US with a vision impairment have a family income of less than $35,000, and on the other end of the spectrum, about 5 million have a family income of $100,000 or more.
  • Approximately 196 million of these people have age-related macular degeneration, 76 million have glaucoma, and 146 million have diabetic retinopathy

According to the first World Report on Vision, released by the WHO, a majority of people worldwide are living with low vision because they didn’t get the eye care they needed – until it was too late. Take action to protect your vision and book regular eye exams with Dr. David Yesnick at Yesnick Vision Center.

At Yesnick Vision Center, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 702-500-0525 or book an appointment online to see one of our Las Vegas eye doctors.

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