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Blindness and sight impairment to affect 900m by 2050

New research led by Anglia Ruskin University has estimated that blindness and severe vision impairment will more than double by 2050

brown eye
Pixabay/Tobias Dahlberg
A new study led by Anglia Ruskin University has predicted that blindness and severe vision impairment will more than double by 2050 – from 338 million to almost 900 million.

The research, which has not yet been peer reviewed, involved examining more than 500 studies showing trends in the prevalence of blindness and vision loss.

Study lead, Professor Rupert Bourne, of Anglia Ruskin University, highlighted that it is encouraging that age-adjusted prevalence of blindness has reduced over the past three decades.

However, due to population growth, progress is not keeping pace with eye health needs.

“We face enormous challenges in avoiding vision impairment as the global population grows and ages,” he said.

Professor Bourne added that one of the problems researchers faced when compiling data on eye disease is that many countries, including the UK, have not completed an official survey of eye disease and its consequences.

“High quality, current data on eye health and also hearing loss is needed so the UK can plan future services in the most effective way, improve outcomes for those affected, and develop a more effective public health strategy in these crucial areas. Without this, the provision of services is a postcode lottery as we don't understand the unmet need," Professor Bourne emphasised.