1.1 billion people experience sight loss because of difficulties accessing eye care

Landmark report highlights connection between poor eye health and an increased risk of mortality

A new international report has highlighted that those with poor eye health have a 2.6 times higher risk of mortality than those without sight loss.

The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health highlights that 1.1 billion people experience sight loss because they do not have access to eye care services.

The report states that 90% of sight loss could be avoided, while estimating that sight loss costs the global economy $411 billion USD (£296 billion GBP) per year in productivity losses.

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness chief executive, Peter Holland, described the research as a “landmark report.”

“It cannot be right that so many people in our world go without access to eye care when the majority of treatments are affordable and have been around for many years,” he said.

Mr Holland added that action on sight loss is essential if the world is to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals.

“The Lancet Global Commission on Global Eye Health proves once and for all that good quality eye care has a vital effect on people’s everyday lives, enabling children to benefit from education, ensuring working adults keep their jobs and that older people can participate in their families and communities,” Mr Holland emphasised.