Eye-Opening Eye Health Statistics

Eye health conditions are very common in the United States, and may be present from birth, as a result of illness or injury, or developed over time due to aging. Five common eye health conditions affecting Americans are cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and uncorrected refractive error.

Living with a vision disorder may cause disadvantages due to delayed childhood learning, reduced participation in education and employment, and social isolation. But you are not alone. We have compiled some surprising and top-line eye health statistics for your information. The following eye health statistics have been compiled by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye Diseases

  • Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 and older. By age 75, approximately half of all Americans have cataracts.
  • Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is present in nearly 2.1 million Americans aged 50 and older, the stage that can lead to severe vision impairment. In 2010, 9.1 million Americans had early AMD. By age 80, 1 in 10 Americans have late AMD, which is more common in women than in men.
  • Diabetic retinopathy affects nearly 7.7 million Americans aged 40 and older. The number of people in the United States with diabetes is increasing. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes. About 27% of those with diabetes, 8.1 million Americans, do not know they have the disease. Diabetes affects 12.3% of adults age 20 and older.
  • Dry eye syndrome increases with age. An estimated 3.2 million women aged 50 and over, and 1.68 million men aged 50 and over, are affected by dry eye syndrome.
  • Corneal transplants are regularly performed in the United States. There were 48,229 corneal transplants performed in the United States in 2013. Since 1961, more than 1,000,000 men, women, and children, ranging in age from 9 days to 100+ years, have had their sight restored through a corneal transplant.

Visual Impairment and Blindness

  • Nearly 1.3 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind, a condition defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than or equal to 20/200 in the better-seeing eye.
  • More than 2.9 million Americans aged 40 and older have low vision, a condition defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40. This number excludes those who are legally blind.
  • Nearly 4.2 million Americans age 40d and older are visually impaired, defined as best-corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40 in the better-seeing eye. This number includes both those with low vision and those who are legally blind.
  • Approximately 8% of men and 0.5% of women among populations with Northern European ancestry have the most common form of color blindness that makes it hard to see red or green. The incidence of this condition is lower in almost all other populations studied.

Refractive Errors

  • More than 34 million Americans aged 40 and older are myopic (nearsighted); this is 23.9% of that population.
  • Nearly 14.2 million Americans aged 40 and older are hyperopic (farsighted); 8.4% of that population.
  • More than 150 million Americans use corrective eyewear to compensate for refractive errors. Americans spend more than $15 billion each year on eyewear.
  • Approximately 37 million Americans wear contact lenses.

Eye Injuries

  • Each year, an estimated 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States. Using protective eyewear can prevent 90% of all eye injuries.
  • Nearly 35% of all eye injuries occur in people 18 to 45 years of age.
  • Accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.
  • More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20% will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
  • A foreign body in the eye is the most common type of injury, accounting for 35% of the total. Open wounds and contusions each account for about 25%, and the remaining injuries are burns.

Schedule a Consultation

Proper eye care is essential to vision health, as these eye health statistics show. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Advanced Eye Medical today. We will discuss and review the state of your eye health and associated options in order to ensure your eyes stay in good condition.