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Global Blindness: Planning and managing eye care services
Epidemiology and visual impairment
Learning outcomes
• Relate to the
epidemiology of blindness
and visual impairment
• Describe the main causes
of blindness
Learning outcomes
• Explore socio-economic
variations in visual
impairment
• Understand the local
burden of visual impairm...
Epidemiology of visual impairment
• Magnitude: how many?
• Distribution: where?
• Determinants: main causes?
• Control: wh...
285 million people are
visually impaired
globally 246 million have
low vision
39 million are blind
90% of visual impairment (VI) is in
low- and middle-income
countries
Low 2.91 - 3.17%
Medium 3.18 - 3.33%
High 3.34 - 5.61...
Burden of blindness varies by region
Millions
India
China
Africa
11% world population
6 million blind
China
20% world population
8 million blind
Burden of blindness varies by region
Distribution of visual impairment is
affected by age
82% of all blind people are
aged 50 years and over
1.4 million
children
5.8 million
age 15 - 49
32.2 million
age 50+
More women aged 50+
Unequal access
Higher risk of blindness
Distribution of
blindness is
affected by gender
Refractive errors and
cataract cause 75% of
global visual
impairment
Causes of visual impairment
Refractive
errors 42%
Cat...
Causes of visual impairment
Refractive
errors 42%
Cataract
33%
Unknown 18%
ARMD 1%
Glaucoma 2%
Childhood blindness 1%
Trac...
Causes of blindness
Unknown 21%
ARMD 5%
Glaucoma 8%
Childhood blindness 4%
Trachoma 3%
Corneal opacities 4%
Refractive err...
Risk of blindness is linked to poverty
Increasing global population growth
1960 2010 2060
3 billion
people
6.9 billion
people
10 billion
people
2 billion
1 billion
0
Developed
countries
Developing
countries
Number of people aged over 60
Ageing populations
Epidemiological data is used to
select appropriate control measures
Global
75%
Cataract
Refractive
errors
Strengthen
servi...
Epidemiological data is used to
select appropriate control measures
Focal
2%
Corneal opacity
Child blindness
Trachoma
Prev...
Epidemiological data is used to
select appropriate control measures
Chronic
3%
Diabetic
retinopathy
Glaucoma
Early
detecti...
Appropriate control measures can
avoid 80% of visual impairment
Strengthen
services
Prevention Early
detection
In summary
• Over 80% of visual
impairment is avoidable
• Prevention and early
treatment are key
• Strengthen health servi...
Written by Dr Daksha Patel
© 2016 International Centre for Eye Health, London School of
Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This ...
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Global Blindness: Epidemiology and visual impairment

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It is currently estimated that approximately 285 million people across the world have some form of visual impairment. However, this is unevenly distributed, as 90% of the visually impaired are in low and middle-income countries. Strengthening services, improving access, and addressing inequity at the local level are an urgent priority for global eye care. Prevention programmes are essential to achieve these goals and reduce the burden of visual impairment across the world. In this presentation we introduce the epidemiology of blindness and visual impairment. As you watch, try to consider the main causes of visual impairment in your own community and the control strategies that local eye care programmes carry out.

© 2016 International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

This video is part of the free online course: Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services. We encourage the use and adaptation of this resource for teaching and learning. Find more Open Educational Resources for eye care on our website at http://iceh.lshtm.ac.uk/oer

Published in: Education
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Global Blindness: Epidemiology and visual impairment

  1. 1. Global Blindness: Planning and managing eye care services Epidemiology and visual impairment
  2. 2. Learning outcomes • Relate to the epidemiology of blindness and visual impairment • Describe the main causes of blindness
  3. 3. Learning outcomes • Explore socio-economic variations in visual impairment • Understand the local burden of visual impairment
  4. 4. Epidemiology of visual impairment • Magnitude: how many? • Distribution: where? • Determinants: main causes? • Control: what can we do?
  5. 5. 285 million people are visually impaired globally 246 million have low vision 39 million are blind
  6. 6. 90% of visual impairment (VI) is in low- and middle-income countries Low 2.91 - 3.17% Medium 3.18 - 3.33% High 3.34 - 5.61% VI prevalence
  7. 7. Burden of blindness varies by region Millions India China
  8. 8. Africa 11% world population 6 million blind China 20% world population 8 million blind Burden of blindness varies by region
  9. 9. Distribution of visual impairment is affected by age
  10. 10. 82% of all blind people are aged 50 years and over 1.4 million children 5.8 million age 15 - 49 32.2 million age 50+
  11. 11. More women aged 50+ Unequal access Higher risk of blindness Distribution of blindness is affected by gender
  12. 12. Refractive errors and cataract cause 75% of global visual impairment Causes of visual impairment Refractive errors 42% Cataract 33%
  13. 13. Causes of visual impairment Refractive errors 42% Cataract 33% Unknown 18% ARMD 1% Glaucoma 2% Childhood blindness 1% Trachoma 1% Corneal opacities 1% Diabetic retinopathy 1%
  14. 14. Causes of blindness Unknown 21% ARMD 5% Glaucoma 8% Childhood blindness 4% Trachoma 3% Corneal opacities 4% Refractive errors 3% Diabetic retinopathy 1% Cataract 51%
  15. 15. Risk of blindness is linked to poverty
  16. 16. Increasing global population growth 1960 2010 2060 3 billion people 6.9 billion people 10 billion people
  17. 17. 2 billion 1 billion 0 Developed countries Developing countries Number of people aged over 60 Ageing populations
  18. 18. Epidemiological data is used to select appropriate control measures Global 75% Cataract Refractive errors Strengthen services
  19. 19. Epidemiological data is used to select appropriate control measures Focal 2% Corneal opacity Child blindness Trachoma Prevention
  20. 20. Epidemiological data is used to select appropriate control measures Chronic 3% Diabetic retinopathy Glaucoma Early detection
  21. 21. Appropriate control measures can avoid 80% of visual impairment Strengthen services Prevention Early detection
  22. 22. In summary • Over 80% of visual impairment is avoidable • Prevention and early treatment are key • Strengthen health services
  23. 23. Written by Dr Daksha Patel © 2016 International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Taken from the free online course: Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services. We encourage the use and adaptation of this resource for teaching and learning. Find more Open Educational Resources for eye care on our website at http://iceh.lshtm.ac.uk/oer

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