National Eye Institute Reports Increase in Vision Impairments

May is Healthy Vision Month, and according to the National Eye Institute, the number of people with visual impairments or blindness in the United States is expected to double to more than 8 million by 2050. Another 16.4 million Americans are expected to have difficulty seeing due to correctable refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. The study suggests that there is a need for increased screening and early detection to treat the causes of vision loss.

“These findings are an important forewarning of the magnitude of vision loss to come. They suggest that there is a huge opportunity for screening efforts to identify people with correctable vision problems and early signs of eye diseases. Early detection and intervention—possibly as simple as prescribing corrective lenses—could go a long way toward preventing a significant proportion of avoidable vision loss,” said NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.

For more information about how to keep eyes healthy, visit the National Eye Institute's Healthy Vision Month website.