Worldwide, there are an estimated 36 million people who are blind, and this is set to grow to almost 115 million people by 2050, with the greatest burden occurring in developing countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health journal.
Although rates of blindness and vision impairment have gone down in recent years, the number of cases has increased. The new estimates highlight the need to scale up efforts to alleviate vision impairment to help improve quality of life, and educational and economic opportunities globally.
With most vision impairment being a result of ageing, as the population continues to grow and age, the number of people affected has increased globally.
To counter the growing numbers of cases of blindness and vision impairment, the researchers note the importance of investing in treatments. They also note that, between 1990 and 2010, when investments were made in treatments for vision impairment, prevalence of blindness reduced.