Blindness and vision impairment prevention

Global data on visual impairment

Gobal data on visual impairment 2010

Estimating the magnitude and geographical distribution of visual impairment and causes is an important work to enable an appropriate allocation of resources across the various health areas of work. The magnitude of visual impairment and causes have been estimated for the year 2010, globally and by WHO region from recent data. For countries without data estimates were based on newly developed model.

  • Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind.
  • People 50 years and older are 82% of all blind.
  • The major causes of visual impairment are uncorrected refractive errors (43%) and cataract (33%); the first cause of blindness is cataract (51%).
  • Visual impairment in 2010 is a major global health issue: the preventable causes are as high as 80% of the total global burden.

Ref: Pascolini D, Mariotti SPM. Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010. British Journal Ophthalmology Online First published December 1, 2011 as 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2011-300539.

Additional information sheet on Global data 2010

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