Vision Loss

More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are blind, visually impaired, or have an age-related eye disease, and adult vision loss costs our economy more than billion a year. With major advances in vision research bringing new prevention and treatments, it is critical that support for research and incentives for innovation remain a priority. The Alliance for Aging Research has teamed up with the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) during their Decade of Vision, to release Volume II of The Silver Book®:Vision Loss. Volume II brings updated data on vision loss in older Americans, as well as the exciting changes and discoveries in vision research and treatment. This volume of The Silver Book® was produced in partnership with NAEVR and with educational support from Bausch & Lomb.

 

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    • Adults 60 years and older are 6 times more likely to develop glaucoma.  
    • Cataracts removal over age 85
      One in 2 Americans aged 85 years or older stated that their cataracts have been removed.  
    • It is estimated that those aged 50 years or older with macular degeneration will double– 9 million to 18 million– by 2050.  
    • Adults aged 65 years or older are twice to three times more likely to have vision loss compared to 18 to 44 year olds.  
    • There are 15.2% of Americans aged 75 years or older with vision loss.  
    • There are 12.2% of Americans aged 65 to 74 years of age with vision loss.  
    • Prevalence of Age-Related Eye Disease by Gender and Age  
    • Estimated Age-Specific Prevalence Rates for Vision Impairment  
    • Prevalence of Age-Related Eye Disease by Gender and age  
    • More than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma—2,719,379.  
    • More than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma—2,719,379.  
    • More than 1 million Americans ages 40-49 are estimated to have diabetic retinopathy. That grows to close to 2 million at ages 65-74.  
    • More than 7.6 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy—7,685,237.  
    • More than 7.6 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy—7,685,237.  
    • An estimated 79,268 Americans ages 50-54 have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). That grows to 231,373 at ages 75-79 and more than 1.3 million for ages 80+.  
    • More than 2 million Americans age 50 and older have age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—2,069,403.  
    • More than 2 million Americans age 50 and older have age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—2,069,403.  
    • An estimated 51,593 Americans ages 40-49 are blind. That grows to 86,623 at ages 75-79 and just under 1 million for ages 80+.  
    • An estimated 83,563 Americans ages 40-49 have vision impairment. That grows to 297,754 at ages 75-79 and close to 2 million for ages 80+.  
    • Age-related eye diseases are the primary causes of vision impairment and blindness in the U.S.  
    • An estimated 2,907,691 Americans age 40 and older have vision impairment.  
    • An estimated 2,907,691 Americans age 40 and older have vision impairment.  
    • An estimated 1,288,275 Americans age 40 and older are blind.  
    • An estimated 1,288,275 Americans age 40 and older are blind.  
    • An estimated 4,195,966 Americans age 40 and older have vision impairment and blindness—1,288,275 are blind and 2,907,691 have vision impairment.  
    • An estimated 4,195,966 Americans age 40 and older have vision impairment and blindness—1,288,275 are blind and 2,907,691 have vision impairment.  
    • An estimated 4,195,966 Americans age 40 and older have vision impairment and blindness—1,288,275 are blind and 2,907,691 have vision impairment.  
    • Treatments that have been found to delay or prevent diabetic retinopathy save the U.S. $1.6 billion annually.  
    • Multifoca electroretinogram (mFERG) measures show abnormal function of the retina early in–and even prior to–diabetic retinopathy onset and could enhance monitoring of the early stages of disease progression in individuals.  
    • Screening and treatment for eye disease in all type 2 diabetes patients would result in an estimated net savings of 94,304 person-years of sight.  
    • Gene transfer process treatment for diabetic retinopathy
      A gene transfer process that produces a VEGF receptor prevents retinal vascular permeability (RVP) associated with diabetes that could have value in treating diabetic retinopathy.  
    • Of the 8 Million older Americans at high risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), 1.3 million will develop advanced AMD within 5 years.  However the NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye…  
    • Cytokines in urine are associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and could be developed as a biomarker and provide a practical tool for early detection  
    • Multifocal electroretinogram (mFERG) and flicker perimetry show abnormal function in the central macula in early ag-related macular degeneration (AMD) and could enhance monitoring of the disease progression in individuals.  
    • The use of antioxidant vitamins and other new therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could reduce visual impairment and blindness from the disease by 35%.  
    • It has been estimated that monthly use of ranibizumab in individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) would reduce the incidence of legal blindness by 72% and visual impairment by 37%,…  
    • High-intensity ultrasonic cyclocoagulation reduces intraocular pressure in refractory glaucoma patients.  
    • In general, every 10 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure reduces the risk of diabetes complications by 12%.  
    • Timely treatment and follow-up care can reduce the risk of blindness in individuals with proliferative retinopathy by 95%.  
    • Detection and treatment of proliferative diabetic eye disease and clincally significant macular edema with laser therapy can reduce severe vision loss progression by 50% to 60%  
    • Laser treatment and vitrectomy reduce the risk of blindness in patients with severe diabetic retinopathy by 90%.  
    • Nearly 50% of diabetic retinopathy patients who received ranibizumab–an anti-VEGF drug–experienced substantial visual improvement after a year of injections  
    • The ACCORD Eye Study found that combination lipid therapy with a fibrate and statin (compared with statin treatment alone) reduced progression of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetics by around…  
    • The ACCORD Eye Study found that intensive glycemia control–compared with standard blood sugar control–in high risk type 2 diabetics, decreased progression of diabetic retinopathy by around 1/3 over 4 years–from…  
    • It is estimated that proper treatment and monitoring of the eyes of diabetics could reduce new cases of diabetic retinopathy by 90%.  
    • Current treatments for proliferative diabetic retinopathy have reduced the rate of blindness within 5 years from 50% to less than 5%.  
    • Impact of a healthy lifestyle on age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
      A study exploring the impact of a healthy lifestyle on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) found that women whose diets were the healthiest (scored on the 2005 Healthy Eating Index) had…  
    • A study on the impact of diet on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) found that those who took the highest amounts of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 43%…  
    • Lucentis to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
      An FDA-approved ophthalmic drug that treats wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)–ranibizumab (Lucentis)–maintained vision in 95% of clinical trial participants and improved vision by 15 or more letters in approximately 25%…  
    • After 54 weeks of receiving bevacizumab, wet age-realted macular degeneration (AMD) patients were more likely to gain at least 6 letters of contrast sensitivity than patikents recieving standard care–35.4% versus…  
    • Supplementation with lutein increases macular pigment optical density by 27%; which is correlated with benefits in visual function.  
    • Treatment of patients with advanced dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) implants resulted in stabilization of visual acuity.  A sub-group analysis found that 100% of patients…  
    • Women taking vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid–as compared to women not taking these supplements–were found to have a 34% lower risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a…  
    • The prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the 40 and older population has decreased from an estimated 9.4% from 1988 to 1994, to 6.5% for 2005 to 2008.  
    • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have been found to protect against the development and progression of deterioration of the retina (retinopathy).  
    • Between 2008 and 2009, the number of Americans age 65-74 who reported trouble seeing (even with glasses or contacts) decreased from 14.3% to 10.3%.  The number of Americans age 75…  
    • An estimated 2.3 million Americans 40 and older currently have glaucoma. That number is expected to grow by 50% to 3.36 million by 2020.  
    • The number of Americans age 65 and older with diabetic retinopathy is projected to close to quadruple between 2005 and 2050–increasing from 2.5 million to 9.9 million.  The number of…  
    • The number of Americans age 40 and older with diabetic retinopathy is projected to triple between 2005 and 2050–increasing from 5.5 million to 16 million.  The number of people age…  
    • The number of cases of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is projected to increase from 9.1 million in 2010 to 17.8 million in 2050.  
    • The number of cases of visual impairment and blindness from age-related macular degeneration (AMD0 is projected to increase from 620,000 in 2010 to 1.6 million in 2050–assuming no treatments.  
    • Expenditures for glaucoma medications are on the rise–mean annual glaucoma medication expenditures per indiviual increased from $445 in 2001 to $557 in 2006.  
    • The average cost in 2004 per glaucoma patient age 40 to 64 using outpatient services was $276.  The average cost per patient 54 years and older was $254.  
    • A study of Medicare beneficiaries with glaucoma showed that health care costs increased with degree of vision loss–ranging from $8,157 per year for no vision loss to $18,670 for blindness.  
    • The annual direct medical costs (including outpatient, inpatient, and prescription drug services) for Americans age 40 and older with diabetic retinopathy is $493 million.  
    • For beneficiaries with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), annual Medicare part B payments for vision care increased from $1,504 per beneficiary in 1994 to $3,263 in 2006–due in large part…  
    • The average cost in 2004 per age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient age 40 and older using medications and vitamins was $110.  
    • The annual direct medical costs (including outpatient, inpatient, and prescription drug services) for Americans age 40 and older with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is $575 million.  
    • The annual governmental budgetary impact of major adult visual disorders is estimated to be at least $13.7 billion  
    • The average annual salary for adults who are visually impaired is close to $10,000 less than for those with normal vision.  
    • The annual burden to the U.S. economy of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, refractive errors, visual impairment, and blindness in adults age 40 and older is estimated…  
    • Close to $11 billion of the $11.1 billion in direct nonmedical costs for adults with visual disorders goes to nursing home care.  
    • Surgical procedure to relieve pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients
      A common surgical procedure to relieve pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients where other treatments have not been effective, was found to increase the risk of cataract formation by…  
    • Medicare beneficiaries with vision loss from glaucoma are significantly more likely to be placed in a nursing home and to develop depression, 67% more likely to fracture a femur, and…  
    • Of Medicare beneficiaries who were blind from glaucoma, 25.3% were placed in nursing homes, 17% had incident depression, 15.5% experienced a fall and/or an accident, 16.9% suffered an injury, and…  
    • Glaucoma is responsible for 3 out of every 4 cases of visual impairment in the U.S.  
    • Quality of life of diabetic retinopathy patients
      A study evaluating quality of life using utility values, found that diabetic retinopathy patients with best-corrected visual acuity of 20/20 and 20/25, were willing to trade 15% of their remaining…  
    • Every year, between 12,000 and 24,000 Americans lose their sight to diabetes.  
    • Over a 1-year period, 54% of individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) reported a fall and 30% reported more than one.  Of all reported falls, 63% resulted in an injury.  
    • Visual loss from subfoveal choroidal neovascularization, a characteristic of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was found to have a profound impact on how patients felt about their health-related quality of…  
    • Patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) reported 45% worse vision-related functioning, 13% worse overall well-being, 30% more anxiety, and 42% more depression than those without the disease.  They also…  
    • Even mild visual impairment more than doubles the risk of mortality over a 5-year period.  
    • The total annual loss for the 3.7 million people in the U.S. who are visually impaired or blind is estimated at more than 209,000 quality-adjusted life-years.  
    • Quality of life in patients with no light perception in one eye
      A study evaluating quality of life found that patients with no light perception in one eye who were asked to imagine the same scenario in their second eye, were willing…  
    • Vision conditions cause activity limitations in 8.9% of Americans age 85 and older.  
    • For assistance getting around, more than 100,000 visually impaired Americans use long canes, and more than 7,000 use guide dogs.  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Open-Angle Glaucoma  
    • Glaucoma affects less than 1 in 100 people ages 40 to 49.  That rate increases to close to 1 in 10 for individuals over the age of 80.  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Diabetic Retinopathy  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for AMD  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Visual Impairment and Blindness  
    • Increase in trouble seeing with age, 2010
      10.3% of the non-institutionalized adults 65 years and older have some trouble seeing, even with glasses or contacts.  That number increases to 16.5% in adults 75 years and older.  
    • Close to 2.3 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma–1.9% of the 40 and older population.  
    • Up to 80% of diabetics who have had the disease for 10 years or more are affected by diabetic retinopathy.  
    • Between 40% and 45% of all diabetics have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.  
    • From 2005 – 2008, around 4.2 million diabetics age 40 and older had diabetic retinopathy.  Of these, 655,000 had advanced diabetic retinopathy that could lead to severe vision loss.  
    • The number of Medicare beneficiaries newly diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneratino (AMD) more than doubled between 1994 and 2006.  
    • An estimated 6.5% of Americans age 40 and older have age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  
    • An estimated 2.07 million Americans age 50 and older have age-related macular degeneration.  
    • An estimated 1 million Americans over the age of 40 are visually impaired.  
    • An estimated 2.6 million Americans over the age of 40 are visually impaired.  
    • Studies of patients with myocardial infarction found that warfarin reduced stroke risk compared to placeboby 40% to 55%.  
    • Among those 65 and over, 18% are affected by vision trouble; 15 % of men and 19% of women.  Among those 85 and over, 28% report having trouble seeing.  
    • Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) sponsored by the National Eye Institute
      “Hyman Shapiro of Rockville, Maryland, practiced law for 45 years until his vision problems made it too difficult to read the law books. In 1988, he was diagnosed with age-related…  
    • Individuals who are visually impaired are less likely to be employed–44% are employed compared to 85% of adults with normal vision.  
    • The average annual salary for visually impaired adults is around $10,000 less than individuals with normal vision.  
    • Eye Exams: Trends, 1996-2006 (in relation to screening for diabetic retinopathy)  
    • AMD risk reduction through diet
      A recent study indicated that 20% of AMD cases in the AREDS study would have been eliminated if the participants consumed diets with a dGI (dietary glycemic index) below the…  
    • Increase in AMD risk for people with a high dGI
      A recent study showed that there was a 49% increase in the risk of advanced AMD for people with a dGI (dietary glycemic index) higher than the sex median (women…  
    • For those at high risk of advanced AMD, high dGI (dietary glycemic index) diets increased the risk of developing advanced AMD by 17%.  
    • The cost of lost productivity due to dry eye is estimated at more than $5,000 per patient.  
    • Chronic dry eye has a clinically important impact on approximately 4.25 million Americans age 50 and older–3.2 million women and 1.05 million men.  
    • In one study of patients age 48 and older, 17% of the women and 11.1% of the men had dry eye.  
    • An estimated 20.7 million Americans are affected by dry eye.  
    • Treatment costs for a patient with early-stage glaucoma are about $2,000 less than those of a patient diagnosed with a later stage of the disease.  
    • Glaucoma accounts for more than 7 million physician visits each year.  
    • Blindness due to glaucoma
      Three out of four Americans that are legally blind due to glaucoma are over 65.  
    • More than 2 million Americans over 40 have glaucoma, and only 1/2 are aware of it.  
    • Estimated Cost of Reduced Labor Force Participation by People Who are Visually Impaired or Blind  
    • Estimated Direct Nonmedical Costs for People Who Are Visually Impaired or Blind  
    • Annual Total Burden to the U.S. Economy of AMD, Cararact, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Refractive Errors, Visual Impairment and Blindness  
    • Total Annual Economic Impact of Vision Problems in the U.S.  
    • Number of Patients Aged 65 and Older Using Medical Services, Medications and Vitamins  
    • Number of Patients Aged 40 to 64 Using Medical Services, Medications and Vitamins  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Open-Angle Glaucoma  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Diabetic Retinopathy  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for AMD  
    • Estimated Specific Prevalence Rates for Visual Impairment and Blindness  
    • Because the resource use and direct cost of glaucoma treatment and management increases as the disease severity worsens– from an average $623 per early-stage patient to $2,511 per late-stage patient–…  
    • Screening and treatment for eye disease in all type 2 diabetes patients would result in an estimated net savings of 94,304 person-years of sight.  
    • Screening and treatment for eye disease in all type 2 diabetes patients would result in an estimated net savings of over $472.1 million– in 1994 dollars.  
    • Of the 8 million older Americans at high risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), 1.3 million will develop advanced AMD within 5 years. However, the NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye…  
    • Screening and treatment of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes patients produces annual savings of $247.9 million to the federal budget– in 1994 dollars.  
    • The cost-effectiveness of detection and treatment of eye disease in diabetics is $3,190 per quality adjusted life year (QALY).  
    • Prescription eye drops could delay or prevent half of glaucoma cases in African Americans.  
    • The NEI-sponsored Ocular Hypertensive Treatment Study (OHTS) found that lowering intraocular pressure (IOP) by at least 20% produced a 50% protective benefit for individuals who had an elevated IOP but…  
    • Family risk of glaucoma
      “‘Five of my nine brothers and sisters had glaucoma,’ says 81-year-old Jean R. who for 20 years has depended on eye drops to decrease pressure inside her eyes. Jean is…  
    • Current treatments for proliferative diabetic retinopathy have reduced the rate of blindness within 5 years from 50% to less than 5%.  
    • Screening and treatment for diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes patients produces annual savings of 53,986 person-years of sight.  
    • After 9 years of tight blood pressure control, patients with type 2 diabetes had a 34% reduction in retinopathy progression and a 47% reduction in risk of visual acuity deterioration…  
    • Intensive glucose control (3 or more daily insulin injections or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion) reduced the mean risk of retinopathy progression by 54% in type 1 diabetes patients with minimal-to-moderate…  
    • Intensive glucose control (3 or more daily insulin injections or continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion) reduced the mean risk of retinopathy by 76% in type 1 diabetes patients who had not…  
    • A study on the impact of diet on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) found that those who took the highest amounts of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 43%…  
    • The NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that individuals at high risk of developing advanced stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) lowered their risk of disease progression by about…  
    • Timely treatment and follow-up care can reduce the risk of blindness in individuals with proliferative retinopathy by 95%.  
    • Macugen to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
      A new FDA-approved ophthalmic drug that treats wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)– pegaptanib sodium (Macugen)– reduced vision loss in 70% of clinical trial patients.  
    • An estimated 4.1 million Americans currently have diabetic retinopathy. That number is expected to grow to 7.2 million by 2020.  
    • The cost of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is projected to increase to $845 million per year over the next 15 years, simply due to the growth in the number of…  
    • An estimated 1.75 million Americans currently have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). That number is expected to grow to 2.95 million by 2020. * Note that an additional 7.3 million currently…  
    • By 2020, the number of Americans age 40 and older who are blind is projected to reach 1.6 million– growing 70% from 1 million in 2004.  
    • By 2020, the number of Americans age 40 and older with low vision is projected to reach 3.9 million– growing from 2.4 million in 2004.  
    • By 2020, the number of Americans age 40 and older who are blind or have low vision is projected to reach 5.5 million– growing from 3.3 million in 2004.  
    • Currently an estimated 38 million Americans suffer from blindness, low vision, or an age-related eye disease. That number is expected to grow to around 50 million by 2020.  
    • The average direct cost of glaucoma treatment ranges from $623 per year for patients with early-stage glaucoma, to $2,511 per year for end-stage patients. Medication costs make up the largest…  
    • The average cost in 2004 per glaucoma patient age 40 to 64 using medications and vitamins was $806.  
    • The average cost in 2004 per glaucoma patient age 40 to 64 using inpatient services was $2,270. The average cost per patient 65 years and older was $4,929.  
    • The average cost in 2004 per glaucoma patient age 40 to 64 using outpatient services was $276. The average cost per patient 54 years and older was $254.  
    • The annual direct medical costs (including outpatient, inpatient, and prescription drug services) for Americans age 40 and older with glaucoma is $2.86 billion.  
    • The average cost in 2004 per diabetic retinopathy patient age 40 to 64 using outpatient services was $629. The average cost per patient 65 years and older was $463.  
    • The average cost in 2004 per age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient age 40 to 64 using outpatient services was $305. The average cost per patient 65 years and older was…  
    • Over 50% of Americans have vision problems or impairments and 40% fear that they can’t afford adequate treatment.  
    • The excess yearly nursing home cost for those with vision loss, beyond the expected cost for those with normal vision, is $450 for those with moderate vision loss, $1,225 for…  
    • Around $62 million a year is spent on guide dogs for individuals 40 years and older with visual impairment (in 2004 dollars).  
    • Medicare beneficiaries with vision loss incur significantly higher costs than individuals with normal vision. Approximately 90% of the higher annual costs are non-eye related medical costs– $2,193 for those with…  
    • Blindness (compared to no visual impairment) is associated with more than $2,000 in excess annual medical expenses per person.  
    • Visual impairment (compared to no visual impairment) is associated with more than $1,000 in excess annual medical expenses per person.  
    • An individual who is visually impaired or blind accumulates nearly $1,479 in vision-related expenses each year– not including health utility or QALY losses. At this rate, after 8 years an…  
    • Visual impairment and blindness cause an annual health utility loss of approximately $10.5 billion. This figure measures lost quality of life when a disease has little or no short-term impact…  
    • The excess economic burden of visual impairment and blindess of individuals age 40 and older on the individual, caregivers, and other health care payers is an estimated $5.48 billion annually–…  
    • Visual impairment and blindness account for $8 billion in lost productivity annually.  
    • The annual cost of adult vision problems in the U.S. is around $51.4 billion.  
    • In 2001, approximately 2.9 million glaucoma patients visited physicians or hospitals for treatment of their disease.  
    • In 2001, approximately 5.6 million prescriptions were filled for glaucoma patients.  
    • A study of glaucoma patients found that compared with control subjects, they were over 3 times more likely to have fallen in the previous year, over 6 times more likely…  
    • Approximately 120,000 people have gone blind because of glaucoma– 9-12% of all cases of blindness in the U.S.  
    • Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness among age-related eye diseases in Hispanic persons– accounting for 28.6% of cases of blindness.  
    • Diabetic retinopathy often causes vision loss and blindness during working age years, resulting in more disability and person-years of vision lost than other eye diseases.  
    • In 2001, approximately 420,000 diabetic retinopathy patients visited physicians or hospitals for treatment of their disease.  
    • In 2001, an estimated 1.4 million age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients visited physicians or hospitals for treatment of their disease.  
    • Various studies found between 13% and 24% of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients had experienced visual hallucinations.  
    • Individuals with early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are almost 2 times more likely to have a stroke than those who do not have the eye disease.  
    • Compared to elderly persons without visual impairment, elderly patients with macular degeneration are 8 times more likely to report difficulty shopping, 13 times more likely to have difficulty managing finances,…  
    • One study reported emotional distress scores in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients comparable to scores of individuals with serious illnesses such as melanoma and HIV.  
    • One-third of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients suffer from clinical depression.  
    • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among white Americans– accounting for 54% of cases of blindness.  
    • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over the age of 65.  
    • Based on estimates from 1997 data, around 115,583 visually impaired and 74,133 blind individuals who did not work, would have worked if they had been fully sighted.  
    • Progression of vision loss from normal to blind is associated with more than 1.5-fold increased odds of depression and injury, and 2.5- to 3-fold increased odds of utilization of skilled…  
    • In a study of new applicants for recent vision loss rehabilitative services, 7% had current major depression and 26.9% met the criteria for subthreshold depression.  
    • The data from the NEI-sponsored Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that persons with vision worse than 20/40 OU (oculur unitas, meaning “in both eyes) were more likely to be…  
    • An estimated 424,801 more visually impaired and blind individuals live in nursing homes than would be expected if they had normal vision.  
    • While only 4.3% of the 65 and older population lives in nursing homes, 16% of those who are visually impaired and 40% of those who are blind reside in nursing…  
    • The ability to recognize faces declines with age and requires, on average, being 5 feet closer to the face with every decade after the age of 60.  
    • An association with vision loss and vehicular crashes has been shown in older adult drivers.  
    • Vision loss is a leading cause of falls in the elderly. One study found that visual field loss was associated with a 6-fold risk of frequent falls.  
    • Vision conditions or problems cause activity limitations in 8.3% of Americans age 85 and older.  
    • Around 711,000 Americans age 80 and older have glaucoma– 7.7% of the 80 and older population.  
    • Around 824,000 Americans age 74 and older have diabetic retinopathy– 5% of the 74 and older population.  
    • More than 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 80 has advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD)– 1.08 million Americans 80 and older.  
    • Longitudinal study on vision loss in Medicare patients
      A longitudinal study that followed Medicare patients found that after 9 years, almost 50% of survivors had developed glaucoma, cataract, or macular degeneration.  
    • Increase in trouble seeing with age, 2006
      16.8% of the non-institutionalized adults 65 years and older have some trouble seeing, even with glasses or contacts. That number increases to 19.9% in adults 75 years and older.  
    • Prevalence of serious vision loss
      One in 9 people over the age of 65 experience serious vision loss. That number increases to 1 in 4 for individuals over 85.  
    • In one study, individuals age 80 and older made up 8% of the population, yet accounted for 69% of cases of blindness.  
    • Americans age 80 and older have the highest rates of blindness. They are also the fastest growing segment of our population.  
    • Americans 65+ that have severe visual impairment
      6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 have severe visual impairment that threatens to limit their mobility, independence, and quality of life.  
    • Around 648,000 Americans age 80 and older are blind– 7% of the 80 and older population.  
    • More than 1.5 million Americans age 80 and older have low vision– 16.7% of the 80 and older population.  
    • More than 2.1 million Americans age 80 and older have low vision or are blind– 23.7% of the 80 and older population.  
    • Of the study participants in the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) who had open-angle glaucoma, 75% were previously undiagnosed.  
    • Around 50% of those with glaucoma are not aware that they have the disease.  
    • Glaucoma is almost 3 times more common in African Americans than in whites.  
    • An estimated 2.2 million Americans age 40 and older have glaucoma– 1.9% of the 40 and older population.  
    • Around 1 in 5 individuals with diabetes in the NEI-sponsored Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) was newly diagnosed during the study. Of those who were newly diagnosed, 23% were…  
    • Close to 50% of participants in the NEI-sponsored Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) who had diabetes, also had diabetic retinopathy.  
    • Diabetic retinopathy over the age of 40
      One in 12 diabetics age 40 and older has advanced diabetic retinopathy that threatens their vision.  
    • Nearly all patients with type 1 diabetes, and greater than 60% of patients with type 2, develop retinopathy within the first two decades of the disease.  
    • An estimated 4.1 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy.  
    • Every year, 200,000 Americans develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  
    • An estimated 1.75 million Americans age 40 and older have advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from AMD.  
    • Every 7 minutes, someone in the United States becomes blind or visually impaired.  
    • An estimated 1 million Americans over the age of 40 are legally blind.  
    • An estimated 2.4 million Americans over the age of 40 have low vision.  
    • Low vision or blindness affects 1 in 28 Americans over the age of 40– 3.3 million Americans.  
    • Age-Related eye diseases affect more than 35 million Americans age 40 and older. The most common eye diseases in that age group are macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract.  
    • More than 38 million Americans age 40 and older are estimated to experience blindness, low vision, or an age-related eye disease.