Vision Loss  /  Age - A Major Risk Factor

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.  

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    • Prevalence of Diabetic Retinopathy by Age, in the US
       
    • 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 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.  
    • 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.  
    • 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+.  
    • 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.  
    • 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.  
    • Blindness due to glaucoma
      Three out of four Americans that are legally blind due to glaucoma are over 65.  
    • 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.  
    • 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.