Eye Health

03 June 2009

Poor eyesight costs world billions

Failure to address impaired eyesight is costing the world economy an estimated 121.4 billion dollars in productivity losses, according to research published by the WHO.

0

Failure to address impaired eyesight is costing the world economy an estimated 121.4 billion dollars in productivity losses, according to research published by the World Health Organisation.

An estimated 158 million people suffer from uncorrected or under corrected eyesight, including 8.7 million who were blind in 2007, according to an independent study by researchers in Australia, South Africa and the United States.

"If each affected person was provided with appropriate eyeglasses, we estimate that there may be a net economic gain, even if up to US$1 000 was spent per person to do this," said one of the authors, Tasanee Smith, of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States.

Global loss of billions
The study estimated that the global loss in productivity due to impaired vision or blindness reached up to $427.7 billion dollars before being adjusted for employment rates and age.

However, the full cost of remedying eyesight deficiencies through provision of eyeglasses, surgery or other medical interventions was unknown.

The estimates were given in international dollars, a research tool used for historical comparison that has the same purchasing power as the US dollar at a given time. – (Sapa, June 2009)

Read more:
Healthy diet good for eyes too
Camera concealed in prosthetic eye

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Optometrist

Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules