As the global population ages, rising demand for eye health services is not being met, according to a Lancet Global Health update on the burden of blindness.
The new study evaluated progress toward the World Health Assembly goal of reducing avoidable vision impairment 25% from 2010–2019.
Cataract and undercorrected refractive error are considered avoidable with surgery and spectacles, respectively—yet both were in the top 3 leading causes of blindness and moderate and severe vision impairment in 2020.
While there were promising reductions in the prevalence of blindness due to conditions like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, the findings indicate a failure of eye care services to keep pace with the growing needs of seniors.
The Lancet Global Health
*This story was amended to correct a typo in the phrase "macular degeneration" on January 26, 2020.