• Vision problems in people over 40 costs the US economy an estimated $51.4 billion a year (Rein et al., 2006). This represents $16.2 billion in direct medical costs, $11.1 billion in other direct costs and $8 billion in productivity losses (Prevent Blindness America, 2007).
  • The study also found direct medical costs to be $6.8 billion for cataracts, $5.5 billion for refractive error, $2.9 billion for glaucoma, $575 million for AMD and $493 million for diabetic retinopathy.
  • The average lifetime cost for one person with vision impairment is estimated to be $566,000 (in 2003 dollars) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2004; Honeycutt et al., 2003).
  • Visual impairment is associated with higher medical care expenditures, a greater number of informal care days, and a decrease in health utility (Frick, Gower, Kempen, & Wolff, 2007).
  • The costs for visual impairment in the United States is represent almost $1400 per year for each of the 3.7 million individuals who are visually impaired or blind. In terms of quality of life years lost, this translates into more than $10 billion. The total economic impact then on vision impairment would be close to $16 billion (Frick, Gower, Kempen, & Wolff, 2007).
  • Of those with vision loss, 27% to 41% of costs are due to increased risk of depression, injury, and long term care (Bramley et al., 2008).



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