The number of blind people across the world is set to triple from about 36 million to 115 million by 2050, due to growing ageing population, according to the new study published in The Lancet Journal.
It is the first journal who published this astonishing figures on presbyopia, an age-related process. These age-related changes occur within the proteins in the lens, making the lens harder and less elastic over time. Presbyopia is generally is believed to stem from a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the natural lens inside eyes.
Researchers spearheaded by Anglia Ruskin University in the UK collected the data from 188 countries to study the extensiveness of blindness and vision impairment between 1990 and 2015. The result showed that worldwide, there are an estimated 36 million blind people and the greatest onus is on developing Asian and Sub-Saharan African countries.
According to reserachers global blindness declined from 0.75 percent in 1990 to 0.48 per cent in 2015, while the rate of moderate to severe vision impairment reduced from 3.83 per cent to 2.90 per cent. These figures are result of socio-economic development, targeted public health programs, and greater access to eye-health services.
Numbers of blind people rose from 30.6 million in 1990 to 36 million in 2015 and moderate to severe vision impairement rose from 160 million to 217 million people. Also the study warned further increase in the number of cases by 2050 if the quality of traetment is not improved with almost 115 million cases of blindness and 588 million people with moderate to severe vision impairment.
“Even mild visual impairment can significantly impact a person’s life, for example reducing their independence in many countries as it often means people are barred from driving, as well as reducing educational and economic opportunities,” said professor Rupert Bourne, of Anglia Ruskin’s Vision and Eye Research Unit.
“With the number of people with vision impairment accelerating, we must take action to increase our current treatment efforts at global, regional and country levels,” he said. “Investing in these treatments has previously reaped considerable benefits, including improved quality of life, and economic benefits as people remain in work,” said Bourne.