Latvia leads the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as the country with the highest actual percentage of vision loss at 24.6% of the population.1
That’s according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Vision Atlas, a compilation of data and interactive maps detailing eye health around the world,2 which also shows that 0.4% of Latvians are blind.
It also says that, based on the latest data available from each country:
At home in Australia, around 5.3% of the of the population experience vision loss.
Your vision is an important part of your health, so taking good care of your eyes is a sensible thing to do. Here are some tips, tricks and ways you can maintain your eye health.
The crude prevalence (actual percentage) of all four vision loss levels in a country’s population: near, mild, mod-severe and blindness.12
The crude prevalence (actual percentage) of blindness within a country’s population.12
The percentage of a country’s population that wears glasses.
The percentage of a country’s population that wears contact lenses. These numbers can overlap with the portion of the population who wear glasses, as some people may use more than one vision correction aid.13
The number of optometrists (responsible for eye examinations and treatment of eye health problems)14 per million people, which is also known as the density.15
The number of ophthalmologists (who deal with the medical side of eye health, including surgery, medicine and prescriptions)16 per million people.15
The number of cataract surgeries per million people in a year is known as the cataract surgery rate (CSR) and measures the quantity of cataract services.17
1 Bourne R, Steinmetz J, Flaxman S, et al., Trends in prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment over 30 years: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Glob Health. 2020. Accessed via the IAPB Vision Atlas (https://www.iapb.org/learn/vision-atlas). Accessed February 2021.
2 IAPB Vision Atlas – About: The IAPB Vision Atlas. Accessed March 2021.
3 European Council Optometry and Optics – ECOO Blue Book 2020. Published October 2020. Accessed January 2021.
4 The Royal College of Ophthalmologists – New RCOphth Workforce Census illustrates the severe shortage of eye doctors in the UK. Published January 2019. Accessed March 2021.
5 IAPB – Updated Vision Atlas shows 1.1 billion people have vision loss. Published October 2020. Accessed March 2021.
6 WHO – Blindness and vision impairment. Published February 2021. Accessed March 2021.
7 The Fred Hollows Foundation – Glossary of eye conditions. Accessed March 2021.
8 UVA Health – Corneal Opacity. Accessed March 2021.
9 Title: Eye care. Published by: healthdirect. Last reviewed: December 2019. Accessed: March 2021.
10 Courtesy: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH) – Keep Your Eyes Healthy. Last updated March 2020. Accessed March 2021.
11 Title: Eye tests. Published by: healthdirect. Last reviewed: April 2020. Accessed: March 2021.
12 IAPB Vision Atlas – About: Definitions. Accessed March 2021.
13 The Vision Council – VisionWatch Market Update. By Steve Kodey. Published January 2021. Accessed February 2021.
14 Better Health Channel – Eye care – optometrists. Last reviewed April 2015. Accessed March 2021.
15 Wiley Online Library – The number of optometrists is inversely correlated with blindness in OECD countries. By Einat Shneor, Michal Isaacson, Ariela Gordon‐Shaag. Published October 2020. Accessed January 2021.
16 Title: What does an ophthalmologist do? Published by: healthdirect. Last reviewed: September 2020. Accessed: March 2021.
17 US National Library of Medicine: Community Eye Health Journal – Cataract surgical rates. Published 2017. Accessed March 2021.