Methods and Data

This analysis provides estimated projections of the future prevalence and cost of vision loss and eye disorders in the United States. The baseline year is 2014, with annual projections through year 2050. We use a prevalence-based approach whereby we assign future prevalence on the basis of current per-capita prevalence, adjusted for projected population change and changes in cost and medical cost inflation. The projections in this analysis are based on three primary data sources:

  1. The Vision Problems in the US database
  2. The Cost of Vision Problems: The Economic Burden of Vision Loss and Eye Disorders in the United States
  3. U.S. Census Bureau population projections

The Vision Problems database was released at the first national Focus on Eye Health National Summit in 2012.[1] This database updates prior meta-analyses of multiple population-based studies measuring the prevalence of major eye disorders and vision loss.[7-13] The database provides an online tool to report the prevalence rate or prevalent population in the United States with each of eight disorders.

The second annual Eye Summit saw the release of the Cost of Vision Problems report.[2] For the first time, the economic burden of vision loss and eye disorders was estimated for the entire US population. We found the total cost to be $139 billion based on the 2011 US population in 2013 dollars. This report serves as both the latest but most comprehensive accounting for the economic and quality of life impact of vision loss available.

This analysis builds off both the Vision Problems database and the Cost of Vision report by using US Census population projections to forecast the future prevalence of disorders included in the Vision Problems database, and the future costs included in the Cost of Vision report.[1, 2, 14]