Global data on blindness

Bull World Health Organ. 1995;73(1):115-21.


Globally, it is estimated that there are 38 million persons who are blind. Moreover, a further 110 million people have low vision and are at great risk of becoming blind. The main causes of blindness and low vision are cataract, trachoma, glaucoma, onchocerciasis, and xerophthalmia; however, insufficient data on blindness from causes such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration preclude specific estimations of their global prevalence. The age-specific prevalences of the major causes of blindness that are related to age indicate that the trend will be for an increase in such blindness over the decades to come, unless energetic efforts are made to tackle these problems. More data collected through standardized methodologies, using internationally accepted (ICD-10) definitions, are needed. Data on the incidence of blindness due to common causes would be useful for calculating future trends more precisely.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / epidemiology*
  • Blindness / etiology*
  • Cataract / complications
  • Glaucoma / complications
  • Humans
  • Trachoma / complications