June 21, 2024

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20 Countries With Worst Vision Problems

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In this article, we will be taking a look at the 20 countries with worst vision problems. If you do not want to learn about the market overview and growth projections, head straight to the 5 Countries With Worst Vision Problems.

Countries grappling with severe vision problems face significant challenges in healthcare and quality of life. Vision impairment, whether due to refractive errors, cataracts, glaucoma, or other conditions, affects individuals’ ability to perform daily tasks and hampers economic productivity and social participation. Identifying the countries with the worst vision problems like USA, China, India, and Pakistan, among others, sheds light on regions where access to eye care services, education about eye health, and preventive measures are urgently needed.

Global Vision Impairment Crisis and Economic Impact 

Visual impairment is a significant global health issue, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Despite initiatives like VISION 2020 and the WHO’s Universal Eye Health Global Action Plan, the prevalence of avoidable vision impairment has increased, reaching 4.34% in 2020. The economic impact is substantial, with an estimated annual global productivity loss of around US$411 billion

Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have near or distant vision impairments, with approximately 1 billion cases being preventable or untreated. This impairment affects individuals across all age groups, impacting various aspects of life such as motor skills, language development in children, educational achievement, employment rates, and overall quality of life. 

Despite the severity of the issue, the average annual funding for eye health globally is less than 0.06% of total global health funding. Refractive errors, a leading cause of visual impairment, remain untreated in many cases due to factors like lack of access to care and resources. Providing adequate spectacle correction for uncorrected refractive errors is estimated to cost US$28 billion annually. 

Understanding the primary factors contributing to vision problems is crucial. Age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and refractive errors are among the leading causes of vision loss globally. These conditions affect individuals differently and may require various interventions such as promotion, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. 

In the United States, over 12 million people aged 40 and older are visually impaired, with this number expected to rise due to an aging population and the increasing prevalence of conditions like diabetes.  

study conducted in 2017 estimated the total economic burden of vision loss and blindness in the United States to be $134.2 billion, which comprised $98.7 billion in direct costs, including medical expenses, nursing home care, and supportive services, and $35.5 billion in indirect costs, such as absenteeism, lost household production, reduced labor force participation, and informal care. 

The most significant components of costs were medical expenses, accounting for $53.5 billion, nursing home costs at $41.8 billion, and reduced labor force participation at $16.2 billion. On average, vision loss and blindness cost $16,838 per person annually. The study also highlighted significant variations in total costs and costs per person affected across different U.S. states. Globally, unaddressed vision impairment costs exceed $400 billion per year. 

Market Overview and Growth Projections

The global vision care market is experiencing significant growth, with a projected CAGR of 3% during the forecast period 2024-2032, aiming to reach USD 82.4 billion by 2032. In 2022, the market size was USD 63.1 billion. North America leads this market globally, driven by increasing demand for disposable contact lenses and rising incidences of eye disorders like cataracts and glaucoma. 

The vision care market is a significant part of the US industry. North America is expected to hold the highest global vision care market share. Global Vision, a key player in this industry, has 30 employees with a revenue-per-employee ratio of $46,666. 

Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC), a leader in eye care for 75+ years, operates in 60 countries, serving patients in 140+. They excel in Surgical and Vision Care businesses, reporting $2.3B in Q1 2023 sales. Beyond profits, their Alcon in Action initiative promotes community volunteerism. Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) recently achieved positive topline results in Phase 3 COMET Trials for AR-15512, a novel drug candidate for dry eye. Furthermore, they’ve bolstered their presence in ophthalmic pharmaceuticals through strategic commercial agreements and acquisitions, including the acquisition of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Alcon Inc. (NYSE:ALC) focuses on innovation and research to revolutionize eye disease treatment, poised for continued global growth and impact. 

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYPT) is a leading player in eye care, focused on innovative ophthalmic solutions to prevent blindness. EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYPT)’s Durasert Technology, including EYP-1901, targets conditions like wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Recently, YUTIQ gained approval from China’s NMPA for treating chronic non-infectious uveitis, a significant milestone.  

The vision care market is witnessing growth globally due to rising disposable incomes, increasing eye disorders, technological device usage, changing lifestyles, and health consciousness. The industry is expected to continue expanding with technological advancements and healthcare infrastructure. 

20 Countries With Worst Vision Problems20 Countries With Worst Vision Problems

20 Countries With Worst Vision Problems

An ophthalmologist performing an eye examination on a patient with the latest medical equipment.

Our Methodology 

For our methodology, we have ranked the countries with the worst vision problems based on the total number of people with blindness and moderate to severe visual impairments. We relied on the data from the IAPD vision atlas for the accuracy of data.  

Here is our list of the 20 countries with the worst vision problems.  

20. Germany  

Total Affected People: 2,121,910 

Germany stands among the countries with the worst vision problems. It’s eye care market faces challenges with a high prevalence of disorders like retinal detachment and cataracts. Revenue is projected to reach US$221.60 million in 2024, with annual growth expected. The ophthalmic devices market is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 6.1%. Key players include Alcon Inc, Bausch Health, Johnson & Johnson, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, and Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, technological advancements and product approvals are driving market growth. 

19. Mexico 

Total Affected People: 2,547,299 

Mexico’s eye care market is expanding, with forecasts predicting growth. Statista projects a 6.87% increase in revenue, reaching US$1.97 billion in 2024, with ophthalmic device market expected to grow at 4.5% by 2027. With a significant portion of the population experiencing vision problems, there’s a rising demand for eye care services and products, including vision correction solutions, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. 

18. Myanmar 

Total Affected People: 2,802,753 

Myanmar, one of the countries with most vision problems, faces significant challenges with vision problems, including high rates of impairment and blindness, mainly due to cataracts. Limited access to eye care services, particularly in rural areas, and a lack of awareness about eye health contribute to this issue. The country’s eye care market includes public and private providers, but infrastructure still needs to be improved, especially in rural regions. Efforts by organizations and NGOs aim to improve access and awareness. 

17. Ethiopia  

Total Affected People: 2,824,356 

Ethiopia’s vision problems pose significant challenges, including a high prevalence of conditions like refractive errors and cataracts, making Ethiopia stand among the countries with highest vision problems in the world. The Eye Care market, encompassing traditional providers and pharmacies, is expected to grow by around 6% annually, reaching US$3.72 million by 2028. Despite this growth, many Ethiopians still suffer from untreated vision issues due to factors like lack of awareness and limited access to healthcare facilities. 

16. Iran  

Total Affected People: 2,975,520 

Iran’s eye care market is projected to grow steadily, reaching US$16.49 million in 2024, with pharmacies contributing US$17.52 million by 2028. Recent health reforms have reduced co-payments for surgical services in rural areas to 5%. The country boasts sufficient numbers of ophthalmologists and optometrists, with a higher growth rate than the general population, correlating with provincial life expectancy. 

15. Egypt  

Total Affected People: 3,128,370 

Egypt, stands fifteenth among the countries with worst vision problems. The country’s eye care market is growing, with a projected 4.88% increase to $51 million by 2028. Egypt’s dry Eye Disease diagnostics market was valued at $177.8 million in 2022, set to reach $281.3 billion by 2030, with a 5.9% CAGR. The Egypt Consumer Health Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2023 to 2028. 

14. Thailand 

Total Affected People: 3,200,470 

Thailand’s eye care market is growing, with prevalent issues with cataracts, glaucoma, and trachoma. The market is expected to grow by 3.66% from 2024 to 2028, reaching US$27.46 million. The ophthalmology market saw a 3.6% revenue growth from 2015 to 2020, with the top 6 players holding a 41% market share. Increased awareness about eye health drove growth in 2023. 

13. Vietnam  

Total Affected People: 3,241,087 

In Vietnam, eye health is a significant concern, with 400,000 adults and 23,000 children blind, making Vietnam stand among the countries with the highest vision problems in the world. Retinal and corneal conditions are prevalent, with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) affecting children. The country is working on improving its eye health system, graduating its first class of optometrists in 2019. Uncorrected refractive errors affect 15-20% of Vietnamese children. Efforts are underway to bridge the gap in eye care services and eliminate avoidable blindness through optometry workforce development and policy changes. 

12. Philippines 

Total Affected People: 3,773,934 

The Philippines faces vision health challenges, with a growing eye care market projected to reach US$56.20 million by 2028, growing at 4.36%. Cataracts, refractive errors, glaucoma, and retinal diseases are prevalent issues exacerbated by factors like aging, electronic device exposure, diabetes, and pollution. The ophthalmology market is set to see significant growth in consultations and surgeries, with CAGRs close to 6% and 11%, respectively, during 2018-2023. 

11. Brazil  

Total Affected People: 4,057,010 

Brazil, one of the countries with worst vision problems, faces significant vision health challenges, with approximately 4 million people affected by blindness or visual impairment, driven partly by an aging population. The eye care market is growing, expected to reach US$122.40 million by 2028, with a 3.64% growth rate. Dry eye disease is prevalent, especially among women and university students.  

10. Japan 

Total Affected People: 4,212,054 

Japan faces significant vision health challenges, with a notable market size of approximately US$0.99 billion in 2024, expected to grow annually. The high prevalence of myopia among school-aged children and young adults, cataracts among the elderly, and glaucoma are significant concerns. Myopia affects around 70% of high school students. Financially, the eye care market reflects substantial demand and growth opportunities. 

9. Nigeria 

Total Affected People: 4,237,316 

Nigeria grapples with significant vision health challenges, exacerbated by limited access to eye care services, especially in rural areas. Lack of education and resources hinders understanding of the causes of vision impairment. Increased screen time fuels the demand for standard eye care. The Eyewear market revenue is set to grow steadily. Despite challenges, the eye care industry in Nigeria is forecasted to experience healthy growth. 

8. Russia 

Total Affected People: 4,870,962 

Russia stands eighth among the countries with worst vision problems with a growing eye care market. The Eye Care market is expected to reach US$118.7 million in 2024, growing at 2.42%. The Ophthalmic Devices market is projected to reach US$304.10 million in 2028, with a growth rate of 2.76%. Common eye problems include cataracts, glaucoma, refractive errors, and age-related macular degeneration.  

7. Turkey 

Total Affected People: 5,543,244 

Turkey’s vision health sector is expanding, with the Eye Care market expected to grow by 2.69% in 2024. The market encompasses products like eyeglasses, contact lenses, and eye drops. Rising eye diseases and vision impairment, especially among the aging population, drive the demand for eye care products. The market is forecasted to grow steadily, with leading players including Diplomat Optics and Johnson & Johnson. Intraocular lenses are expected to dominate the market by 2028. 

6. Bangladesh  

Total Affected People:  5,715,518

Bangladesh stands among the countries with the highest vision problems in the world, with the Eyewear market projected to reach US$929.30 million in 2024, growing at 7.26% annually. The country’s spectacles market is also experiencing remarkable growth. Approximately 1.5% of adults are blind, while 21.6% have low Vision, and about 15 lakh children suffer from vision disorders. Factors like prolonged screen time, diabetes, and hypertension contribute to the rise in vision disorders, including myopia. Over 200,000 people received eye treatment in 2020, supported by 1,300 eye specialists in Bangladesh. 

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 Disclosure. None: The 20 Countries With Worst Vision Problems  is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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