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Vision Impact Institute Releases Study On Corrective Lens Wearers In The U.S.

By Essilor News

Don't think poor vision is a problem? Think again. Impaired vision is actually the most widespread disability in the world. It affects 4.2 billion people around the globe, but according to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of all visual impairment can be avoided and/or cured. Recently, Prevent Blindness released a study estimating that the U.S. population collectively lost 283,000 life years in 2013 due to uncorrected vision problems.

With vision problems affecting so many people, the Vision Impact Institute, an organization that advocates for new research into vision economics and treatment of visual impairment, decided to take a look at how many people in the United States are actually taking care of their vision. The study reviewed the number of people in the U.S. who wear corrective lenses and how often they wear them.

Who wears corrective lenses?
According to the Vision Impact Institute research, 3 out of 4 people in the U.S. have vision correction, and of those people, 71% wear glasses and 22% wear contacts.

However, the number of people wearing corrective glasses or contacts changes drastically as people age. Only 59% of people ages 25-39 wear correctivelenses, while 93% of people between the ages of 65 and 75 wear corrective lenses. The proportion of wearers rapidly increases after the age of 45. This jump in the numbers can be attributed to presbyopia.

When are people wearing corrective lenses?
The study also found that people are most likely to wear corrective lenses while driving, with 73% of people wearing glasses or contacts every time they get behind the wheel. On the contrary, 27% of glasses wearers never wear their corrective lenses when driving.

Additionally, 41% of people needing vision correction don't wear their corrective lenses while participating in a leisure activity like playing a sport, cooking dinner, or gardening.

The study also found that people between the ages of 16 and 25 are looking at screens (e.g. tablets, phones, and computers) more than 3 hours per day. All that screen time can lead serious problems like age-related macular degeneration. If you find yourself using your electronic devices more than three hours a day, talk to your eye doctor about lenses that selectively filter out harmful blue light that comes from LED screens.

What does this information mean?
While 3 out of 4 people in America wear corrective lenses, up to 41% of those people should wear them more regularly. In fact, the study found that between11% and 16% of people rarely wear their glasses or contacts. Even if you feel like your vision isn't that bad, you should still schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor to find out if you need vision correction and when to wear corrective lenses.