In 2013, eye disorders and vision loss cost Americans $139 billion, according to Prevent Blindness America. Only heart disease, cancer, emotional disorders and pulmonary conditions are costing us more. Even hypertension, stroke and diabetes cost less than eye-health gone wrong. Not suprsingly, age is directly related to a higher number of reported vision problems with 8.57 percent of those surveyed over the age of 65 reporting total vision loss, while those under the age of 18 only reported 1.18 percent of respondents with total vision loss.
Kansas spends somewhere between $1-2 billion on eye disorders, while our neighbor Missouri spends between $2-3 billion. Cataracts are the most expensive disorder, costing Americans approximately $10.7 billion, and the next specific disorder, glaucoma, cost the country around $5.8 billion in 2013.
Costs per individual are highest for strabismus and blindness or low vision, but these costs vary widely, depending on the age of the person in question. For example, someone between the ages of 18-39 pays an average of $3,090 per year to treat their strabismus, but someone aged 65 or older will pay closer to $9,500 yearly to treat the same disorder.
Perhaps the largest and most shocking number to come out of the study, eye disorders and vision loss were estimated to have cost the U.S. $48.4 billion dollars in lost productivity in 2013!
So, the next time you’re thinking about skipping that eye exam, remember that the cost of poor vision adds up, not just for you but for the entire country. Do your part for your budget and the entire economy and make sure to see us regularly!
(This report is completely fascinating, so check it out: http://costofvision.preventbli…).