The majority of citizens in Northern Europe indicate that sight is the most important of their senses. Despite this, data on prevalence of vision loss and blindness is limited in the region. Prevalence estimates differ manifold when looking across various data sources. Lack of consensus regarding prevalence results in a risk of inadequate policy decisions, which again may put citizens suffering from vision loss and blindness at a disadvantage. Moreover, with aging populations, the number of citizens suffering from vision loss and blindness is set to rise in coming years unless preventive measures are taken.
Currently, access to eye care is limited for some citizens due to their place of residence or waiting lists for eye doctor visits. This is partly due to capacity-constrained healthcare sectors and particularly low supply of eye care in certain geographical areas. An improved division of labour between eye doctors, optometrists and opticians may help reduce the pressure on the healthcare sector and ease citizens’ access.
There is a business case for reducing vision loss and blindness as it levies a significant cost on public budgets and reduces GDP. This is due to reduced labour market participation as well as increased consumption of healthcare services and medicine among citizens suffering from vision loss and blindness when compared to the general population. However, it is possible to make a positive impact as we find it likely that more than 50 per cent of vision loss can be cured or prevented.
The main conclusions of our study are:
The study is commissioned by Specsavers.
The state of the nation reports will be made available below as they are published:
Download Transforming Eye Health in Denmark (in Danish)
Download Transforming Eye Health in Finland (in Finnish)
Download Transforming Eye Health in the Netherlands (in Dutch)
Transforming Eye Health in Norway (not yet published)
Transforming Eye Health in Sweden (not yet published)