The number of Americans with blindness is expected to rise over the next 30 years. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recently released new figures highlighting the burden of vision loss in the U.S. The number of people with blindness is expected to double from 1.02 million in 2015 to 2.1 million by 2050. 

Presently, more than 12 million people over the age of 40 experience some form of blindness. The CDC predicts that the number of people with uncorrected refractive error will reach 16.4 million, up from 8.2 million. Rates are expected to be higher among non-Hispanic white people, with the second-highest rates projected to shift from African American adults to Hispanic Adults during this same time period. 

An aging population is also expected to push numbers higher, particularly among patients with cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Current projections show the number of people with cataracts will grow to more than 45 million by 2050, while the number of patients with diabetic retinopathy is expected to reach more than 13 million.

A previous study by the CDC found that vision loss will be among the top 10 disabilities among Americans in the coming years. 

Chronic disease will also be a factor in rising vision problems among U.S. adults. Rates of glaucoma are expected to top more than 5.5 million, and the number of people with macular degeneration is projected to reach more than 4.4 million. 

The economic cost of vision loss is expected to reach $373 billion by 2050. The CDC is calling on health professionals to work with patients to ensure they are getting their vision tested, noting that early detection and timely treatment of conditions like diabetic retinopathy can significantly prevent vision loss. CDC stats show that 90 percent of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable with proper eyecare.