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Cost of uncorrected vision

US Researchers quantify lost productivity worldwide caused by uncorrected vision

4th June 2009

The World Health Organisation has recently published a study in carried out by researchers from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of School of Public Health in Baltimore, Australia's International Center for Eyecare Education and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and the Vision Research Institute in Africa.

It asserts that uncorrected vision costs $269 billion annually in lost productivity worldwide.

The study was recently published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, in which it is estimated that nearly 158 million people globally suffer with vision impairment resulting from uncorrected refractive error, which can invariably be eliminated with an eye examination and vision correction.

"The economic gains that could be made if eyeglasses were provided to everyone in need are substantial," study author Kevin Frick of Johns Hopkins said in a statement.

"The Western Pacific region, which includes China and Vietnam, has the highest estimated number of cases of uncorrected refractive error at 62 million and is responsible for almost half of the potential loss of productivity. The Southeast Asia region, encompassing Bangladesh, India and Nepal, has 48.7 million cases."

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