Summary: The number of people affected by blindness or vision impairment in Ireland is growing enormously. These projected increases are due to an ageing population in this country.
It is estimated that the number of blind people in the Republic of Ireland (using World Health Organisation definitions) aged 55 years and over is likely to increase by 170% between 2006 and 2031. The number of people who are vision impaired in Ireland (using World Health Organisation definitions) aged 55 and over will increase by 180% between 2006 and 2031.
The current estimates and projections of future burden have huge implications for ophthalmology service requirements and the organisations providing rehabilitation and other support services in Ireland over the next 25 years.
Eyes on the Future: a study into the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment in Ireland.
The report entitled Eyes on the Future: A study into the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment in Ireland, 2008 was comissioned by VISPA (Vision Impaired Services Providers Alliance) and launched at its inaugural conference on 9th October 2008 to celebrate World Sight Day.
The study was commissioned to attain a more accurate picture of the potential prevalence of sight loss in Ireland. To do this, VISPA enlisted Professor Jonathan Jackson, Royal Victoria Hospital and Queen’s University Belfast, and Professor Colm O’Brien, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin, to lead the first stages of a study into this subject. The results of the study are detailed in this report.