• Cataract/Anterior Segment, Global Health

    In this study, investigators used existing epidemiologic evidence to model the global prevalence of presbyopia and vision impairment from uncorrected presbyopia.

    Study design

    The authors performed a systemic review and meta-analysis of presbyopia prevalence and spectacle-correction coverage. The resulting data was used to develop a model for estimating worldwide presbyopia prevalence and spectacle-correction coverage.


    The study estimates there were 1.8 billion people who suffered from presbyopia in 2015 globally. An estimated 826 million have near vision impairment due to inadequate or no vision correction. Thus, the unmet need for presbyopia correction is approximately 45% worldwide.

    The authors project that increasing myopia will offset future population aging, and expect a decrease in presbyopia prevalence to approximately 20% by 2050.

    People with presbyopia were more likely to have adequate optical correction if they resided in urban areas of more developed countries that have higher health expenditure and lower inequality. The greatest presbyopia burden was in rural areas of low-resource countries.


    The study was unable to model and adjust for hyperopia, so the numbers may be lower than reality due to latent hyperopia. The data was based on country-level Human Development Index, Gini coefficient and health expenditure, which are not as reliable in low-income countries. Lastly, there was no correlation to presbyopia and effect on activities of daily living; some lifestyles may not be based on near vision.

    Clinical significance

    Uncorrected presbyopia currently is the most prevalent cause of vision impairment. These findings show that presbyopia burden is immense worldwide, and not treated in a significant population.