The cost of vision loss and blindness in Canada
An estimated 1.2 million Canadians were living with vision loss and blindness (referred to as “VL”) in 2019. This represents 3.2% of the population.
VL was defined in this report as the best possible vision that can be achieved after correction using glasses or lenses where visual acuity is better than <20/40.
More than 8 million Canadians are living with eye disease from one of four conditions: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetic retinopathy (DR) and glaucoma.
Furthermore, almost everyone over the age of 50 will have some problems with their sight which may benefit from correction.
Our research estimates the total cost of VL in Canada in 2019 at $32.9 billion.
This consists of the total financial cost of VL of $15.6 billion and the cost of lost wellbeing of $17.4 billion.
The major components of cost include: healthcare system costs ($9.5 billion), productivity and informal caregiving losses ($4.3 billion) and the value of reduced quality of life or loss of wellbeing ($17.4 billion), which is a nonfinancial cost.
Largely in line with overall population demographics, the costs of VL were greatest in Ontario ($13.0 billion) followed by Quebec ($7.6 billion), British Columbia ($4.5 billion) and Alberta ($3.5 billion).