Eye Care

Importance of Eye Care

Vision loss results in significant economic costs for the patients, their carers and the rest of society. While age-related visual impairments are increasing as the global population ages, inherited forms of vision loss are a significant contributor to economic and social costs of blindness. This is because they affect babies, young children and young adults and therefore can affect the entire life of a person. Vision loss affects not just the individual. It impacts the caregivers, family and community.

This can result in a significant cost burden. The quality of life and emotional distress of severely visually impaired people has been shown to be similar or worse than that of other serious chronic illnesses such as stroke, which translates to a high cost. In terms of economic burden on the health system, the overall cost of visual disorders in Australia, for example, was found to be seventh of all diseases, ahead of well-known diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, depression and stroke.

Determining the economic impact of visual impairment and relevant interventions is highly important as demand on health systems continue to increase. Therefore, understanding the broad range of direct and indirect costs and real effects on people is vital as almost all treatments aim to prevent or reduce these costs. They can be measured as an ‘incremental cost effectiveness ratio’ (ICER). As resources in health systems are finite and under increasing demand, a clear understanding of the economic impact of any disease is necessary for these finite resources to be prioritised to be most effective.

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