Title: Future Sight Loss UK 1: Economic Impact of Partial Sight and Blindness in the UK adult population.

Author: Access Economics, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2009.


Access Economics was commissioned by RNIB to estimate the economic impact of partial sight and blindness. This report based on 2008 figures is now superseded by a more recent version for the year 2013.

The report comprises of the following estimates for the year 2008:    

Prevalence of sight loss by age, gender, ethnicity, severity, and major cause.    

  • Future projections by decade to the year 2050.    
  • Direct health system costs of sight loss.    
  • Indirect cost of sight loss, such as informal carer costs.    
  • Burden of disease, measured in terms of disability adjusted life years.    
  • Economic evaluation of four hypothetical eye care programs.

Key findings  

  •  In 2008 there were an estimated 1.8 million people living with sight loss in the UK.    
  • The number of people living with sight loss is increasing each year, and is set to double by 2050.    
  • Sight loss places a large economic cost on the UK, totalling an estimated £22 billion in 2008.    
  • Direct health care system costs amount to £2.15 billion.