Week of Sight

8 - 15 October 2018

36 million people around the globe are blind.1

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80 percent of blindness in the world is avoidable.2

According to estimates from the WHO, global output could be increased by roughly 271 billion US dollars if all patients with severe visual impairments received the appropriate eyewear.3

Good and healthy vision for everyone

Did you know that 625 million people are threatened by blindness?

The good news to start with: the figures have dropped since 2014. Fewer people in the world now suffer from avoidable blindness. While the World Health Organization estimated that there were 39 million blind people worldwide in 2014, the figure of 36 million for 2015 is slightly lower. The global Vision 2020 program for combating avoidable blindness is now bearing fruit.

Close your eyes for ten minutes ...
... asks Dr. Rainald Duerksen, ophthalmic surgeon at the Fundación Visión clinic in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Global Vision Crisis

However, the global crisis in relation to the number of uncorrected visual defects that could be removed by eyeglasses or contact lenses is worsening. 2.2 billion people do not currently have access to eye care, 625 million people have to live with defective vision or the threat of blindness because there are simply no eye doctors or optometrists in their country who could examine their eyes and fit the appropriate eyewear. However, defective vision will increase around the globe in the future – because, for example, the world population will grow faster than the number of optometrists, making it increasingly difficult to guarantee widespread eye care. But also because our modern lifestyle poses new challenges to good and healthy vision. Experts estimate that 1 billion people will be affected by high myopia, or severe shortsightedness, in 2050.4

As a responsible company and a leading supplier of medical solutions for eye and vision care, ZEISS together with the Christoffel Mission for the Blind (CBM) and other partners is committed to ensuring that more people in all regions of the world gain access to this care.

Want to learn more about the work of the CBM and do your bit to help?

What glasses help when, and why early detection is so important: what everyone should know about good vision is contained in the brochure “A Clear View of Life“.

253 million people in the world are visually disabled. In other words, they suffer from an eye disease or have a severe visual impairment.8

Around 90 percent of these people live in developing countries with low to medium wage levels.1

ZEISS activities around the world

How we work with partners in preventing blindness and poor vision worldwide


By 2050 more than 50 percent of the world’s population = people will be myopic, 1.000.000 will suffer from High Myopia.6

625.000.000 people worldwide would need vision correction but can’t get it.7

Initiatives supported by ZEISS

Eye and sight

Two lessons from the Himalayas

A pair of glasses: a luxury for some

Aloka Vision Programme

Hope in sight

With visionary, customized medical and technological solutions from ZEISS

Interview with Dr. Aline de Araujo, ophthalmologist at Telessaude

1 ophthalmologist

for 219.000 inhabitants (India).⁵

1 eye care professional

for 1.680 inhabitants (Germany)⁵

The figures apply to 2015.


1 Bourne, R. A. et al.: Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In: The Lancet, Global Health, Volume 5, No. 9, e888–e897, September 2017.

2 Blindness: Vision 2020 - The Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness. Fact Sheet Number 213.

3 Global Data on Visual Impairment: Global Action Plan Vision 2020, World Health Organization, 2012

4 Ophthalmology. 2016 May;123(5):1036-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Feb 11. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26875007

5 2010 Delhi Declaration, ZVA 2016

6 Brien Holden Vision Institute, 2016

7 Brien Holden Vision Institute, 2016

8 Vision Atlas, 2017: https://atlas.iapb.org/news/latest-global-blindness-vi-prevalence-figures-published-lancet/