Barriers to care penetrate all aspects within our healthcare system and ophthalmology is no exception. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 2.2 billion people worldwide have vision impairment, half of which are due to preventable causes and/or remain untreated. In the United States, 6 million people are reported to have visual impairment and over one million people are blind.2 The leading causes of blindness within the United States are macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.3 Management of these diseases require access to early detection, therapeutic intervention, and follow up care at regular intervals; for example, nearly half of Americans predicted to have glaucoma remain undiagnosed.4This unfathomable disparity in diagnosis emphasizes a desperate need to reflect on the obstacles that prevent patients from initiating and maintaining appropriate eye care. Here, we examine multiple domains of demographic and socioeconomic factors that influence access to care of common eye diseases in the United States in effort to inform future interventions and to improve eye health for all people.

Included in

Ophthalmology Commons