Line separator

RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

The cost of vision loss and blindness in Canada

AUTHOR:

Canadian Council of the Blind

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

Canadian Council of the Blind

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2021

PUBLICATION:

Delloite Access Economics

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 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).