Eye conditions

Over two million people living in the UK have sight loss. We'll give you a few facts about sight loss, as well as the low down on the most common eye conditions people experience in the UK. Find out how they impact on sight and what treatment is available.

Common eye conditions

There are a huge variety of different eye conditions, and each one affects vision in different ways. We’ve listed information on some of the more common visual impairments below:

Service user wearing tinted glasses

Discover some of the little known facts that surround sight loss –

Did you know?

  • Sight loss affects people of all ages but especially older people: 1 in 5 people aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90 and over are living with sight loss
  • Most people with a visual impairment have some useful sight – only 7% of people registered partially or severely sight impaired have no vision at all
  • A visual impairment is a eye condition that can’t be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses
  • Having regular eye tests is the most important thing you can do to protect your sight – over 50% sight loss is preventable! You should be having your eyes tested every two years, and even more frequently if recommended by a professional
  • There are over 25,000 blind and partially sighted children in Britain. That is equal to 2 in 1,000 children. As many as half of these children may have other disabilities
  • There is a link between sight loss and reduced wellbeing. Over one-third of older people with sight loss are also living with depression
  • Nearly two-thirds of people living with sight loss are women
  • Two-thirds of registered blind and partially sighted people of working age are not in paid employment
  • 90% of employers view people with a visual impairment as ‘impossible’ to employ
  • Every day in the UK another 100 people start to lose their sight
  • Sitting too close to the TV and reading in dim light does not damage eyesight
  • Smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight in later life than non-smokers

Statistics: RNIB, Department of Health, Henshaws, McLaughlan, Eyecare Trust, UK Vision Strategy

Read more news, stories and advice for sight loss

Service user takeover: Meet Hadisa

Meet Hadisa, a Henshaws service user who shares her experience of living with a visual impairment. Learn how Henshaws has supported her.

Disclaimer of medical liability
Although we have taken care to give correct and current information, we can’t guarantee accuracy and completeness for each individual. If you, or someone you know has a visual impairment, you should always seek advice from a qualified doctor or eye specialist. We can’t take responsibility if you rely on this information alone.

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