Refractive error in underserved adults: Causes and potential solutions

V. Swetha E. Jeganathan, Alan L. Robin, Maria A. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: To evaluate the epidemiology of uncorrected refractive errors (URE) in adults both in the United States and globally, health outcomes impacted by URE, common barriers to treatment, and propose potential interventions. Recent findings: URE is the main cause of visual impairment and the second leading cause of blindness globally. Rates of URE are rising, and cause disability that reduces productivity, economic earnings, and the quality of life of affected individuals. Economic barriers, healthcare access, and sociocultural constraints are among the most fundamental barriers to correcting URE. However, innovative approaches are poised to lower rates of URE. Summary: URE is a leading cause of preventable visual impairment with serious health consequences. Numerous social and financial barriers are associated with the high prevalence of URE in low-income adults. Novel delivery programs for eyeglasses and programs to provide refractive surgery to correct refractive error could decrease rates of URE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • eyeglasses
  • global health
  • refractive error
  • uncorrected refractive error
  • visual impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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