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Invited Commentary
May 5, 2022

Geographic Distribution of Visual Impairment and Access to Ophthalmologists

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 2Roger and Angie Karalis Johnson Retina Center, Seattle, Washington
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online May 5, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2022.1222

By 2050, an estimated 8.96 million people in the US are projected to have visual impairment or blindness.1 Visual impairment is a serious but often treatable problem with wide-ranging impacts on physical and mental health as well as ensuing burdens on productivity and quality of life. With an aging population, clinicians must not only find solutions to address the increasing demand for eye care services, but also consider the various risk factors that may lead to significant visual impairment. Accessibility to eye care has previously been reported as a barrier for high-risk populations.2 However, the association between the availability of eye care clinicians and the incidence of visual impairment has not been extensively studied, especially as it pertains to both ophthalmologists and optometrists.

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