Medical Costs per Person

While vision correction of refractive error is the most costly disorder overall due to the high use of these services, per-person vision correction costs are lower than all other disorders at $81 per person, per year. Medical costs attributable to self-reported low vision without a diagnosis are the next least costly at $734 per year.

Medical costs for any diagnosed medical disorder averages $3,432 per year. Among the medical diagnoses, diagnosed blindness or low vision is the most costly condition at $6,680 per year. Retinal disorders among persons without or with diabetes are the next costly, at $3,740 and $3,640 per person, respectively. Cataracts cost $3,480 per year. All per-person medical costs are lowest among children and highest among the age 40-64 age group.

Figure 7/Table 6.2 Per-person annual medical costs by disorder*

Vision Disorder Age 0-17 Age 18-39 Age 40-64 Age 65+ All ages
Blindness and low vision 1490 2820 5870 10020 6680
Retinal disorder, no diabetes 830 1690 2730 4210 3740
Retinal disorder, with diabetes 770 1610 2930 3950 3640
Cataracts 810 1410 2640 3730 3480
Strabismus 1750 3090 4120 9500 2370
Glaucoma and optic nerve 350 910 1490 2580 2170
Other 630 1290 1850 3130 2020
Disorders of the globe 500 960 1610 2780 1440
Conjunctivitis, lacrimal/eye lid 500 1000 1540 2750 1290
Injuries and burns 410 830 990 1910 950
Undiagnosed low vision 189 505 825 703 734
Refractive error 36 61 103 83 81

*Costs not controlled for presence of other disorders, Differences in condition costs are not statistically significant.