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Eye Health Among Black/African American People

African American woman getting an eye exam.

Black/African American eye health at a glance

  • More than 825,000 Black/African American people have diabetic retinopathy — and this number could be more than 1 million by 2030 

  • Black/African American people are at higher risk for glaucoma at younger ages 

  • Nearly 190,000 Black/African American people have a visual impairment

Black/African American people are at higher risk for some eye diseases, like cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Many of these diseases: 

  • Are linked to other health conditions that affect overall health, like diabetes or high blood pressure 

  • Don’t have symptoms at first 

  • Can cause vision loss or blindness if they’re not treated. 

In fact, Black/African American people have some of the highest rates of vision loss and blindness caused by eye disease — and these rates are getting higher. The good news is that comprehensive dilated eye exams can find many of these eye diseases early, when they’re often easier to treat.

To help spread the word about the importance of taking care of eye health, we’ve created our Eye Health, My Health campaign! This campaign builds on our retired Write the Vision campaign and promotes eye health as an important part of overall health for Black/African American communities. Read more to see how you can get involved and raise awareness of steps Black/African American people can take to protect their vision.

Share resources in your community

We’ve developed materials like fact sheets, a family conversation starter, and tips for getting help paying for eye care. You can use these resources to share information about eye health with Black/African American people in your community.

Spread the word on social media

We’ve created social media resources to make it easy to spread the word! Share our social media graphics and posts to help make sure all Black/African American people know how to protect their vision.

Last updated: February 9, 2023