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Eye Health Among African Americans

African American woman wearing glasses

African American eye health at a glance

  • More than 825,000 African Americans have diabetic retinopathy
  • African Americans are at higher risk for glaucoma at a much younger age than other populations
  • Nearly 190,000 African Americans have low vision

African Americans are at higher risk for some eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Many of these diseases don’t have symptoms at first, and can cause vision loss or blindness if they’re not treated.

African Americans 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.

Our Write the Vision initiative can help you spread the word about healthy vision among African Americans in your community. You can help prevent vision loss and blindness!

Share resources in your community

Write the Vision is a year-round, calendar-based initiative designed for African American audiences. We’ve developed monthly materials — including handouts, videos, and other resources — that you can use to share information about eye health, vision and aging, and eye diseases with African Americans in your community. 

Subscribe to Write the Vision

Get monthly emails with articles, slides, fact sheets, and infographics that can help you promote healthy vision, and prevent vision loss and blindness all year long.

Spread the word on social media

We’ve developed social media resources specifically for African American audiences. Share our social media posts, videos, and infographics to help African Americans in your community learn about eye health.

Last updated: June 26, 2019