The Global Vision Database has been established by an international consortium of ophthalmologists and optometrists with an interest in the epidemiology of eye disease. This group (called the Vision Loss Expert Group, VLEG) was created originally to assist the Global Burden of Disease Study in its quest for population-based data on prevalence of vision loss in order to prepare estimates of Disability- Adjusted Life Years for all diseases.
These estimates were published for 2010 (GBD 2010) and the group continue to assist the GBD Study with future outputs. During this process, the VLEG compiled an extremely comprehensive database of population-based prevalence eye surveys, dating from 1980 to 2014 from published and unpublished sources. As a result the VLEG were able to publish estimates of numbers blind and vision impaired by region worldwide by age, by sex and by cause. Working with the World Health Organisation, the group were able to model the change in cause-specific prevalence of vision loss over time, reporting recently the reduction in age-standardised blindness prevalence between 1980 and 2010. Recognising the importance of this global database of vision loss data and the contribution of the groups’s members (many of whom are the chief investigators of included studies), the group have been funded to maintain the database and make it accessible to any internet user through a visualisations project.