PURPOSE To examine projections of age-related eye diseases in the United States for health care planning.
METHODS Review of published scientific articles, census data, and unpublished research findings.
RESULTS The numbers of cases of all age-related eye diseases are expected to rise in the coming years. These projections are primarily based upon population projections, but give little consideration to changes in health behaviors, racial/ethnic differences, environmental exposures, and changes in health care practices that may influence estimates of costs of actual health care burden.
CONCLUSIONS Ongoing monitoring of trends in eye disease distribution is needed rather than projections based on old data that may be inadequate for generating reliable prediction models. There is a perpetual need to train new researchers with expertise in epidemiology, as the exigency for current prevalence estimates is crucial to maximize optimal visual health in the population.