Bausch + Lomb’s Barometer of Global Eye Health Fact Sheet

BL_EyeChart_Myth1Bausch + Lomb surveyed more than 11,000 people in 11 countries (Brazil, China, Germany, France, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.) to gauge current eye health habits and perceptions.  Bausch + Lomb initially collaborated with more than 140 unpaid eye health professionals from 26 countries to construct the survey to ensure the questions were relevant and would yield important consumer insights.  The findings will be used to inform and augment existing educational programming in an effort to further inform patients about the importance of regular comprehensive eye health – not only for their eyes, but also for their health in general.  Bausch + Lomb is a trusted partner to the eye health professional, working with them to help elevate the discussion and better educate their patients. The Barometer of Global Eye Health reflects the company’s commitment to raise eye health awareness, an important aspect of helping people see better, to live better.

Below are some of the surprising findings from Bausch + Lomb’s Barometer for Global Eye Health.  The full results of the survey are available upon request.

Major Findings

  • A vast majority of people surveyed think they are knowledgeable about eye health issues and proper eye care, but their actions suggest otherwise.
  • According to those surveyed, vision loss would have a severe negative impact on their quality of life compared to health behaviors/conditions they tended to monitor more closely or participate in more regularly.
  • If forced to choose, survey participants would give up just about anything to preserve their vision, showing it is truly their most valuable sense.
  • Many consumers don’t know that their eyes can be indicators of other health elements or issues.

Key Data

  • Seven out of ten report that they are knowledgeable about the topic, but only four in ten have had an eye exam in the last 12 months. 
  • Additionally, a sizeable portion of participants admit to falling for common eye health myths / misperceptions, such as “I don’t need an eye test unless there is a problem” (44%), and “If I can see, then my eyes must be healthy” (42%). 
  • 60% out of reported that vision loss would have a severe negative impact on their quality of life, compared to 21% who say the same for high blood pressure, 19% for high cholesterol, 23% for poor dental health.
  • Even though loss of vision poses a greater threat to their quality of life, respondents were actually much more likely to have checked their blood pressure (83%) or gotten a physical (71%), in the last one to two years than they were to get their eyes checked (65%).
  • An overwhelming number of participants indicated that they would rather lose their sense of taste (79%), hearing (78%), a limb (68%), or even 10 years of their life (67%) than lose their eyesight.
  • During regular exams, eye care professionals can identify signs of medical conditions that could become serious such as high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid disease – years before they are evident in other parts of the body.  
  • Globally, a significant number are unaware that the eyes provide a window into their overall health.  In fact, nearly 4 in 10 admit to mistakenly believing that the only reason to visit an eye doctor is for vision correction.

Survey Methodology

Bausch + Lomb worked with KRC Research, a leading global market research firm, to develop and field the Barometer of Global Eye Health survey.  KRC conducted a total of more than 11,000 interviews in 11 markets between May 25 and June 13, 2012. This included a total of 250 interviews were conducted in each of the following 10 cities within the U.S., namely Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Rochester, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and Miami. All interviews were conducted online.

The development of the Bausch + Lomb Barometer consisted of three phases – Ideation, Validation, and the Questionnaire; the first two phases are particularly unique to this index:

  • Phase 1 - Ideation: A global panel of 22 eye health professionals, including optometrists, ophthalmologists and eye care experts, was consulted to determine the most pressing and important eye health issues worldwide. Insights and discussion from this stage were used to develop the themes or topics for The Barometer in order to ensure it addressed the needs of eye health professionals.
  • Phase 2 - Validation: For the next phase, KRC surveyed 147 eye health professionals in 26 countries to validate and quantify the trends and issues uncovered in the Ideation phase. The analysis confirmed the consensus reached by the panel and demonstrated consistency among international experts regarding eye health, validating the need for the index questionnaire.
  • Phase 3 - The Index Questionnaire: Upon validation, an expansive audit of existing eye health information was conducted to develop an eight question survey. The questionnaire was then shared with, and completed by 11,813 respondents. The questions were consistent and did not vary from country to country.

For more information about Bausch + Lomb’s Barometer of Global Eye Health, or to view global and local results, read personal eye health stories, test your own eye health knowledge, find an eye care professional,  or view a video that helps further frame the importance of eye health, please visit

1 Bausch + Lomb Global Barometer of Eye Health, 2012.