Social and economic effects of blindness are vast. Blindness restricts mobility – around 75 percent of visually impaired people need assistance with daily tasks. The effects of blindness are felt by the community of on a practical level as children can’t attend school when they become caretakers for blind adults. Hundreds of children are denied the opportunity to receive a formal education and escape poverty. When a sighted person takes care of a blind loved one, they must stop working. This results in a long term economic and educational outcome that goes further than the blind adult.
Blind individuals and family who care for them struggle with reduced income potential and a decrease in productivity. Poverty amongst adults in Africa and Asia may be related to an inability to meet the social and economic roles, productive and leisure activities are impacted and contribute to poverty in these settings. The economic impact of blindness on a family shouldn’t be underestimated, sudden blindness of an individual in a family can impact survival especially when the family is struggling already.
Cataracts implicate families financially because of reduced productivity of the visually impaired person as well as for those who care for them. A recent publication shows that loss of productivity because of visual impairment is millions of rand yearly. The GDP loss annually is also millions. This cost can be lowered by limiting the prevalence of blindness and by decreasing the impact it has on productivity through accommodations in the work place.
The effects of a person’s blindness is felt by the community, mostly in community orientated cultures like those in developing countries.
It is known that as a disability, blindness leads to unemployment, which leads to loss of income, higher levels of poverty and hunger and low standards of living. This then results in limited accessibility and affordability of health care services, depriving those of education and other opportunities. All of these lead to early mortality and loss of economic productivity of a nation as a whole.