• Almost two thirds of adults, 66% of men and 62% of women, rated their eyesight as excellent or very good.
  • 8% of both sexes said that their eyesight was fair or poor. Fewer than 1% of adults were certified as blind or partially sighted.
  • Self-reported eyesight deteriorated with age for both men and women. Around a quarter of those aged 85 and over rated their eyesight as fair or poor.
  • 12% of men and 15% of women said they had an eyesight condition diagnosed by a doctor or optician. While very few people below the age of 45 had any diagnosed conditions, half or more of those aged 75 and over had at least one.
  • Cataracts were the most common condition with around one in 10 of men and women reporting they had the condition.

Eye tests

  • More women, 71%, than men, 59%, reported having eye tests at least every two years, the minimum frequency recommended by RNIB. As age rose, so did the frequency of eyesight tests. 
  • Over one third who experienced difficulties with long or short sight said that it limited their activities at least some of the time.  


  • Those in the lowest income households were around twice as likely to report fair or poor eyesight as those in the highest income households. 


  • Men and women in the North East reported the poorest eyesight, with over one in ten reporting fair or poor eyesight in this region.