According to a study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology there are over 200,000 eye doctors in practice across the world. However, this is not enough to keep up with the current needs of developing countries and the increasing demands of aging populations.
The study findings are based on an International Council of Ophthalmology survey that involved 213 ophthalmic societies in 193 countries between March and April 2010.
Results showed that in 2010, half of the 205,000 ophthalmologists were in the USA, China, Japan, India, Russia, and Brazil.
In 23 countries, the researchers found less than 1 ophthalmologist per million of the population, 30 countries had 1-4 ophthalmologists per million of the population, 48 countries had 4-25 per million, and 74 countries had 25-100 per million of the population.
In higher-income countries, researchers say there are not enough ophthalmologists to keep up with the increasing number of individuals aged 60+ who will require their care.