Optical suppliers, industry organizations and magazines frequently release statistics to promote their latest products and programs. Most are quickly submerged in the endless flow of information we receive. Yet a few have stuck in my head. To paraphrase Rodgers and Hammerstein, these are a few of my favorite stats from 2011.

According to Essilor of America, 20 percent of eyeglass wearers sometimes drive without their prescription glasses and instead wear nonprescription sunglasses. This is scary. These people need to have a serious talk with their dispensers before they cause an accident.

The National Eye Institute estimates that over the next 30 years, the number of Americans that experience eye health issues will double because of aging baby boomers. However, a survey released by the Ocular Nutrition Society found that 55 percent of baby boomers worry about vision loss compared with 60 percent who worry about heart disease, and 62 percent who worry about cancer. We boomers like to think we’re forever young, but it seems we’re in denial about the oncoming epidemic of eye disease we’re facing. Tell your boomer patients to get their eyes checked now.

The American Optometric Association pointed out that as many as one in four U.S. students may be unable to partake in 3D learning activities due to underperformance of various aspects of the vision system that have gone undetected and untreated.The AOA deserves credit for recognizing the importance of 3D vision in education and urging parents to make sure their children get comprehensive eye exams.

L&T’s 2011 Premium Lens Study of Eyecare Practitioners found 55 percent of the retailers surveyed said that customized or personalized progressive lenses made up a greater proportion of their total lens sales in 2010 than they had in 2009. Here’s proof that the digital lens revolution has triumphed. That’s good news for ECPs and patients.

What are your favorite optical stats from 2011? Drop me an e-mail and let me know.

—Andrew Karp