Contact lenses and glasses cost the American public billions of dollars a year, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
The comments come in response to the National Eye Institute"s finding that the number of short-sighted Americans has risen by 66 per cent since the 1970s.
This increase will significantly affect healthcare costs in the US, the AAO says.
Currently, there are 47 million Americans over the age of 20 who suffer from myopia (short-sightedness) and they spend billions of dollars on contact lenses and glasses every year.
Additionally, the majority of laser eye surgery procedures in the US are carried out to treat myopia, the AAO says.
The academy is calling for a clearer understanding of the factors driving the increase so that appropriate measures can be taken.
Forty-five million Brits are currently put off having an eye test because of worries over the possible cost of the examination or eyewear that might be necessary as a result of it, according to the Eyecare Trust.
by Alexa Kaczka