As in every year, the second Thursday of October is World Sight Day. This important initiative is designed to focus attention worldwide on the issue of blindness and vision impairment.
The event, promoted by the WHO (World Health Organisation) and backed by IAPB (International Agency for Prevention of Blindness), will this year focus on the theme #LoveYourEyes.
According to the organisers, #LoveYourEyes refers to being aware of your own eyecare and health, and is aimed at raising global awareness on the importance of having eye tests and encouraging others to do the same.
Many events are being organised worldwide on the topic: seminars, discussions, screening campaigns and free eye tests.
The statisticsAccording to data released by the WHO, at least one billion people around the world have near or distant vision impairment which could have been prevented or still need to be addressed. Vision impairment issues affect people of all ages, with the majority being over 50 years old.
Damaged eyesight and blindness can create strong and longlasting effects on all aspects of life including daily activities, interaction with the community, educational and employment opportunities, and use of public transport. The main causes of eyesight deterioration are untreated cataracts and unaddressed refractive error. Other causes include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, corneal opacity and eye infections.