This Thursday, October 9th is World Sight Day. World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment and is held annually. In keeping with the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan, the theme is Universal Eye Health with a focus on No More Avoidable Blindness.
Why eye health?
FACT: 696 million people are needlessly blind or vision impaired.
FACT: 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable.
FACT: Low vision significantly affects an individual’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
FACT: Globally, around 223.4 million people have a vision impairment, 32.4 million are blind, around 80% of which is avoidable or treatable.
FACT: In addition to this, 517 million people globally are vision impaired from uncorrected refractive error from presbyopia (distance vision), which is correctable with a pair of glasses.
FACT: With a rapidly increasing aging population the costs of eye care will continue to increase faster than the population, to more than double current rates.
Generally, people with uncorrected vision impairment can be less independent than those with normal vision and are more likely to:
- Suffer twice as many falls, often leading to hospitalization
- Easily lose confidence in their ability to manage everyday life
- Have three times the risk of depression
- Be admitted to nursing homes up to three years earlier than those without vision impairment.
What can we do to protect our sight?
- Have regular comprehensive eye exams.
- Eat healthy and exercise.
- Quit smoking, or better yet, never start.
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors.
- Wear protective goggles for risky tasks at work and at home.
Information and statistics for World Sight Day taken from: http://www.iapb.org/wsd14 ; http://www.vision2020australia.org.au/events/world-sight-day