On the second Thursday in October, World Sight Day challenges everyone to focus on vision health, blindness, and vision impairment.
The day is both a call to action and a drive for awareness concerning vision care around the globe. Prevention of disease helps to reduce blindness and vision impairment. Beyond prevention, World Sight Day seeks to improve recognition and access to care for those who need services.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 285 million people of all ages are visually impaired. Causes of visual impairment include uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts. Sadly, 80% of all visual impairments are preventable. People with visual impairments who are poor simply lack the funds to access a pair of eyeglasses. Many others cannot afford cataract surgery, or there is no one in their community to perform the procedure.
Of those with visual impairments, 39 million are blind. Some of the most common causes of blindness include:
- Eye complications of diabetes
- Macular degeneration
- Traumatic injuries
In underdeveloped countries, infectious diseases are a primary cause of blindness. These diseases included herpes, trachoma, and leprosy. Vitamin A deficiencies also cause blindness. Retinopathy that develops in premature babies can also become blind.
From education, treatment, and programs, blindness awareness has come a long way in the last 20 years. At one time, braille readers and seeing-eye dogs were some of the most common ways to help blind people. Now, help for the blind or visually impaired includes special footwear that allows a blind person to walk in the right direction. Other technologies include bionic eyes and glasses that help the colorblind see color.
Not only does the day seek to improve services, but to improve how the world perceives those with vision impairments.
8 October 2020
14 October 2021
13 October 2022
12 October 2023
10 October 2024
9 October 2025
8 October 2026
14 October 2027
12 October 2028
11 October 2029