theme of the World Sight Day 2016 is Universal Eye Health with a call to action
Through this message, the organizers hope to
bring more individuals under the umbrella of eye care. There are several
professionals like ophthalmologists, optometrists and ophthalmic nurses who are
responsible for maintaining eye health by providing regular eye examinations
and timely treatments.
‘Of all the senses, sight must be the most delightful.- Helen Keller’
In addition, patient
caregivers play an important role to help people with reduced vision carry on
with their normal lives. Patients with vision impairment complete the group.
The IAPB hopes to include more individuals in the diabetic community
, the irreparably
blind, vulnerable groups including those with other disabilities in this group,
especially those who do not receive eye examinations on a regular basis.
Through this attempt, it hopes to increase the strength of the group and
achieve its goal - stronger together.
Blindness is a difficult
situation for anybody to be in. It is not easy for a person with blindness to
live in a disability-unfriendly world. Here are some facts on blindness:
- There are around 285 million people
in the world who are visually impaired, out of which 39 million are
- Around 80%
cases of visual impairment can either be prevented or treated. Therefore,
around 4 out of every 5 blind people could have enjoyed vision if they had
access to eye care at the required time.
- The majority of
visually impaired people live in the developing countries.
The theme of the World
Sight Day 2016 is in concurrence of the WHO Global Action Plan 2014 - 2019. The
Global Action Plan aims to reduce the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment
by 25% by 2019 from what was recorded in 2010.
Some of the ways in
which more people can avoid vision impairment and blindness include the
- Eye care should be available free
of cost especially to the poorest of individuals. It should be easily
accessible even in remote areas
- Awareness about the
importance of regular eye care should be created so that any eye problem can be
detected and treated at the earliest
especially vitamin A deficiency
should be treated at the earliest. Vitamin A deficiency initially causes night
blindness that can progress to vision loss if not addressed on
- Caution should be exercised in conditions that can
affect the eyes like watching fireworks or a solar eclipse. Sunglasses should
be used to protect against the ultraviolet rays of the
- The eyes should not be rubbed and objects should not
be inserted into the eye since there could be damage to the eye or introduction
of an infection. It is noteworthy that the number of cases of blindness due to
infection has reduced in the past two decades
government should conduct surveys regarding the presence of eye disease and the
need for eye care facilities, and provide the necessary equipment and eye care
specialists to deal with the issue
- Since cataract is a common cause of blindness in the older age group, adequate surgical facilities should be made available to treat it.
Cataract can be treated with a simple surgery to remove the foggy lens and
replace it with an artificial one. It is also important that the surgical camps
should maintain sterility and all precautions so that blindness does not occur
because of surgical complications or infection.
diabetes can cause irreversible eye damage, patients with diabetes should get
eye tests regularly. High blood pressure should also be kept under control to
prevent eye damage
- Glaucoma can often silently cause irreversible eye damage, and
may be detected only by regular eye checks
- Smoking should
be discouraged. Smoking can affect the eyes by increasing the risk for
conditions like cataract and age-related macular degeneration
Since people nowadays
live a longer life, the vision has to be preserved so that it lasts for a
lifetime. We can take the first step on this World Sight Day by going for an
eye checkup and taking our friends and family along with us as well.
- Internation Agency
for the Prevention of Blindness - (http://www.iapb.org/)