The World Sight Day is
observed on the second Thursday of October every year. The theme for this
year's World Sight Day is: No More Avoidable Blindness.
is a widespread problem
throughout the world, especially in the developing countries. As the average
age of people increases with increased life expectancy, vision problems are
also likely to increase. It is important to note that many of the vision
problems can be easily treated and prevented, which is possible if people are
aware of the conditions that can affect their sight. Some of the avoidable
causes of blindness include:
results due to clouding
of the lens in the eye. It usually occurs at an older age. Though not much can
be done to prevent it, cataract can be easily treated surgically by replacing
the lens with an artificial one. This surgery has now become a routine procedure
with very few complications.
Vitamin A deficiency: Vitamin A
affects the eyes
initially causing night blindness
and complete blindness in the later stages. Adequate supplementation of vitamin
A can help to avoid this condition.
is a condition that results in an increase in pressure within the eyeball. If
left untreated, it can cause blindness. Some people with glaucoma do not have
any symptoms. Therefore, it is necessary to get the eye pressure checked during
a routine eye checkup.
Diabetes: Diabetes causes diabetic
which in turn causes visual problems. People with
diabetes are also prone to other eye problems like cataract and glaucoma.
Therefore, a diabetic patient should have a well-controlled sugar level with
necessary medications. It is also important to get a regular eye checkup done to
detect any eye damage early.
Refractive errors: Refractive
should be detected and treated early with regular eye
examinations. Untreated errors may worsen with time with a resultant effect on
Eye infections: Eye
can cause blindness. Fortunately, the number of infections
causing blindness has reduced considerably in the last few years.
Most of the above conditions
can be easily prevented or treated, thereby preventing blindness. It is also
important to mention here, the gift of sight that each of us can give to others
after our death. The cornea
can be used to treat people with corneal blindness. This will ensure that a
part of us will live after our death!
The WHO Global Initiative to
Eliminate Avoidable Blindness, "VISION 2020: The Right to Sight", is
an endeavor by the WHO to eliminate avoidable blindness as a public health
problem by the year 2020. Let us all do our bit on this World Sight Day to
protect our eyesight and assist others in maintaining theirs!