World Sight Day is an international day of awareness that focuses attention on the global issue of eye health. The day is observed every year on the second Thursday of October. This year, World Sight Day 2021 falls on October 14th.
A different theme is chosen for each awareness day, aiming to focus global attention on vision impairment and blindness problems. This year, World Sight Day 2021 comes with yet another theme - Love Your Eyes.
Globally, at least a billion people have distance or near vision impairment, which medical health professionals could easily prevent or address. Vision impairments affect the lives of people of all age groups, most of them being over the age of 50. Vision impairment and blindness have significant, often long-lasting effects on almost all aspects of people’s lives, including their personal lives, interaction and relationship with their community, education and work opportunities, and ability to access and rely on public services.
Some of the leading global causes of vision impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and unoperated cataracts. Other causes here can include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, infections, or any form of trauma in and around the eye. These causes cannot and should not be ignored and must be addressed at the earliest possible stage.
At the recently held 74th World Health Assembly, the Member States adopted new global eye-care targets that need to be fulfilled by 2030. The two targets are:
1. A 40% increase in effective and adequate coverage of refractive errors
2. A 30% increase in effective and adequate coverage of cataract surgeries.
These targets are bound to play an integral role in increasing global eye care in the future and delivering qualitative services.
The Lions Clubs International and their partner, blindness prevention organizations, commemorated the first World Sight Day in October 1998. The event was later integrated into VISION 2020, a global initiative that the International Agency for the Prevention for Blindness (IAPB) coordinates.
This initiative is a co-program between IAPB and WHO, involving various non-Government organizations, professional associations, eye-care institutions, and corporations.
The gift of eyesight is significant. Nature has offered us a vision to see, observe and analyze the world's beauty with our keen eyes. World Sight Day 2021 is important, advocating various policies and resources towards better health of our eyes. The day also aims at promoting better health care policies and health principles that focus exclusively on eyesight.
When people realize the necessity to enhance their physical and eye health, including eye hygiene, various infections can be kept at bay. Age-related eye problems are pretty common in many human beings, so the right preventative measures and diagnosis are necessary. Some of the most common issues related to vision are seen in older generations, which include myopia, diabetes-induced problems like retinal degeneration, and more.
However, every age group comes with its own set of unique eye and vision problems that can worsen with age. If these problems are not addressed at the earliest, it can also lead to permanent vision loss. Cataract diseases, refractive vision errors, glaucoma, etc., are examples of the same.
The best medical advice to maintain healthy eyes is to go in for regular eye checkups at special health centers. For all kinds of complications, raising awareness and emphasis on maintaining eye health is the need of the hour.
Signs Of Vision Problems And Eye Diseases
You might come across some symptoms of vision problems and eye diseases at any time in your life. But if you have not noticed any changes or complications yet, it does not mean you should not get regular eye checkups done. On World Sight Day, you should pledge to get your eyes regularly checked. This is especially important if you suffer from a chronic health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. Getting your eyes regularly checked leads to early detection and treatment, leading to vision loss prevention.
Any form of change in your eye appearance or vision should be investigated at the earliest. Some examples can include:
1. Unusual troubles adjusting to darker rooms
2. Squinting and/or blinking because of unusual sensitivity to light and glare
3. Difficulty focussing on distant or nearby objects
4. Red-rimmed, swollen, and encrusted eyelids
5. Double vision
6. Change in the color of your iris
7. Dark sports at the center of the viewing
8. Watery eyes or excessive tears
9. Lines and edges appearing distorted or wavy
10. Seeing spots or ghost-like shapes
11. Dry eyes that burn or itch
The following can be clear indications of a potentially serious problem that requires immediate medical attention:
1. Blurred vision
2. Sudden haziness
3. Black spots and flashes of light
5. Rainbows around light
6. Curtain like blotting of vision
7. Loss of side/peripheral vision
How To Observe World Sight Day 2021?
Over 600 million people around the world are today functionally blind because they do not have access to the proper eye exams and glasses. Sight can make a massive difference in the lives of those living in poverty, without a life of opportunities. Enabling the power of sight for someone increases their chances of living a better, healthier, and more fulfilling life.
On October 14th, as we observe World Sight Day 2021 with the theme “Love Your Eyes,” we focus our attention on global blindness and vision impairment issues. Not only does the day of observance have a significant impact on our lives, but it also has a mission that offers us an opportunity to practice the right policies and get involved in raising awareness. This Thursday, you too can show people around you that you care about the gift of sight.
Spreading awareness through social media
World Sight Day 2021 is the perfect opportunity to write a quick Facebook post or a Tweet, or even share a post on Instagram using the #WorldSightDay. You can simply write “Happy #WorldSightDay” to raise awareness. You can also choose and tag along your favorite healthcare center or vision care non-profit organization to highlight the importance of the day.
You can also post a picture of your favorite sight, like the beach or your family portrait, and tag your image with the #WorldSightDay.
You can practice pledging a donation towards your desired non-profit organization or your healthcare center. You can donate towards a day of eye exam fees or an amount towards every frame of spectacles sold. Optometry companies also hold fundraisers, inviting people to donate throughout October. You can also publicize and share your donation pledges across social media platforms with the #WorldSightDay.
World Sight Day 2021 Challenge
Various non-profit organizations across the globe have hundreds of various vision centers in multiple countries. Organizations like Optometry Giving Sight hold World Sight Day challenges, which are usually significant annual global fundraising events that focus on addressing the problems of vision loss, avoidable blindness, and other vision impairments caused by the simple need for eyeglasses and eye exams.
Participate in such challenges. They are fun and easy ways to raise awareness and advocate for the right resources throughout the world.
Observation Of World Sight Day 2021
Vision loss can rise to almost 1.7 billion people by 2050 if significant attention and investments are not made to raise awareness about sight problems. Vision loss can also lead to approximately $410.7 billion lost in terms of productivity every year.
Eye care services will not be able to cope with future needs if we do not raise awareness and act on them right now. Don’t let people not get access to eye care services. Vision is a gift. This World Sight Day 2021, pledge equal access to eye care facilities for everyone.
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