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A world not in focus

As the profession marks World Sight Day today, what does vision mean to you?

Person holding glasses up

Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine what it would be like if you lost your sight, fully or partially? Would you still be able to work, play your favourite sport, or cook your own food? Now imagine if someone gave you a pair of spectacles and the world suddenly became clearer. Or that you underwent a simple cataract operation and everything that was once blurry came back into focus.

You might think that I am describing the state of the world’s eye health a century ago. However, this week I read that over one billion people across the globe are visually impaired as a result of not having access to eye care for conditions such as long and short sightedness, cataracts and glaucoma. And this number is set to grow further still as a result of global growth and an ageing population.

The statistics, which were released by the World Health Organization in the first-ever World Report on Vision, offer insight into the prevalence of visual impairment globally, the impact this has on individuals and economies, and addresses the increasing need for eye care.

Today is World Sight Day, a global opportunity to raise awareness of blindness and visual impairment.

Industry and organisations across optics have been getting involved to raise awareness and fund for the cause. From Johnson & Johnson Vision’s new campaign to share the untold stories of practitioners, patients and organisations who are raising awareness of eye health globally to Zeiss highlighting its Aloka Vision Programme that provides basic eye care to people living in rural areas of India.

CooperVision has raised more than $3m (USD) for Optometry Giving Sight through World Sight Day celebrations over the last seven years and will continue by hosting a range of fundraising

Are you doing anything to promote World Sight Day today? If so, we would like to know. Share your activities with us via the comments below

Image credit: Getty/yangqi