World Sight Day: an “unparalleled success”
As more than three million people have pledged to have their eyes tested through the #LoveYourEyes campaign, OT has gathered some tips for how to continue the momentum beyond World Sight Day
This World Sight Day more than three million people have pledged to have their eyes tested as part of the #LoveYourEyes campaign.
Taking place on 14 October the campaign, run by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), seeks to encourage the public to commit to getting their sight tested.
The campaign aims to both engage people with their own eye health and raise awareness of the 1.1 billion people around the world who live with preventable sight loss.
The organisers have warned that the need for people to get their sight checked is “more apparent now than ever” following the pandemic and lockdowns, “leading to more time spent on screens, less time spent outdoors, and missed sight tests.”
The IAPB highlighted projections that suggest half of the world’s population could be myopic by 2050, with up to one fifth of those affected at significant risk of blindness.
The organisers also pointed to research in China which found the number of children diagnosed with myopia doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year, while recent research in the UK found that almost 3000 people are thought to have lost vision due to delays in the identification and treatment of eye disease, with 4.3 million fewer sight tests carried out in 2020.
Describing the success of the campaign as “unparalleled,” CEO of IAPB, Peter Holland, commented: “I’ve been delighted and proud of what we have done together. Every test pledged, every screening held, and every social media message sent has meant that we were able to reach more people than ever before with over three million pledging to love their eyes.”
The scale of the challenge we face is immense. The pandemic struck a massive blow to global eye health, and we must continue to act to save millions from unnecessary blindness
He cautioned however, “The scale of the challenge we face is immense. The pandemic struck a massive blow to global eye health, and we must continue to act to save millions from unnecessary blindness.”
As part of the campaign, sight tests have been carried out in some of the world’s most famous sights, such as Tower Bridge in London, Mount Everest, and Brooklyn Bridge.
Organisations are getting involved in the awareness day, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) backing the campaign and sharing public advice, while game company, Xbox, marked the day with content for gamers who are blind or have low vision.