To mark World Sight Day (11 October), optical organisations and companies have announced what activity they are doing to draw attention to blindness and visual impairment.
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with the UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA) and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to launch a set of national patient standards, which are designed to improve care for eye clinic patients.
The hospital said that it is a first in the UK to set national standards specifically for patients with sight problems and eye conditions.
Patients, charities and eye care practitioners have developed the standards, which highlight the importance of patient support, and state that all eye clinics should have an eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO) and adhere to the RNIB ECLO Quality Framework.
Consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and chair of the UKOA, Melanie Hingorani, said that patients in eye clinics have very specific needs.
“This new document brings together all the relevant guidance, combined with professional expert views and what patients have told us is important, to give one comprehensive standard for patient care and patient experience in eye clinics. This is a fantastic example of how professionals and patients working together can make a difference,” Ms Hingorani said.
Johnson & Johnson Vision (JJV) is encouraging the public to #spotlightsight for World Sight Day as part of its campaign to raise awareness of the importance of eye health.
The company is asking the public to donate to Lions Club International Foundation, Sight for Kids or the Himalayan Cataract Project and share a photo on social media using the hashtag.
Throughout this week, a spotlight is also being shone into the sky from the JJV headquarters in Florida (pictured) and California.
Regional vice president at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Sandra Rasche, said: “Across the world there remains significant unmet need in eye health. At JJV, we want to change that. As we work towards tackling this challenge, supporting and raising awareness of preventable vision impairment is critical.”
Essilor is calling on drivers to put vision first when driving and has produced posters and social media campaign packages that can be downloaded by independent practice owners.
Corporate social responsibility director, Nigel Corbett, at Essilor, said: “Our message to drivers is that we all share the same roads, yet poor vision is an area of unaddressed disability with massive public road safety consequences from drivers whose eyes are not fit for the road or who are simply a victim of dangerous winter glare.”
He added that the company is urging drivers to check their vision regularly, wear appropriate spectacles and protect their eyes from glare.
Eyewear company WestGroupe and Optometry Giving Sight have partnered with the CNIB Foundation in Canada for the #WithoutMySight challenge.
Blind and visually impaired champions have been recruited to raise awareness and understanding of what life is like without sight.
The challenge is calling on the public to complete a daily task, such as making a coffee, applying makeup or making a sandwich, blindfolded.
Participants are being asked to donate to Optometry Giving Sight, record a 30-second video of them attempting the challenge, upload it to social media and nominate three people using the hashtag and tagging in WestGroupe.
President of WestGroupe, Michael Suliteanu, said: “We are dedicated to a nurturing partnership that will not only promote healthy vision but also hope for a world where universal access to quality vision care services is both affordable and accessible to those in need.”
Optical Express has created three visual puzzles which are designed to give your eyes a fun workout for World Sight Day.
One puzzle challenges people to spot the laser eye surgery patient among a group of spectacles wearers, another puzzle is a Snellen Chart of the alphabet with a missing letter, and the final one challenges you to help a farmer find his glasses in a field of cows.
Clinical services director at Optical Express, Stephen Hannan, said: “We want to bring awareness, as part of World Sight Day, to just how many people around the world suffer with impaired vision, which in a large number of cases can be avoided. Hopefully by taking part in the Optical Express puzzles today, people will take a moment to appreciate their sight, brining eye health to the forefront of our minds.”
The International Opticians Association (IOA) is supporting World sight Day with three tops for the public to improve their sight on the road.
Drivers are encouraged to check their vision regularly, protect their eyes from glare and wear appropriate spectacles.
President of the IOA, Fiona Anderson, said: “As a driver, passenger and pedestrian I, for one, do not take my sight for granted and urge all in the optical sector to support vision and driving this World Sight Day.”