In case you haven’t heard already, this Thursday (October 13th) is World Sight Day! Though Thursday is the official day, we’re coming to you a few days early so you can get a head start on raising awareness and taking care of your health.
World Sight Day is a day that we raise awareness about blindness and vision impairments. The organization is currently working on their “Vision 2020: The Right to Sight” project, which is striving to end preventable blindness around the world.
Join us, and the world, this week to celebrate World Sight Day with tips to save your vision and how you can help those around you.
Blindness in America and Around the World
Did you know that 80 percent of all visual impairments can be prevented and cured? However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 285 million people in the world living with visual impairments.
Of that, 39 million people suffer from blindness while 246 million live with low vision. These numbers are far higher than they need to be. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, there are 1.3 million Americans who suffer from blindness and upwards of 2.9 million Americans live with low vision.
Sure, sometimes things that no one could have predicted happen and leave us with vision impairments that couldn’t have been avoided. But when 80 percent of all vision impairments—and yes that includes blindness—are preventable and curable, it comes down to a matter of accessibility and understanding.
Which is what World Sight Day is all about! This day is dedicated to helping the masses understand that vision health is not something to be taken lightly. Pushing your vision health aside can lead to severe consequences with blindness being one of the direst results.
The scary reality is that a lot Americans don’t understand the importance of vision care and/or can’t afford it. In 2011, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report to find out why so many Americans over the age of 40 with vision impairments did not seek medical treatment or even so much as an eye exam.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that 39.8 percent said they lacked the insurance, while 34.6 percent felt that there was no need to go for an eye exam. Though this report is from five years ago, the sentiments being expressed by the study’s participants remains the same.
Vision care is misunderstood. People believe that if nothing is obviously wrong; then their eyes must be healthy. Unfortunately this is often not the case. Many vision impairments creep up without any obvious signs where the only way to identify them is via a comprehensive eye exam.
Glaucoma, for example, is one of the leading causes of blindness and shows no obvious signs of development. If caught early, it can be effectively treated. Otherwise the disease will continue to progress without the person’s knowledge until they lose their vision.
This doesn’t have to be the reality for a lot of people. We need to understand that vision health is something that needs our attention; not just in America, but also around the world.
Like Americans without insurance to cover the costs of eye exams, many people in the world (mostly in developing countries) don’t even have access to information about eye health, let alone actual eye exams and medical advice.
But not all hope is lost.
Get Involved on World Sight Day
This Thursday you can join the World Sight Day Challenge, courtesy of Optometry Giving Sight. The challenge is a fundraising event to help provide eye care to those with limited access and living with severe visual impairments.
Donations made to the challenge don’t only benefit those who have severe impairments. They can also help out by simply providing someone with a pair of glasses or an optometry student with an eye exam kit.
If you value healthy vision and can spare a couple of bucks for those who can’t afford it, enter the World Sight Day Challenge! You can even organize a World Sight Day fundraiser at your office or place of business.
Find out more about how to get involved with the challenge.
Vision Tips for World Sight Day
One of the most important steps to take towards living with healthy vision is to take control, just like anything else. If you want to lose weight the first thing you do is take control of your eating; if you want to get that coveted promotion at work, you take control of your work performance.
It’s never too late to take control of your health and World Sight Day is a good a day as any. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite vision tips to guide you on the road towards happy and healthy vision.
1. Eat Right!
A healthy diet is probably the easiest thing to start with because all it takes is a little bit of tweaking to your weekly grocery list. Make sure to spend a lot of time in the fresh produce section, picking out brightly colored veggies and fruit. You can find out more about what foods to eat right here on our blog!
2. Get Your Nutrients and Vitamins!
Life can get hectic, we know, which is why we’ve come up with an all-in-one supplement, the Ocu-Plus Formula. The Formula is packed with 17 essential vitamins and nutrients for your vision health so that on those particularly busy days, you won’t have to worry about reaching your daily zinc goal.
We’ve just wrapped up a series of articles breaking down all the ingredients in this formula. Have a look to find out more about how your eyes benefit from each ingredient!
3. Get an Eye Exam!
Even the people with the healthiest eyes can benefit from a comprehensive eye exam. For those without existing vision impairments, doctors recommend getting an eye exam at least every two years.
Children and the elderly should visit the eye doctor once a year. For those with existing vision conditions, doctors generally recommend twice a year, or more frequently depending on the severity of the condition.
Celebrate World Sight Day with us by taking care of your eyes and lend a helping hand to others who need it!