October 12, 2017
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) every year declares the second Thursday of October World Sight Day. The purpose is to bring attention and awareness to blindness and vision impairment and the theme of universal eye health. This year’s message is “Make Vision Count” and as your vision benefits provider we’re more than happy to promote this theme and the other messages of World Sight Day.
Background on the IAPB
The IAPB was established as an organization to lead an international effort to coordinate resources for blindness prevention. The founders wanted to bring attention to the problem of global blindness. The IAPB covers all regions of the globe, and the mission is to achieve universal access to eye health. The major threats to eye health in the North American region according to the IAPB are chronic conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Also, in Caribbean countries, a challenging issue is cataract blindness and low surgical rate. You can learn more about the IAPB and their global action plan, by visiting their website.
Statistics show the importance of making vision count
New data and projections will be released today from the Vision Loss Expert Group, as part of World Sight Day. Here are some of the facts from the IAPB website that drive their cause:
- Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness
- 90% of blind people live in low-income countries
- Yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable (i.e. readily treatable or preventable)
- Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care
How do we make vision count?
What does “Make Vision Count” mean to you? How do we make vision count? Today, on World Sight Day, we hope you schedule a comprehensive eye exam for you and your family. Regular eye exams are important for checking eye functions and for common eye diseases, but they can also detect other health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, we want you to practice good habits for eye health, like eating vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. We recognize, and will always advocate for, the importance of healthy vision today and every day.