October 14th is World Sight Day, a day in which we raise awareness on the global issue of blindness and vision impairment.

What is World Sight Day?

World Sight Day was first founded in 1999 by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the global initiative VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.

This day aims to raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues.

Each year the IABP selects a different theme to honour eye health. The theme for 2021 is #LoveYourEyes.

Why is World Sight Day Important?

Globally, around 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. Of those individuals, at least half could have been prevented by an appropriate intervention![1] As we all know, a person’s vision plays a major role in their quality of life. Vision impairment can hinder one’s independence, mobility, education, employment, poverty and can lead to an increased risk of falls, injuries, mental health and social isolation.

As the majority of blindness and visual impairment is preventable or treatable with an early intervention, this day emphasises the need to actively look after our eye health.

What causes vision loss?

There are many causes of vision loss. The leading cause of vision loss are cataracts and refractive error. This is followed by age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

A whopping 88.4 million people worldwide suffer from unaddressed refractive error and 94 million people suffer from unaddressed cataracts.[2] In Australia, treatment for both eye conditions are widely available through laser eye surgery and cataract surgery.

Depending on the country and their level of eye care accessibility and literacy, the leading causes of vision loss vary widely. In lower income countries, cataracts are the major cause of visual impairment while age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma are more prevalent causes of vision loss in high income countries.

How can I get involved?

This year’s theme of #LoveYourEyes aims to focus attention on our own eye health. Our vision is one of our most important senses and can more than often be taken for granted. To do our part in World Sight Day, we urge everyone to take care of their vision and encourage themselves and others to get an eye test whenever possible.

To find out more about this year’s campaign visit www.iapb.org/wsd2021

George St Eye Centre are highly qualified eye specialists who are able to help you diagnose and treat your eye issue, whether it be for refractive, macular, general or dry eye conditions.  If you would like more information on our full list of services, please call us on (02) 9230 0010.


[1] https://www.who.int/health-topics/blindness-and-vision-loss#tab=tab_1

[2] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment

Photo: Michael Schoenfeld, with Eye Corps

Comments are closed.