Dr. Abhishek Mandal, Ph.D.
Senior Business Adviser, Vision Science Academy, London, U.K.
Vision Science Academy Exclusive
There are a few notable challenges which need an annual reminder for the countries worldwide to concentrate their efforts on devising countermeasures against such global issues. The day of 13th October 2022 represents the “World Sight Day” which marks an event celebrated on an international scale. This occasion is an important way of keeping in mind the immense significance of human vision and its positive impact on our daily lives.
The World Sight Day aims to provide us valuable information on how to prevent deterioration of human vision. A plethora of disorders can lead to a progressive lapse in human vision, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration and besides, ocular trauma has also been considered a major trigger of visual loss. Therefore, this World Sight Day delivers us a universal message of “love your eyes,” and boosts the awareness regarding the severity of visual disorders among individuals and their families. Moreover, this day is meant to provide us an opportunity to assert the global health organisations to prioritise visual health and boost the quality of eye care services internationally.
On a global level, up to 1 billion individuals are suspected to suffer from a visual condition which could possibly be prevented through a timely diagnosis and treatment. To address this worsening situation, the World Health Organisation (WHO) offers a strategy comprising 4 measures: prevent, protect, preserve, and prioritise, the implementation of which can substantially lower the lifelong incidence of visual disorders. Currently, NHS statistics indicate that more than 2 million individuals in the United Kingdom are suffering from a loss of vision. Moreover, 340,000 or more UK Nationals have been declared as “blind” which adds to the grimness of the entire situation. This also potentially increases the overall burden over the fragile structure of eye care in the NHS.
Apart from the inevitable age-related loss of vision, the onset of a number of ophthalmic disorders is believed to be preventable. A plethora of factors e.g., consuming a well-balanced diet and maintaining a desirable body-mass index can help alleviate the prevalence of deteriorating health conditions pertinent to vision. Avoiding an excessive exposure to blue light sources (e.g., laptop or cell phone screens) and wearing protective gear at the workplace environment can effectively reduce the probability of any kind of ocular trauma.
Prevention of vision loss, therefore, is partially determined by lifestyle choices of an individual per se. This is exactly the message conveyed by this year’s World Sight Day. Loving your eyes is indeed the first line of action against visual disorders.