Despite the doom and gloom beamed around the world via 24-hour TV news, there’s a lot to be positive about in today’s world.
Standards of living are rising, while child mortality rates are falling. Decent healthcare and education are more plentifully available than at any point in history.
But even in the 21st century, 80% of cases of blindness are preventable or treatable.
How Vision 2020 can help
“Vision 2020: The Right to Sight” is a global initiative that hopes to change this devastating figure. Launched in 1999 to eliminate avoidable blindness, Vision 2020 is the brainchild of The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Their goal is ambitious: to eliminate avoidable causes of blindness by 2020 by targeting the underlying medical conditions that cause blindness and provide methods of intervention. It’s hoped that in just 12 months, avoidable blindness will be a thing of the past.
What are the main causes of blindness?
If left untreated, glaucoma and macular degeneration can cause blindness. Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages your optic nerve, leading to tunnel vision, while macular degeneration causes central vision loss. Being over-60 puts you at higher risk of developing both of these conditions but they can affect anyone, at any age. A routine eye examination will pick up on these diseases, which is why at Leightons we recommend you have an eye test at least every two years – as does the NHS.
Your risk level
Glaucoma can be more than just a nasty eye condition. According to the WHO, it’s the second leading cause of blindness around the world. Some types of glaucoma can run in the family, and you may be at higher risk if you’re of African descent or take steroids. If you have any concerns, it’s best to give your optician or GP a call. They’ll be able to examine you and give advice on the best treatment, if needed.
Both glaucoma and macular degeneration can be detected by an optometrist in a routine eye examination. Our friendly and professional Leightons team will assess any deterioration of your vision, family history or recurrent eye complaints. Our tests usually last around 30 minutes and can even indicate eye conditions related to diabetes.
Book your eye test today
If you have any concerns about your vision, or are overdue an eye examination, call our team on 0800 40 20 20 to book your appointment. Alternatively, you can book online or pop into your nearest Leightons branch.