World Sight Day: how you can do more for your eye health | Leightons

Oct 09, 2019 in Eye Care

Thursday 10th October marks this year's World Sight Day but what’s the most important lesson we can learn from it? We found out...

We’ll start with the good news. Globally, our collective visual health is improving — in 1990 the prevalence of visual impairment was around 4.6%. By 2015 it had dropped to 3.4%. So the numbers are heading in the right direction. A reason to be cheerful, right?

Not quite. Despite this positive downward movement, there are still 36 million people around the world classified as blind. A further 217 million people have some form of severe or moderate visual impairment.

A world in need of glasses

In total, 1.3 billion, or more than 15% of the entire population of the world, have a refractive error that could be corrected simply by owning a pair of glasses. It’s a stat that neatly illustrates the gulf between the world’s richest and poorest.

The single most important lesson from all of these numbers is that many visual impairments are entirely avoidable. In fact, 75% of visual impairments are avoidable, often caused by preventable or treatable conditions like cataracts, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.

World Sight Day vision first

How this affects you

World Sight Day, created by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (the IAPB) is an annual event created to raise awareness of sight loss. Avoidable visual impairment isn’t just something that affects developing nations. It’s a problem in the UK too.

Even in the UK, people are putting their sight at risk. And there’s one super-simple thing you can do to prevent it:

Book an eye test.

Yep, it’s that easy. If you haven’t had an eye test in the last two years, World Sight Day is the perfect opportunity to book an appointment.

World Sight Day’s message to everyone is exactly that: make a pledge to get an eye test. An increasingly older population and increasing rates of diabetic retinopathy and myopia in children mean vision-related issues are set to rise in the coming years and decades. In other words, get your eyes checked regularly to help detect eye conditions and get expert eye care advice.

NHS guidance to everyone

The NHS recommends you have an eye test at least every two years, and more if you have a family history of certain eye conditions.

Regular eye tests are important – they help us identify patterns or changes in your eyesight. Eye tests don’t just check your glasses or contact lenses prescription, they can help spot other more serious conditions, including:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

The place to come for eye care

If your last eye test was more than two years ago, or you’ve noticed any changes in your vision, book your eye test by calling Leightons today on 0800 40 20 20 or book online.