Today, 1.1 billion people live with vision loss globally. This number includes the 91 million children who will suffer from long-lasting impacts to their vision if left untreated. Working to improve the health outcomes for children who suffer from vision loss will not only allow them to receive equitable access to education but also improve their general well-being and self-esteem. For many of those who have been living with vision loss for an extended period of time, voicing the issue can be near impossible. That is why this year, World Sight Day is dedicated to the importance of eye health and the benefits of regular eye tests.
A few numbers:
- Of the 1.1 billion people living with vision loss, 771 million people (90%) have vision loss that can be prevented or treated.
- 161 million people have uncorrected refractive errors that can be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses;
- 100 million have cataracts that can be treated with surgery;
- 510 million people have near vision impairment due to uncorrected presbyopia that can be treated with eyeglasses.
- 165 million children have short sight (myopia), which can increase to 275 million by 2050.
- Glasses can reduce the odds of a child failing a class in school by 44%.
- 90% of people who experience vision loss are from low and middle-income countries.
Source: IAPB, 2021 World Sight Day, Educational Resources.
This year’s World Sight Day concept is LOVE YOUR EYES. With the constant demand of daily lives and navigating through a pandemic, how can we maintain a healthy vision? A method called the 4P’s is recommended by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
First, eating healthy and adopting healthy habits is key. Also, as we all know, reducing screen-time and enjoying the great outdoors is a healthy practice to adopt for both eye health and general health. A recent BonLook blog post discussed 5 steps to keep your eyes in ‘good shape’ - click here.
Always wear quality sunglasses when going out, especially in sunny conditions. If needed, choose endurance-rated eyewear while playing sports. We recommend this blog article about the importance of sunglasses. Click here.
A routine eye check-up is vital to eye-health for all adults and children. At BonLook, our optometrists and opticians recommend a maximum of 2 years between eye exams for adults. Children should consult an optometrist every year until the age of 18.
In a recent interview, Dr. Rashi Reskalla, optometrist at BonLook’s St-Viateur, Montreal store, said:
‘’ Regular eye check-ups are important as most eye diseases progress slowly with no or few symptoms until they have progressed and become difficult or impossible to treat. It is also important to note that preschool children should see an optometrist at least once between ages two and five or earlier if vision loss is suspected. Children should then consult every year until they are eighteen. Adults should undergo an exam every two years or yearly if they have any complaints or risk factors. A patient with diabetes, for example, should be seen at least once a year.’’
You can read the complete interview with Dr. Rashi Reskalla, optometrist - here.
Eye exams are as important as any other type of healthcare check-up: it is essential to visit the eye doctor regularly. It is easy to take our eyesight for granted when everything seems to be in working order - it’s often not until our vision is at risk that we prioritize this aspect of our healthcare regimen. Similar to following recommendations prescribed from your general practitioner, such as taking medications or following treatment plans, eye health recommendations from your optometrist or optician are no different.
Uncorrected poor vision is the most considerable unaddressed disability in the world today. At BonLook, our eyecare professionals' priority is to help people see better by recommending the right product and guiding them towards the right health decisions. We are proud to take an educator role and help Canadians see better. It will always be a priority to discuss how vision works and improve our patients’ daily lives in the present and future. Just don't forget…. #LoveYourEyes.