Today is World Sight Day. I had another blog article ready to go but thought I should blog about visual impairment and how important your eyes are. Don’t take them for granted!
For those of you who have two fully functioning eyes you are very lucky. For those of us who live with visual impairment what seeing people take for granted is something I am reminded of daily.
For those of you who don’t know, I have limited vision in my left eye due to an accident with broken glass. This happened at the tender age of 18 months. My right eye has had two surgeries in the past five years, one to correct a retinal detachment and the other to remove a cataract. Both have reduced my vision in what I always called my good eye. Although I see, I am reminded daily that sight is an enormously valuable thing.
If you ask any visually impaired person they will tell you they don’t consider themselves impaired they just don’t see very well. Visual impairment is not like other disabilities, outwardly people look, and I hate the term, normal. Pass someone who doesn’t see very well and you probably can’t tell. This is why World Sight Day is so important.
Some stats from the World Health Organization (WHO):
- 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision.
- About 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries.
- Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle and low-income countries.
- 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured.
- Every 5 seconds someone in the world goes blind.
- Two thirds of visually impaired people are women and children.
The numbers are staggering but what is most profound is the loss of economic potential and the loss of freedom for those who are visually impaired.
So, on World Sight Day, if you are a person who has two good eyes, get them checked regularly. Love them and look after them. Don’t be like most people who take them for granted. Loss of sight is a game changer and life altering.
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