World Sight Day 12 October 2023 - Theme, Importance & History

World Sight Day 12 October 2023 - Theme, Importance & History

World Sight Day is a global healthcare event celebrated on the 2nd Thursday of every October to emphasize public awareness with respect to shedding light on the prioritizing of vision and eye health.

This year 2023, World Sight Day is celebrated on the 12th of October (Thursday). On this day, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), eye care professionals, concerned individuals, national and international organizations from various countries come together to organize awareness campaigns, host eye screenings, and advocate for policies that improve eye care services.

Importance of World Sight Day

Visual impairments have physical, emotional, social, and economic ramifications, and they play an essential role in determining one's quality of life. Globally, nearly 220 crore individuals worldwide are visually impaired, and 10 crore people suffer from a vision disability that could have been avoided or is still unaddressed.

In coming years, the ageing population and the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes may exacerbate eye health difficulties. Reduced vision can be caused by a variety of reasons, including diabetes and trachoma, ocular damage, or conditions such as refractive error, cataracts, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. People of all ages are affected by vision loss, but those over 50 are most vulnerable. Women, rural communities, and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have vision impairment than other groups and are less likely to receive care. To avert this outcome, the World Health Organization (WHO) continues to support in achieving global access to quality eye care services, as well as advocating for the “4 Ps" of life-long eye health - Prevent, Protect, Preserve, and Prioritize.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), more than 1.3 crores of people worldwide have vision impairment related to their work, with an estimated 350 lakh eye injuries happening in the workplace each year. Among all cases of blindness, 90% of them can be avoided or treated if identified early. Therefore, awareness plays a vital role in preventing and delaying the progression of eye diseases. So, the World Sight Day creates a platform to emphasize awareness about eye health, advocate for better eye care services, and promote measures for preventing blindness and vision impairment.

World Sight Day 2023 Theme

This year 2023, the World Sight Day Theme is “Love your eyes at work”, a global call to all corporate leaders to prioritize their worker’s eye health and understand the importance of the vision at the workplace.

Year by year, the themes for World Sight Day are:

  • World Sight Day 2022 theme (13th October): Love your eyes.
  • World Sight Day 2021 theme (14th October): Love your eyes.
  • World Sight Day 2020 theme (8th October): Hope in Sight
  • World Sight Day 2019 theme (10th October): Vision First
  • World Sight Day 2018 theme (11th October): Eye Care Everywhere

Measures to reduce digital eye strain at the workplace

  • Wearing prescribed glasses.
  • Taking frequent breaks (20-20-20 rule)
  • Adjusting computer screen (15 to 20 degrees below eye level)
  • Blinking eyes often to keep eyes moist.
  • Adjusting screen display.
  • Using proper lighting and minimizing glare.

History of World Sight Day

In 1998, Lions Clubs International collaborated with blindness presentation organizations all around the world to launch the first World Sight Day. This event was eventually incorporated into VISION 2020, a global project led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Tips to Prevent Vision Loss

The following steps can aid a person in overcoming vision loss:

  • Following the 20/20/20 rule to give screen breaks to the eyes.
  • Spending time outside (for 2 hours at least) for eyes to avoid developing near-sightedness in children.
  • Wearing sunglasses outside.
  • Wearing prescription glasses if in need.
  • Checking cosmetics that are prone to cause eye infections.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating a healthy diet for healthy eyes.
  • Quitting smoking to help avoid sight loss.
  • Having regular eye check-up to detect problems before they arise.

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