The blight to the blind on World Sight Day

World Sight Day (always held on the second Thursday in October) is a day for focusing attention on the blight to visually impaired and blind people around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global effort to prevent blindness called “Vision 2020: The Right to Sight”.

WHO estimates that worldwide there are estimated to be 285 million visually impaired people, of which 39 million are thought to be blind. The top three causes of visual impairment are refractive errors (problems in focusing light), cataracts and glaucoma. The extent of visual impairment in any given country is thought to be a reflection of their socioeconomic development.

Many groups around the UK are organising events to raise money and learn more about the problems of visual impairment around the world. Events include blindfolded walks, impromptu eye tests and theatrical shows highlighting the difficulties of completing tasks sightless.

Loss of transparency of the lens of the eye. Full medical glossary
Increased pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure), which leads to visual loss. Full medical glossary
Relating to the sense of sight (vision). Full medical glossary