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It's World Sight Day!

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Every second Thursday in October is World Sight Day. Organized by several associations, and initiated by the international agency for the prevention of blindness , it provides an update on the fight against blindness but also encourages and raises awareness about prevention . This year, the focus is on eye care in the workplace.

World Sight Day: why?

Each subject has its own world day…So can we detect any interest in it? In the case of Sight Day, it goes well beyond simple information. Each year, the IAPB presents a multitude of actions aimed at stemming the risks of blindness in the world. And this day is not simply made for people in difficult financial situations, or populations affected by the lack of infrastructure.

Faced with the terrible figures for visual health, the need for awareness affects all social categories. The difficulties in curbing myopia, the lack of eye care, the risks of degenerative diseases encompass a fairly telling figure: 80% of visual impairments can be avoided. They are therefore not inevitable.

This is why the IAPB mobilizes every year, like many other associations, in order to launch actions that can change this difficult reality.[= ]

Ever more alarming figures

"This year, we're calling on the industry to join us in helping people prioritize their eye health, and we're asking business leaders to ensure eye care "Eyewear is accessible, inclusive and available to all workers, wherever they are." This is how the IAPB describes this edition, which focuses on visual health at work.

It is estimated that around 13 million workers worldwide are impacted by an impairment visual. If, in the long term, these pose a threat to health, they can also reduce access to work and therefore inclusion. Currently, the employment rate of people with such disabilities is reduced by 30%, which would cause a loss of productivity of around $411 billion, according to figures from The Lancet Global Health Commission .

In addition to situations of discomfort and risk on the job market, visual problems can lead to loss of concentration, psychological disturbances leading to an increase in errors or a reduction of quality in the execution of tasks causing accidents at work. This new World Sight Day therefore proposes a new approach for 2023.

Other awareness actions

But this day will not only focus on the visual protection of employees. Other associations will take advantage of this day and this spotlight to promote their work. The Valentin Hauy association is organizing meeting committees during open days which will take place from October 12 to 14. This will allow us to interact with the many volunteers who are committed all year round to supporting and serving visually impaired people.

Certain research centers and hospitals also use this second Thursday in October to offer free eye tests or even theme days with the aim of bringing as many people as possible and raising their awareness of the alarming problems of visual impairment. A year before the Paris Olympics, the theme of sport is widely discussed.

World Sight Day 2023 promises to once again be an important event in the small world of optics and visual health. Health risks are more present than ever. It is therefore appropriate to continue to highlight the work presented there so that its actions are discussed throughout the year.

Sources: IAPB, Valentin Haüy