The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) coordinates World Sight Day to bring attention to the global problem of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. It is an annual awareness day which takes place on the second Thursday of October. The theme of World Sight Day 2020 is “Hope in Sight” which will be held on 8th October 2020.1 billion people around the world suffer from preventable vision disorder or one that has yet to be discussed by.  Reduced or missing eyesight may have serious and long-lasting impacts on all parts of life, including everyday personal interactions, community engagement, opportunities for education and work and the ability to access public services.

Most people with vision impairment are older than 50 years of age, but vision loss can affect people of all ages. The goals of World Sight Day are to educate the public about the value of eye health through donations and activism, as a study shows that many people recognise the significance of tests, but do not often seek care.

Contribution of Alcon 

Alcon company focuses on its corporate giving and company-led efforts to enhance access to quality eye care to mark World Sight Day. With that emphasis, the plan is to help people in need of eye care around the world, particularly as eye health problems have arisen or deteriorated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including vision loss, myopia, cataracts, refractive errors and more.

Alcon partners are also active in the Steps for Sight Challenge, a global company campaign that calls on 2,020 partners to take 10,000 steps on World Sight Day to raise a total of $25,000 for three non-profit global eye health organisations, long-time partner Orbis, Optometry Giving Sight and one surprise beneficiary to be selected by an Alcon site. In the release , the company revealed that a public service announcement (PSA) has been created to remind people of the importance of eye health and promote eye exam scheduling. Delegates will be encouraged to watch the video and post it on their social media platforms during this year’s AAO Academy 2020 conference, with a call to action to produce more than 2,020 views to cause a donation of $25,000 to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation. The video can be viewed on YouTube’s Alcon Corporate channel.

Study by Johnson & Johnson

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson Vision announced results in advance of World Sight Day from a detailed, large-scale global eye health survey. The global survey sheds light on the perceptions of people on both the value of eye health and the obstacles to treatment. The company said the survey shows both a disconnect in patient perceptions on the value of eye health and how they prioritise it as part of their overall health, as well as particular barriers to treatment and different attitudes relevant to different areas, generations, and genders towards eye health. Following are the findings of the survey :

Most adults surveyed (80 percent) said they consider an eye exam vital for their overall health, according to the release, and agreed that good vision enhances the overall quality of life (68 percent) and keeps them comfortable (61 percent). It was also noted   that less than half (46 percent ) of respondents said they actually get an eye exam each year, despite the seeming knowledge.

The most popular explanation for missing an eye examination is that their vision has not improved (32 percent), according to the release. Because of the pandemic, 16 percent of respondents said they were hesitant or unwilling to schedule an eye test.

According to the release, cost has also proved to be an obstacle for some groups. Younger generations have said they can no longer afford to see an eye doctor, like 24 percent of Gen Z and Millennials internationally.

In addition, less than half of the surveyed individuals claimed that they could prevent their eyesight from worsening (47%) or replied that vision loss is part of ageing and that they have no control over it (46%).

The survey also found that the possible benefits and impact of having healthy vision were not recognised by respondents, including that it can influence learning and understanding (39 percent) or is important for children’s healthy development (25 percent).

Respondents indicated that they recognised that an examination could help detect early symptoms of chronic diseases, few recognised that diabetes (only 25% knew), cardiovascular disease (10%) or cancer (9%) could be detected.