World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on vision impairment, including blindness.
NEW YORK—The countdown to World Sight Day is approaching the landmark day on Thursday, Oct. 14, and eyecare professionals, international companies and organizations and others within the vision care segment are gearing up with various ideas to mark the occasion.
This year’s theme, as announced by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and its members, is "Love Your Eyes.” World Sight Day is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October, to focus attention on the global issue of eye health.
As part of a plan already underway, IAPB plans to get over 1 million eye tests pledged in the month leading up to World Sight Day and is asking individuals, eyecare professionals, hospitals, NGOs and businesses to get involved.
In addition, this year’s World Sight Day follows the move in July by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to adopted a resolution committing the international community to eyecare for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss by 2030.
Sight loss is calculated to cost the global economy $411 billion in productivity each year. The resolution is a milestone and the first agreement designed to tackle preventable sight loss to be adopted by the United Nations and enshrines eye health as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The Vision Impact Institute, a longtime supporter of World Sight Day, said this year to mark the day it is renewing its commitment to making the case for good vision globally.
“This commitment requires that we stay true to our mission—to raise awareness and advocate for change—powered by more than 650 evidence-based reports and studies on which we build our work,” the organization said.
In addition, among the other efforts to support World Sight Day this week are the actions by Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety nonprofit organization, to provide the public with actions they can take to take care of their eyesight and the eyesight of others.
Prevent Blindness invites everyone to take three sight-saving steps for themselves, for others and for their communities:
Prevent Blindness also is partnering with online eyewear retailer Zenni, which will donate $1 per share of every Zenni #WorldSightDay Instagram post to @prevent_blindness, up to $15,000.
Followers are encouraged to share the post, with #LoveYourEyes and tell how they prioritize their eye health.
And it will partner with Horizon Therapeutics, a global biotechnology company focused on rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases, which will donate $1, up to $5,000, for every like or share of their new Thyroid Eye Disease awareness video, “#LoveYourEyes, Know Your Risks.”
"World Sight Day offers an incredible opportunity to continue to educate the public about the importance of good vision, the need for equitable access to eyecare, and the benefits of continued vision research," said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.
“We also thank our generous partners for their commitment and support of our programs which make a difference in the vision health of Americans every day.”
Another effort is being led by Morel, which is partnering with Optometry Giving Sight to recognize World Sight Day. Morel’s goal is to spread awareness of blindness and vision impairment as a significant global health issue and share ways to prevent blindness.
Throughout October, Morel will be making a charitable donation of $2 per frame ordered, donated to Optometry Giving Sight in honor of World Sight Day. On Oct. 14, Morel is also donating $100 per order of 20 pieces or more in our customer’s name.