World Sight Day takes place on Thursday, 12 October. This year the aim is to stress the importance of looking after one’s eyes as well as the sight problems that affect people all over the world, both in developed countries and the less advanced economies. It should be noted that four out of every five blind people in the world acquire the condition as the result of avoidable causes.
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), through the campaign #MakeVisionCount, calls for focus on the most vulnerable: the school-age population, the elderly and diabetics. The first thing to ensure is an annual ophthalmologic examination. This is the tool available to us for the timely diagnosis of diseases that, if they go undetected, can have grave outcomes but that are controllable if treated in time.
Myopia and diabetes
The IAPB also refers to those people with myopia problems. Their numbers are expected to have grown 34% by 2020 compared to 2010. It is necessary too to take into account that myopic macular degeneration is an emerging pathology that causes blindness.
The global prevalence of people with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy is also a concern. The adult population affected by diabetes was 415 million people in 2015. In 2040, it is estimated to grow to 642 million. Thirty-five per cent of diabetics will develop some form of retinopathy.
At the BMF we conduct research to halt forms of blindness that today are incurable. We are also committed to raising awareness in the population about ocular pathologies and their prevention. This is why we have joined the #MakeVisionCount campaign. For further information about the campaign aims and its materials, please see this website.