More than three million people have committed to getting their sight tested for World Sight Day as experts warn that coronavirus and lockdown are causing a global vision crisis.
The #LoveYourEyes campaign, which marks this year’s World Sight Day, is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) – the overarching alliance for the global eye health sector.
Those involved in the #LoveYourEyes campaign say the need for people to get their sight checked is more apparent now than ever, with the pandemic and worldwide lockdowns leading to more time spent on screens, less time spent outdoors, and missed sight tests.
The pandemic struck a massive blow to global eye health, and we must continue to act to save millions from unnecessary blindness
On a global scale, IAPB warns half the world’s population will be myopic by 2050. Up to one fifth of those are at significant risk of blindness if current trends continue.1
A study in China found the number of children being diagnosed with short-sightedness doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.2
Another recent study found that, in the UK, almost 3,000 people are estimated to have lost vision due to delays in the identification and treatment of eye disease, and 4.3 million fewer people received sight tests in 2020, compared to 2019.3
Iconic Sight Tests Around the World
To highlight the #LoveYourEyes campaign, sight tests are being carried out at some of the world’s most famous sights including Mount Everest, Tower Bridge London, Bluff Point New Zealand, Brooklyn Bridge, Mount Kilimanjaro, and more.
Additionally, the technology company, Xbox, has announced plans to mark the day with content geared towards blind and low vision gamers.
#LoveYourEyes: Unparalleled Success
The #LoveYourEyes campaign, run by IAPB, is taking place today, on World Sight Day (Thursday 14 October). People worldwide are being encouraged to join the three million already taking part and get their sight tested, in a bid to make people aware of their eye health. In doing so, they will become engaged with their own eye health, but have an opportunity to build awareness of the 1.1 billion people around the world who live with preventable sight loss but have no access to eye care services.
Peter Holland, CEO of IAPB said “The success of this year’s World Sight Day and our Love Your Eyes campaign has been unparalleled, and I’ve been delighted and proud of what we have done together.
“Every test pledged, every screening held, and every social media message sent has meant that we were able to reach more people than ever before with over three million pledging to love their eyes. But the scale of the challenge we face is immense. The pandemic struck a massive blow to global eye health, and we must continue to act to save millions from unnecessary blindness”.