Over 2.2 billion people are blind or visually impaired, and the numbers are rising. Here’s why.-WHO
Where you live impacts on your chances of being blind or visually impaired.
The poorer your community and country, the more likely you are to be affected.
In lower and middle-income areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia for example, there are over eight times as many blind people as in high-income nations.
Older people, rural communities, ethnic minorities and indigenous people are affected more.
According to WHO, in areas where people cannot access regular checkups, treatment and care, eye conditions — such as near or far sightedness, glaucoma and cataracts — may be left to worsen, making daily life needlessly difficult.
People in need of eye care must be able to access it, without suffering financial hardship.
Severely visually impaired people must have access to rehabilitation services that allow them to participate fully in society.
Worldwide, over 2.2 billion people are visually impaired, and over 1 billion are forced to live with preventable or treatable conditions, simply because they cannot get the care they need.
Rapid population growth, ageing and lifestyle changes are set to swell global demand for eye-care in the coming years.
In some parts of the world, increased time indoors and engaging in ‘near work’ activities — such as staring at computer screens — is leading more and more people to suffer from myopia, or near-sightedness.
To avoid myopia, children need to spend more time outside, and maybe also do some exercise, while they are at it.
Worldwide, more and more people are living with diabetes, particularly Type 2, which can impair vision if not spotted and treated.
Nearly everyone living with diabetes will face some form of retinopathy — disease of the retina that impacts on vision quality — at some point in their lives.
For those living with diabetes, regular eye checks and good diabetes control will help protect your vision.
WHO’s first-ever World Report on Vision sets out clear recommendations for countries to address the crucial challenges of eye-care.