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World Sight Day 2021 #Loveyoureyes

14 October 2021

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists is proud to be supporting World Sight Day 2021 with the theme #Loveyoureyes.

World Sight Day is an opportunity for everyone to be aware of eye health and the impact of sight loss. Globally, at least 1 billion people have near or distance vision impairment that could be prevented or has yet to be addressed.

An opportunity to raise awareness eye health amongst those greatest at risk of sight loss

Vision impairment affects people of all ages, with the majority over the age of 50. The “oldest old” are at greatest risk of sight loss. Data shows that 79% of people living with sight loss in the UK are over the age of 64, while one in three aged 85 and over live with sight loss. As the UK population ages, the number of people living with sight loss is expected to increase by over a third in the next decade, reaching 2.7 million by 2030. The Covid pandemic is likely to have increased the risk of preventable sight loss. There was an estimated 29% reduction in outpatient attendances.

Bernie Chang, President of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) explains:

‘On World Sight Day, I am proud of the amazing work of the ophthalmology profession. We are in a privileged position, being able to diagnose and treat people, helping them to retain sight or restoring their sight. Ophthalmologists pioneer leading research in the field of vision sciences. There is great innovation happening across the NHS like high volume hubs for cataract treatment, and we are working hard to manage the huge challenges eye care units face with increasing backlogs. We are working with key organisations across the UK health system to ensure a sustainable workforce that is able to meet the needs of the significantly increasing patient demand due primarily to an ageing population who are at higher risk of chronic eye disease like glaucoma, diabetes and macular degeneration.

‘The recent commitment (by the Government) to more NHS funding to tackle backlogs is welcomed by ophthalmologists and other eye healthcare staff battling long waiting lists. Too many patients are still waiting too long for ophthalmology services.’

Leading causes of vision impairment

It is important to remember that Cataracts and uncorrected refractive error are the leading causes of vision impairment. An eye test can help detect these as well as serious eye conditions, which may need urgent review by an ophthalmologist.

Read more here: www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/10/14/default-calendar/world-sight-day-2021

Here is the link for the Joint UK vision Royal College of Ophthalmologists and College of Optometrists.