World Sight Day, internationally recognized with a focus on creating awareness on importance of eye health. This year’s theme #LoveYourEyes, aptly describes the significance of regular eye health checkup. The pandemic has had a severe impact on provision of eyecare facilities across the country as many non-emergency treatments were discontinued to limit the risk of exposure to Covid-19. This has further led to increase in number of cases causing eye problems like dry eyes syndrome, myopia, and other such eye conditions following the prolonged screen time. The pandemic has emphasized the significance of including eye healthcare as a core part of overall healthcare.
More than two billion individuals live with eye conditions globally, with India alone home to millions of people suffering from preventable vision loss. According to AIIMS’ National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-19, 1.99% of Indians over the age of 50 years suffer from blindness.While the number of Indians facing potential blindness is alarming, an even bigger concern is that the contributing conditions are greatly under-diagnosed.
Dr Sirish Nelivigi, Director, Nelivigi Eye Hospital, Bangalore, said, “Loss of eyesight constitutes one of the biggest challenges confronting not only the patient, but also the burden that gets carried over to the family, the society and the nation at large. With a huge burden of 88% of avoidable blindness in our country, it means there is a lot for us to achieve and do. Each of us as individuals have our moral duty and calling to reduce this burden and thereby help uplifting our own family and society. We can all contribute towards this in small but significant ways. Let’s start by getting regular, annual eye checkups done and then similarly, encourage our families to do the same. This, when extrapolated at a larger level, translates into miracles by way of a better, more productive and safer family and nation. On this World Sight Day, lets us pledge to take up the message and commitment of regular eye checkups for all those above 4 years of age.