World Sight Day has been celebrated on the second Thursday of October each year since 2000. It aims to draw awareness and provide education about blindness and vision impairment. It is the goal of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to educate, raise public awareness, influence health officials to donate to blindness prevention, and generate support for this good cause.
We are passionate about helping those who face blindness or vision impairment to get the treatment they need! First, it’s important to understand which diseases may lead to blindness. Here are several that can cause vision impairment, and what we can do to help:
Glaucoma is a serious condition that can lead to blindness. When too much intraocular pressure is placed on the optic nerve, the optic nerve becomes damaged and cannot create images like it’s supposed to. Frustratingly, glaucoma can be present for a while without showing symptoms! This is how it gained its notorious nickname – “the silent thief of sight.” If you schedule regular eye exams, your eye doctor can check for optic nerve damage which is often the first sign of glaucoma.
Non-surgical and surgical treatments are available. If you do not want to have laser surgery from the start, you can try eye drops or oral medication. All treatments have one thing in common – stop or slow the pressure from building up inside your eye.
Cataracts form when your eye’s lens become cloudy. When the lens is cloudy, light cannot efficiently reach the retina. Without light, the retina cannot communicate to the brain which image to form for your eyes to see. Age is the most common cause of cataracts. Without treatment, cataracts can lead to total blindness.
Fortunately, our doctors can successfully remove the cataracts and replace your eye’s lens, so it is not cloudy. This will completely fix the issue, allowing you to see clearly again. And, because it is an artificial lens, you will not have to worry about the lens forming a cataract again.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) forms when there is an issue with your retina. With Dry AMD, your retina begins to thin, and protein clusters begin to grow. Dry AMD is the most common form of age-related macular degeneration, affecting nearly 70% of people with AMD. Wet AMD is less common but has serious side effects. Wet AMD forms when blood vessels begin to leak under the retina, essentially scarring the retina.
There is no cure for this eye disease. Some studies have found that the progression of Dry AMD was slowed when the patient took nutritional supplements. Wet AMD can be slowed by intraocular steroids and blood vessel growth inhibitors. As with every eye disease, early diagnosis is the key to stopping the vision impairment progression in its tracks.