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World Sight Day 2023

This year’s World Sight Day, which falls on Thursday 12 October 2023, is an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of eye care

Eye conditions are remarkably common. Those who live long enough will experience at least one eye condition during their lifetime.

Globally, at least 1 billion people have a near or distant vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed. In the absence of timely detection, reduced or absent eyesight can have long-term personal and economic effects. Vision impairment affects people of all ages, with the majority being over the age of 50. Young children with early onset severe vision impairment can experience lower levels of educational achievement, and in adults, it often affects the quality of life through lower productivity, decreased workforce participation, and high rates of depression.

Vision impairment and blindness impact the lives of people everywhere. In low- and middle-income settings the burden of vision impairment can be even greater due to fewer opportunities to access the most essential eye care services.

Cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors are estimated to be the leading causes of vision impairment; however, other causes of vision impairment cannot be ignored. Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, long-standing systemic conditions like diabetes causing diabetic retinopathy, infectious diseases of the eye, and trauma to the eye are all equally important causes of vision impairment that need to be addressed. 

The day highlights the need for people to prioritize their eye health and calls on business leaders and employers to ensure that eye care is accessible, inclusive, and available to workers everywhere.

This year WHO is launching WHOeyes, a free app that provides a simple way for people to check their vision at home.