Each year, on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is observed and gives a global platform for eye care advocates to raise much-needed awareness about vision-related topics. Launched in 1998, this worldwide initiative is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). A different theme each year ensures conversation continues around the importance of eye health, and the 2023 theme is "Love Your Eyes at Work."
Love Your Eyes at Work
The core aim of this year's World Sight Day is to promote healthy vision practices in the workplace. With most of us spending a significant portion of our day at work, it's essential to prioritise and take care of our eyes while on the job.
If you're here reading this blog post, it's likely a young person in your life has been diagnosed with a sight condition and is receiving treatment. If you're like me, the journey of caring for a child with vision problems really drives home the importance of eye health, and it becomes an important topic for us. This advocacy that starts at home can spread to our workplaces this World Sight Day, creating a culture of awareness around the importance of good vision in our lives.
The Impact of Vision Problems in the Workplace
According to the World Health Organization, uncorrected vision problems can have a significant impact on individuals and economies. It is estimated that globally, billions of people have some form of visual impairment, with many preventable or treatable conditions. Poor vision at work can lead to reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and even workplace accidents. The cost of unaddressed vision problems to employers is substantial, making it critical for employers to prioritise eye health in the workplace.
As a vision-health advocate, participating in World Sight Day is an opportunity to promote eye health and spread the word about the prevention and treatment of vision impairment.
Here are some meaningful ways to encourage better eye health amongst your colleagues and in your workplace:
- Discuss Important Preventive Measures
- Adjusting computer screens to reduce glare and eye strain
- Proper lighting in your workspace
- Regular breaks from screens, at least every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds
- Encourage Proactive Vision Care
- Encourage workmates to get regular eye exams to detect potential problems early on. This is especially important for those in jobs that require long hours of screen time or exposure to harmful materials.
- Being a Vision Advocate
- Organise a workplace collection and donate to organisations that provide eye care services, treatment, and resources to individuals in need.
- Share information about the importance of eye health and prevention of vision loss with your colleagues.
Let's Make the Most of World Sight Day 2023
This World Sight Day 2023 - and beyond - let's explore how our roles as parents of kids with a sight condition can contribute to a more visually healthy world. It's amazing how small everyday advocacy efforts can have a ripple effect and influence the understanding and practices of others.
This year, let's use World Sight Day as a great opportunity to share stories, information, and raise awareness about eye health with our colleagues. By starting conversations or organising a small event at work, we can build a culture that truly values and prioritises eye health. 2023 can be the year we make a real difference!