October is All About the Eyes

This month, EYE HEALTH makes the News

Taking care of your eyes is something you should think about every day, but in October, it seems there are no shortage of initiatives.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a list of monthly Eye-Health initiatives throughout the year.  Look them up here: https://www.aao.org/newsroom/observances and read on for a few that make October a great month to FOCUS on eye health.

October is Children’s Vision Month

One in 4 kids are said to have vision problems. Many of these go unnoticed without a full screening from a qualified Eye-Care Professional. Since 80% of learning is said to be visual, eye exams can often make the difference for a kid’s success at school.

Depending on what calendar you consult, October is Children’s Vision Month.  The month-long campaign is designed to raise awareness about the importance of early-vision testing for children and the formative part vision plays in a child’s early-school years.

The main purpose of the October campaign is to educate and encourage parents to be vigilant in the eye care and eye exams of their children. With learning being mostly done through visual tools, it is extremely important to ensure children are getting proper-eye care so that they can do their best while in school.

Eye exams can begin as early as six-months-of-age and are important to detect and prevent vision loss and to protect eye health.  Children’s Vision Month highlights the importance of getting children’s eyes examined, preferably once a year.

October is Eye Care Awareness Month 

Eye Care Awareness Month takes place each October to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and preventable and treatable blindness. It is said that up to 80% of blindness is avoidable through prevention or treatment.

As part of Eye Care Awareness Month, people are encouraged to have an annual-eye exam. Most health insurance plans cover basic-eye exams every 24 months, and most vision plans cover annual-eye exams. Eye exams by qualified Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) are important to maintain eye health and to prevent vision loss.  Find out more by searching #eyecareawarenessmonth.

Blindness Awareness Month
October is also considered Blindness Awareness Month and was established to help people understand the realities of living without sight. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 285 million people suffer from blindness or visual impairment worldwide. In the United States, about 4 million Americans are blind and 47,000 (1 person every minute) become blind each year.  At least 40 of the 50 United States and countries worldwide organize events through the month of October as part of World Blindness Awareness Month to bring awareness to blindness and related blindness issues. You can follow the conversation on twitter by searching #BlindnessAwarenessMonth.

World Sight Day – October 10th
Kicking off the month is World Sight Day (WSD), held on Thursday, October 10.  Coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness under the Vision 2020 Global Initiative and supported by eye-health organizations worldwide, WSD has become an annual event focused on raising global awareness for blindness and vision impairment

As part of raising awareness, a major fundraising campaign coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight, the World Sight Day Challenge raises funds for several different projects including those which deliver eye-care services for the blind or vision impaired, those in need of an eye exam or a pair of glasses, as well as providing training and establishing vision centers.  In fact, every $5 contribution to World Sight can provide an eye exam and a pair of glasses. For more information about World Sight Day, the World Sight Day Challenge, and to learn how you can help a child see, visit www.givingsight.org. You can also find out additional information at https://www.iapb.org/advocacy/world-sight-day/.

Halloween Safety Month
For October, it is Halloween Safety Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning the public against wearing costume contact lenses purchased without a prescription. These illegally sold cosmetic lenses may not be sterile and can cause a host of serious-eye problems capable of morphing a fun Halloween night into a nightmare.  So, this October and every month, keep an EYE on your eye health to avoid a real-life Halloween horror story - damaging your eyes, or worse, going blind because of a costume accessory.

October 17, 2019 by Jodi Jacobs

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