Can you be a bit blind? – The way that sight loss and blindness is understood in the wider population is, in my view, a barometer of our success in getting people to grasp the importance of eye health. By this, I don’t just mean those that are registered blind, or indeed those that are at risk of it. I mean all of us – the whole community.
As the population lives longer, the prevalence of sight loss is rising. Coupled with this, lifestyle choices are also bringing conditions such as diabetic retinopathy into people’s lives.
In short, eye health and conditions/events that undermine it will touch every person’s life in Britain over the next ten years – either directly themselves, through friends and family or in the communities in which we all live.
In her article for the Guardian, which you can read by clicking here, Annalisa D’Innella ably explored the confusion and misunderstandings that exist around sight loss. The article points to what I believe to be one of the key challenges for the sight loss sector – establishing a clear understanding in the general population of the importance, risks and consequences of deteriorating sight. As Annalisa points out, the vast majority of people living with a visual impairment retain some sight.
My hope is that by cultivating an understanding of this and other aspects of sight loss we can make life better for people with a VI, and also prepare the general population to look after their own eye health.