Vision is one of our most important senses. It impacts one’s ability to interact with the environment and other people. Our vision depends on the functionality of different optical structures in the eye. When these structures malfunction, vision impairments occur. Globally, the most common causes of visual impairment are uncorrected refractive errors (URE), cataracts, and glaucoma.
According to the World Health Organization there are 703 million people with URE. 90% live in developing countries with limited or no access to eyeglasses. Over 500 million people only need non-prescription reading glasses to correct their vision.
WHY READING GLASSES?
Beginning at the age of 40, the muscles in the eyes weaken requiring people to need reading glasses to see clearly when focusing on near objects. This happens almost universally.
What is so challenging about this problem is that it happens when people still have many years of productivity and skills to go.
There are over 500 million people in developing countries who cannot correct their vision due to the lack of access to reading glasses.
Reading glasses are essential to see clearly and to perform tasks such as sorting grains, sewing, reading, writing, cooking, and much more.
When near vision impairment is corrected, people can work, learn, and lead productive lives again, providing for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to serious eye diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration.
Surgeries to correct eye diseases such as cataracts are not readily available in developing countries and therefore, protection becomes even more important.
People in developing countries spend considerable amounts of time outdoors, many working as farmers and fisherman.
Sunglasses provide protection against harmful UV rays, sun glare, blowing dust, and smoke, which can cause visual obstruction and damage to the eyes.
With sunglasses people can perform better and be more comfortable working outdoors, while protecting their health and their future.
To learn more about the impact that reading glasses and sunglasses have on people’s lives click here.