Picture caption: David Probert, chief executive, tries out innovative new technology
An ageing and growing global population coupled with the increase in myopia (short-sightedness) and diabetic retinopathy are the biggest factors which could lead to a threefold increase in blindness worldwide by 2050, according to new research published on World Sight Day.
Data presented in the Lancet Global Health shows that avoidable blindness is projected to increase despite significant progress being made in improving treatments in the last couple of decades. The research was undertaken by The Vision Loss Expert Group, an international consortium of ophthalmologists and optometrists that included experts from Moorfields.
The huge data sets have been brought together in the Vision Atlas which shows the prevalence of sight loss around the world using maps and images. According to the data, nearly two million people are affected by sight loss in the UK.
To raise awareness of the leading causes of sight loss, Moorfields will be celebrating World Sight Day on Thursday 12 October. Dr Pete Jones from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology will demonstrate interactive 3D visualisations allowing visitors to experience various eye conditions. Dr Jones will join Moorfields Eye Charity in the health information hub at City Road from 10am-2pm. Patients and visitors are encouraged to get involved.
World Sight Day is an annual awareness event held to focus global attention on blindness and sight loss. A number of eye health charities will also be staffing stands in the main entrance at City Road to offer advice about different support services that are available for those affected by sight loss.
Key facts on sight loss worldwide
- 217 million people are living with sight loss.
- Cataracts are the leading cause of sight loss worldwide, but the global action plan is working to reduce avoidable blindness.
- 70 million people worldwide are at risk of sight loss from diabetic retinopathy.
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