World Sight Day is October 11
If you wear glasses or contacts, what would your day be like if you took them off or lost them? With World Sight Day approaching October 11, I’ve taken a moment to reflect on this. I know my everyday productivity and life as I enjoy it would come to a grinding halt.
My glasses help me see what’s on my smart phone to communicate with friends and family who live far away. And they make it possible to see the documents and computer screens used all day, every day in my marketing communications job here at EyeMed. I even needed them this morning to see the tiny label on some allergy medicine and last night to read the menu and sign the credit card slip at a restaurant.
In just a few words, my glasses = a happy, productive day. Pretty basic, right? Well, not for everyone. Thankfully, I have easy access to eye care and eyewear through my employer’s vision benefits (EyeMed, of course!).
Sizing up the global vision care gap
Not everyone has this type of access that helps them see their everyday life and tasks clearly. In fact, 1 in 7 people around the globe who need glasses don’t have access to them, according to OneSight, a leading global vision care nonprofit dedicated to eradicating the vision care crisis for good.
Studies also show us that with clear vision:
• Kids are 2x as successful in school 
• Workers can increase productivity by 35% 
• People can increase earning potential by 20% 
Clearly (no pun intended) a pair of glasses can make such a difference. Check out this OneSight infographic The Vision Care Gap By The Numbers to learn more.
How I’ve seen the need first-hand as a OneSight volunteer
Not only am I thankful for my glasses, I’m also thankful my need for near vision correction isn’t nearly as severe as many people around the world I’ve helped through OneSight clinics. The need’s always been great at these clinics, whether I was close to home in Cincinnati or Detroit, or as far away as India, Nicaragua or Peru.
My volunteer team in Nicaragua last year helped a 10-year-old girl who needed prescription glasses at +17.00/+18.00 correction! To give you an idea of how significant that is, farsighted vision could start under +1.00--not highly impaired. With so high of a correction need, without glasses she couldn’t read or write. Or see her brother. Or what was on her plate to eat. My guess is that to her, glasses = the key to life. From our clinic team, she received a life-changing pink pair of glasses that lets her see the world right in front of her face.
The same team also helped a 45-year-old man who works every day in a field cutting plantains with a very sharp and large knife. The note on his patient chart simply said “blind.” He got his first-ever pair of eyeglasses that day with a -17.00/-.10.00 correction. Imagine how this improved his safety on the job, as well as his productivity and wage earnings.
And right here at home, I volunteered this week at a vision screening program for elementary school kids where many couldn’t even see the largest letters or symbols on the top line of the eye chart. Thankfully, these kids will get help from OneSight to visit an eye doctor for a free full eye exam and new eyeglasses. The rest of their year in school can be completely changed with their new glasses.
These first-hand experiences put have put real faces to the vision care gap numbers for me. What about you? What’s your story?
Join us! Share your clear vision selfie on social media
As World Sight Day approaches on October 11, my co-workers at EyeMed are doing a fun and simple selfie campaign on social media with OneSight to raise awareness about the importance of clear vision.
Will you join us in spreading the word about the power of a pair of glasses? Here’s how:
1. Download OneSight’s World Sight Day selfie sign here. On the sign, fill in a few words about what glasses/clear sight mean to you
2. Take a selfie with your sign and post to your favorite social media channels on October 11, World Sight Day.
3. Tag it! Be sure to include hashtag #WorldSightDay and feel free to tag us @EyeMedVision
On World Sight Day, as you post your clear vision selfie, I also hope you’ll pause to think about how different your life could be every day without clear vision, and how it’s not a luxury, but a basic human need. My selfie sign is ready to go. How about yours?
 Deloitte and OneSight, Bringing the vision care crisis into focus, https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/operations/articles/global-vision-care-crisis.html
 Rural Education Action Program: https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5740
 William Davidson Institute: https://visionimpactinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Impact-Evaluation_A-Case-Control-Study-in-Andhra-Padresh-India.pdf
 William Davidson Institute https://visionimpactinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Impact-Evaluation_A-Case-Control-Study-in-Andhra-Padresh-India.pdf