About eighty Lakh people in India are blind and nearly five Crore Indians suffer from low vision. The galling fact is that 80% of the cases could have been prevented according the World Health Organization. A study on Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness in India shows that refractive errors are increasingly more of concern in affecting vision, leading to severely low vision.
There is further bad news; Diabetes may lead to Diabetic Retinopathy. Earlier, this was causing blindness in just about 1% of the affected. Now it is affecting more number of people. Therefore, it is important to learn to prevent blindness or partial loss of vision.
Proper diet, right from the childhood is essential to keep eyes and sight in good health. Eat more
vegetables and fruits. Carrots, drumstick leaves are very rich in Vitamin A – let these be regular part
of your meal. Do not allow ‘my child does not like these things’ to stand in your way. As parents, it
is your responsibility to create enthusiasm in the child to eat well and correctly.
Quit smoking. Nicotine affects your eyesight and also that of the children. You can avoid or at least postpone diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataract.
Take care to avoid accidents. If your job has chances of hazards, exposes you to chemicals, pollutants, or ultra bright light, follow the prescribed guidelines. Wear protective eye glasses, or shields recommended at the workplace. Do not touch your eyes after coming into contact with
Teach children to be careful while playing. Teach them not to throw things at other’s faces and to be wary of other children who may do so. Be watchful if the children are playing with water
spraying guns, arrows and similar toys that most likely to injure eyes.
Watch family history. If diabetes and obesity run in the family, pay extra attention to diet and have regular health checkups.
Wear quality sunglasses or driving glasses particularly when riding two wheelers in cities. Rear engine vehicles emit suspended particulate matter which may irritate, infect, and lead to future complications.
Pledge to ‘Donate Eyes’ after death. This may not help you, but will allow two blind persons to regain life.
Do not panic or do not lose hope, if you start losing vision. Nothing serious may happen and we sincerely
hope that it does not; but there is no harm in being prepared. Approach organizations that can train you to work effectively even if sight is affected. Being prepared is winning half the battle.