11 Oct, Mumbai, India: According to new research published on this World Sight Day, preventable sight loss will boost India’s economy by US$27 billion (2.2 trillion) annually. On the occassion of World Sight Day, the Love Your Eyes campaign is publishing the data to show how better eye health increases productivity and to implore business leaders to prioritise workplace wellness. The expenses of avoidable sight loss among those over 50 were determined in the study by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Prof. Kevin Frick from Johns Hopkins. India ranked third among the studied nations in terms of potential savings.
The future economy will be dominated by service industries and office employment requiring lengthy screen use as technology changes the nature of work. Without the necessary safeguards, this can cause eye strain and have a harmful effect on eye health.
According to the Lancet world Health Commission on Global Eye Health, sight loss costs the world economy $411 billion annually. An estimated 30% of those who lose their sight face a decline in employment, with women, those living in rural areas, and members of ethnic minorities being among those most negatively impacted. However, with early detection and treatment, 90% of sight loss can be prevented.
In India, there are currently 70 million people with visual impairment. Preventing sight loss with early detection and treatment for eye conditions like cataracts and myopia is vital to protect livelihoods and allow businesses to thrive.
Vinod Daniel, CEO of India Vision Institute said, “People from disadvantaged and rural communities lack adequate access to eye care, and are thus denied vision screenings and a pair of corrective glasses. This means uncorrected refractive error is costing the country billions in lost productivity, and valuable earnings for the individuals affected. Early detection is crucial to preventing blindness. We work directly with communities, schools and workplaces to provide free vision screenings and spectacles to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access. Preventing vision loss changes everything for them and allows them to thrive in work and life.”
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