Avoidable Blindness

Around the world, 1.1 billion people are living with vision loss.

90% of vision loss is in low- and middle-income countries.

90% of all vision loss is preventable or treatable.

Eye health is a key part of a person’s overall health and quality of life.

Whether you live in one of our countries of work across Africa and South Asia, or in a developed country like Canada, we believe everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable eye health care.

Inequity in access to health services – including vision care – is a global problem. It’s connected to a host of other issues, including poverty, gender inequality, inadequate access to clean water and malnutrition.

Loss of sight can have devastating consequences for individuals, families and entire communities, especially in areas and communities that are medically underserved. Vision loss isolates children from their peers and often prevents them from attending or excelling at school. For adults, it can impact a person’s ability to work, care for their family and build social connections.

There is good news: an astonishing 90 percent of vision loss can be prevented or cured.

By partnering with communities, together we are making avoidable blindness a thing of the past.

Causes of Avoidable Blindness

Other Causes of Avoidable Blindness

There are many other causes of avoidable blindness, including Onchocerciasis (River Blindness), Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and childhood blindness (such as vitamin A deficiency).

  • Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) is an insect-borne disease found in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Although it remains a serious problem and has caused an estimated half million cases of blindness, global initiatives have succeeded in dramatically controlling the incidence of the infection.
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration affects many older people and ranks as the third most common cause of blindness. Although risk factors include tobacco use, sunlight exposure and genetic tendencies, age is the main cause. While there is no cure, treatments can slow the progress of the disease.
  • Childhood blindness refers to a variety of diseases and conditions that occur in young children that can lead to blindness. These vary from region to region, with a main cause being vitamin A deficiency (VAD), which is primarily found in developing countries. Vitamin A supplementation is a simple and cheap method of preventing blindness from VAD.

These are just a few of the causes of blindness. To see how you can help Operation Eyesight prevent blindness, click here.