World Sight Day: How many people are blind or partially sighted around the world?
There are a variety of reasons for sight loss (Picture: Getty)

World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

WSD 2017 falls on October 12.

We examine the causes of visual impairment and the figures in the UK and globally.

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How many people in the UK have sight loss?

Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.

That’s around one person in 30.

It is predicted that by 2020 the number of people with sight loss will rise to over 2,250,000.

Worryingly, this is a growing trend because by 2050, the numbers of people with sight loss in the UK will double to nearly four million.

What are the main causes of sight loss?

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

This is an eye condition which affects the central part of your retina which is called the macula. This causes changes to your central vision

Other significant causes of sight loss are glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma is an eye condition where your optic nerve is damaged by the pressure of the fluid inside your eye.

World Sight Day: How many people are blind or partially sighted around the world?
World Sight Day is on 12 October 2017 (Picture: IAPB)

Cataracts cause changes to the lens in your eye which makes your sight cloudy, however this can be corrected through surgery.

If someone has Diabetes, it is vital to have regular eye tests and diabetic retinal screenings.

How many people are blind or partially sighted around the world?

According to IAPB Vision Atlas, around 36 million people are blind and 217 million people suffer from moderate and severe vision impairment.

The total is 253 million people who are visually impaired.

Why is sight loss increasing around the world?

  • Ageing population in many countries can cause an increase in sight loss.
  • There is a growing incidence in key underlying causes of sight loss, such as obesity and diabetes

For a more detailed inspection of visual impairment in your country and around the globe, follow the link here.

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