World Sight Day

World Sight Day Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date10 October 2024
2025 Date9 October 2025

World Sight Day

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World Sight Day History

World Sight Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of eye health and the prevention of avoidable blindness. Established by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the observance focuses on promoting eye care, encouraging regular eye checks, and implementing policies to improve access to affordable and quality eye care services. The key message of this day is "Vision First!", highlighting the critical role of early detection and intervention in preserving and improving vision worldwide.

The first World Sight Day was celebrated in 2000 as an initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the United Kingdom, this observance is particularly relevant as it is estimated that there are more than 2 million people living with sight loss, and this number is expected to increase as the population ages. Every day, around 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. Leading causes of blindness and serious sight loss include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. By raising awareness and supporting research, World Sight Day aims to reduce the prevalence of these conditions in the UK and worldwide.

To mark World Sight Day in the United Kingdom, various activities and events are organised by charities, eye care professionals, and health organisations. These may include public awareness campaigns, fundraising events, free eye exams, and educational programs. Many schools also take part in the observance, using the opportunity to teach children about the importance of maintaining good eye health. World Sight Day takes place annually on the second Thursday of October, which falls on the 12th of October in 2023.

World Sight Day facts

  • The theme for World Sight Day in 2023 was Love Your Eyes.
  • Globally, more than 2.2 billion people have some form of vision impairment according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
  • According to, China and India together account for 49% of the world’s total burden of blindness and vision impairment, while their populations represent 37% of the global population.
  • The Eyecare Trust states that 1 in every 5 adults in the UK is risking avoidable sight loss by delaying their routine eye check.
  • According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the direct and indirect costs of sight loss are over £28 billion a year in the UK.

Top things to do in the UK for World Sight Day

  • Use this day as a reminder to schedule regular eye exams. Encourage family and friends to do the same by sharing the importance of regular check-ups for maintaining good vision.
  • Support organizations working to prevent and treat blindness by making a donation. Choose reputable charities such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) or SightSavers.

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