Ensuring Better Eye Care

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Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible

The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision while the various physiological components involved in vision are
referred to collectively as the visual system.

World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) statistics says approximately 285
million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness.

Of these, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment. About 90 percent of blind people live in developing countries, nevertheless 80 percent of visual impairment is avoidable, treatable and preventable

An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired and about 65 percent of people who are visually impaired are between ages 50 and

The W.H.O statistics also indicates that about 640 million people are either blind or visually impaired and do not have access to an eye
examination and a pair of correctly prescribed glasses.

The Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey indicates that over one million individuals aged forty are currently blind while
about three million adults aged forty years are estimated to have moderate visual impairment and an additional four hundred thousand
adults are severely visually impaired .

Ophthalmologists, have identified squinting of eyes as a major cause of blurred vision. Experts have advised that some eye exercises can improve good sight including closing both eyes very tightly by shutting the lids firmly, opening them suddenly which allows the feel of stretch and should be
repeated several times a day.

Rotation of eyes in all the directions, eating balanced diet ,taking fruits such as carrots, apple, cucumber, oranges and grapes help in
improving eyesight.

It is also recommended that daily intake of spinach turnip, fresh milk, cheese, butter, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, soya beans, green
peas, oranges and dates improve good sight.

Those that wear contact lenses should be careful when fixing it to prevent eye infections. Hands should be well washed before putting on
contact lenses.

Instructions on how to properly clean them, and replace them when needed should be thoroughly followed.

For those that spend a lot of time using a computer or phone, it is advisable to look away about 20 feet for 20 seconds to allow the eye
Medical experts also caution against the use of artificial eyelashes, used to enhance beauty, in view of its grievous consequences as this
can lead to corneal abrasions, ulcers, damage of the natural eyelashes and eye sensitivity.

According to the president, Nigerian Medical Association, Mike Ogrima there are about three hundred ophthalmologists to care for over one
hundred and seventy million Nigerians.

Thus, government should employ sufficient numbers of ophthalmologists to provide quality eye services to the people.

Increased budgetary allocations will help achieve the objectives of the national blindness prevention programmes. There is also the need to work in collaboration with localgovernments, organizations, health care providers, education institutions and communities, to build a sustainable eye care system to reduce blindness and ensure affordable access to eye care for all.

As this year World Sight Day is being celebrated with the theme ‘’eye care everywhere”, the media and community based organisations should
increase awareness among the general public about blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue.

Above all, there should be public enlightenment that those who have eye diseases should consult qualified ophthalmologists and not road
side opticians, who could damage their eyes that may result into blindness.

Abisola Oluremi

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