What is avoidable blindness?

According to the Vision2020 Action Plan by the World Health Organization, avoidable blindness is defined as blindness which could be either treated or prevented by known, cost-effective means. Although there are many other causes of vision loss, VISION 2020 seeks to address the main causes of avoidable blindness, in order to have the greatest possible impact on vision loss worldwide.

What are the most common eye diseases in Canada?

The four most common eye diseases causing blindness and partial sight in Canada are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

Refractive error (RE) occurs when a person’s vision is reduced because they need corrective lenses and do not have them or their current lenses need to be changed to give them clear vision. Refractive error is the most frequent yet most easily correctible source of vision loss in Canada.

Some 2.5 million Canadians have some form of cataract, one million live with AMD; and 500,000 live with diabetic retinopathy. Approximately 250,000 Canadians live with glaucoma, yet only half are aware they have the disease.

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