Vision Loss and Blindness: Some Essential Details
The importance of eyes and vision can be gauged by the great importance given to one of the five sense organs by our ancestors: "sarvendriyanam nayanam pradhanam" which translates as ‘among the 5 senses of perception, sight (eyes) is the most important.’
This is not to undermine the other four senses of perception namely, hearing (ear), smell (nose), touch (skin) and taste (tongue). It simply highlights the fact that one can find out or learn about most things by seeing. Eyes play the most vital role in our life. The other four senses are also important in their own right. For example, if you are a hearing-impaired person, you can still put yourself out of harm’s way by being able to see a speeding car or a falling branch even if you cannot hear them. But, such is not the case with a person who is blind.
Some interesting eye facts
- All babies are colour blind when they are born.
- One in every 12 males is colour blind.
- Some people are born with two differently coloured eyes, a condition known as heterochromia.
- The world’s most common eye colour is Brown.
- Last but not least, our eyes are made of over 2 million working parts and they need to be in perfect working condition for perfect vision.
Cataracts, glaucoma, and refractive errors such as nearsightedness,and farsightedness account for bulk of the cases, with cataracts being the most common cause. Diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration, corneal clouding, childhood blindness, stroke, trauma, and a number of different types of infections are also responsible for loss of vision or visual impairment.
There are an estimated 280 million people globally, who suffer from visual impairment. Most of them are in the developing world and are over the age of 50 years. 80% of visual impairment is either preventable or curable with treatment as per the World Health Organization (WHO).
One can live with relative ease without the use of other senses but sight is a gift nature has blessed us with. Of the five sense organs, our eyes need the most attention and care compared to the other parts and organs of our body. Care for your eyes and protect them against injury and disease. Undergo periodic medical check-ups after the age of 45 and also adopt a balanced diet.
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