Saturday December 7, 2019

More than 2.2 Billion People Globally Suffer from Preventable Vision Problems

The World Health Organization reports people who live in rural areas, those who are poor, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities

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Globally, Vision, Problems
FILE - A woman gets an eye exam during a clinic at Key Arena, in Seattle, Washington, Oct. 28, 2016. VOA

The World Health Organization reports proper care could have prevented vision impairment or blindness in about half of the more than 2.2 billion people globally who suffer from these conditions. The findings were part of the WHO’s first World Report on Vision that was launched in Geneva in advance of World Sight Day Oct. 10.

The report attributes the increase in worldwide eye problems to an aging population, changing lifestyles, which are leading to a rise in type 2 diabetes, and limited access to eye care in low- and middle-income countries.

The World Health Organization reports people who live in rural areas, those who are poor, people with disabilities, and ethnic minorities are among those who suffer most from bad vision.

Technical officer in the WHO’s Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Department, Stuart Keel, says conditions such as shortsightedness and farsightedness, glaucoma and cataracts are about four times higher in the world’s poorer regions than in high-income regions.

 

Globally, Vision, Problems
The report attributes the increase in worldwide eye problems to an aging population, changing lifestyles, which are leading to a rise in type 2 diabetes, and limited access to eye care. Pixabay

“For instance, western and eastern sub-Saharan Africa have vision impairment rates [and] distance vision impairment rates that are eight times higher than all high-income regions. … We know that about 60 percent of all vision impairment cases are found in three Asian regions alone, that being South Asia, East Asia, and South-East Asia,” said Keel.

The WHO says cataract surgery could prevent 65 million people from becoming blind. It says early diagnosis and treatment can improve conditions for many of the 76 million people suffering from glaucoma. And eyeglasses, it says, could vastly improve the eyesight of more than 800 million people who currently live with blurred vision.

Coordinator of the WHO’s Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Department, Alarcos Cieza, told VOA that research indicates that children who spend too much time on their electronics are likely to become visually impaired as they grow older.

“The major concern is that if children do not spend enough time outdoors and too much time indoors looking at their tablets and computers and these activities … they will increase the probability of becoming myopic and also to increase the severity of the myopia,” she said.

Also Read- EPA Seeks to Rewrite of Rules for Dealing with Lead Pipes Contaminating Drinking Water

Cieza warns that the more severe the myopia, the more difficult the treatment. Her advice: Children should spend more time outdoors kicking a ball around and less time indoors looking at tablets, television and computers. (VOA)

Next Story

Instagram Likely to Expand its Private Like Counts Test Globally

'Restrict' was also a feature recently announced to protect your account from unwanted interactions

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facebook, social media
Facebook, Messenger and Instagram apps are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. VOA

Instagram on Thursday announced to expand its Private Like Counts test globally, including in India.

In the test, you can still see your likes by tapping on the liker list, but others will not be able to see how many likes your post has received.

Likewise, you will not be able to see how many likes others’ posts have received.

Vishal Shah, Vice President of Product, Instagram, said that if you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own.

facebook privacy
FILE – The Instagram icon is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. VOA

“While the feedback from early testing has been positive, this is a fundamental change to Instagram, so we’re continuing our test to learn more from our global community,” Shah said in a statement.

The test began in Canada in May 2019 and expanded to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Ireland and Italy in July this year.

Also Read: Rapper Badshah has Newfound Respect for Actors, Filmmakers After Acting Debut

The roll-out of this test comes close on the heels of the recent ‘Instagram Experience’ organised in Mumbai where an ‘Unlabel’ content series was announced in partnership with Yuvaa, a youth media platform, featuring young Indians challenging stereotypes to be their authentic selves.

‘Restrict’ was also a feature recently announced to protect your account from unwanted interactions. (IANS)