NEW YORK, October 12, 2021 – Ahead of World Sight Day on October 14, global eye care nonprofit Orbis is launching a new PSA that highlights the importance of getting your eyes checked and amplifies the fact that nearly 1 billion people across the globe live with completely avoidable vision loss.
The 30-second piece starts with a traditional vision chart before taking an emotional turn, showcasing key life moments ranging from a baby’s first steps to graduation, first through blurry lenses and then with clear vision. The message is clear: Don’t miss these milestones. Get your eyes checked.
“Many people think an eye exam is only for getting a pair of glasses, but it’s about that and so much more,” said Dr. Hunter Cherwek, Vice President of Clinical Services and Technologies at Orbis. “It’s about catching eye conditions early – before they lead to vision loss. It’s about taking care of your eyes so that you don’t miss any of life’s important moments.”
Nearly 1 billion people live with completely avoidable vision loss. Don’t be one of them. @orbisintl’s new PSA shows why it’s so important to get your eyes checked.Tweet
Routine eye screenings are one of the best ways to preserve vision health. Many common eye diseases – including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration – can be significantly slowed with treatment, but only if they are caught in time. Once these conditions have resulted in a loss of vision, it is irreversible.
It is increasingly critical to get in the habit of going for routine eye exams. As people live longer lives, as the population grows and as lifestyle changes cause an uptick in diseases like diabetes, there is a growing number of people with sight-threatening conditions who need eye care.
Poor eye health has a ripple effect that can be felt across entire communities. Visual impairment can make it harder for people to pursue an education, find and hold a job, engage in their community and lead a prosperous life. A recent study in The Lancet estimated that, in 2020 alone, visual impairment resulted in $410 billion in lost economic productivity globally – a figure that is roughly equivalent to the GDP of the United Arab Emirates.
While great strides have been made, there is much more to be done, especially to ensure equitable eye care access. Nearly everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime, but not everyone will be able to get the care they need. Nine out of ten people with vision loss live in low- and middle-income countries, where eye care is often difficult to access.
The most effective, lasting solution to this challenge is to ensure that eye care professionals in areas with the greatest need can access quality ophthalmic training, building the skills they need to provide care to patients in their community – a concept that is the cornerstone of Orbis’s mission.
Because Orbis has invested in remote learning for years, the organization has been able to lean into technology to ensure that eye care teams can still access critical training safely during the pandemic. Orbis has leveraged its award-winning Cybersight telemedicine platform, launched online adaptations of the trainings traditionally taught on board its iconic Flying Eye Hospital, and is now training more people in more places than ever before.
Experience the PSA and learn more here.
Orbis is a leading global non-governmental organization that has been a pioneer in the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for nearly four decades. Orbis transforms lives by delivering the skills, resources and knowledge needed to deliver accessible quality eye care. Working in collaboration with local partners, including hospitals, universities, government agencies and ministries of health, Orbis provides hands-on ophthalmology training, strengthens healthcare infrastructure and advocates for the prioritization of eye health on public health agendas. Orbis operates the world's only Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board an MD-10 aircraft, and an award-winning telemedicine platform, Cybersight. For the past ten consecutive years, Orbis has achieved Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, placing Orbis in the top 3% of U.S. charities. In 2021, Orbis earned GuideStar’s platinum Seal of Transparency. To learn more, please visit orbis.org.