31.07.2009

Events set worldwide for eye health

Events set worldwide for eye health

By Martin Burns

People need to look after their eyes, wherever they live. Both in the UK and the US, events to drive eye health are being planned or held and locals are being told how they can keep their eyes healthy.

London lawyers Clifford Chance will be hosting an event from UK Vision Strategy later this year, organised by RNIB, the blindness charity.

Optometry Today reports that the purpose of the day, called "Transforming eye health and sight loss services", is to develop a strategy to encourage proper eye care in the capital.

London Visual Impairment Forum chairman John Harris will host the day, which is scheduled to take place in November.

As well as representatives from the health, social and eye care sectors, a minister may be present to address the gathering.

Mike Brace of Vision 2020 is one confirmed speaker.

Vision 2020 UK encompasses a number of organisations which deal with eye care and health and works towards goals such as fighting avoidable blindness and securing better services for people who suffer from visual impairment.

One member group, the Maidstone Rehabilitation Team, will hold an event on August 18th to display equipment for people who have problems with their sight.

Held at the Angel Centre in Tonbridge, the Sight Matters exhibition will allow people to view products such as magnifiers, talking equipment and software designed to help people who are blind or impaired visually.

Eye care drives are not happening just in the UK.

While May was Healthy Vision Month in the US, EyeCare America is still urging people to get their sight checked by a professional.

It joined up with the National Eye Institute for the campaign, Advertiser Talk reports.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, families are being guided around an eye clinic this weekend.

According to examiner.com, the tour of Dynamic Eye Care is free and open to children of all ages, though reservations would need to be made.

Children have even been coming to the UK to benefit from eye care they are not able to get while they are at home.

The Northern Echo reports how three children from the area that suffered from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster took a respite trip to Northallerton on a journey arranged by the Friends of Chernobyl Northallerton organisation.

Co-ordinator Audrey Trewhitt told the paper that it is the first time the children have been able to have their eyes tested.

In Canada, a marathon runner is on a one-woman drive to raise awareness about blindness and loss of vision.

Canadian Christianity reports how Norma Bastidas has undergone a number of sponsored runs to increase public understanding of the condition and has raised $140,000 (£78,454) for blindness charities.

Her son Kurt, 14, has cone-rod dystrophy, which can cause damage to people"s sight.

There is no cure for the ailment.

Ms Bastidas intends to climb the highest mountain on every continent in seven months next year to continue her fund- and awareness-raising for blindness.

So far she has gone through 49 pairs of socks and 14 pairs of running shoes.

But whether or not an eye health awareness drive is happening in your country or city, there are always ways to help take care of your visual health.

Ed Wagner recently suggested in an examiner.com article that cyclists who do not wear contact lenses but need to correct their vision while shielding themselves from the sun try prescription lenses in sunglasses.

He also said goggles may be useful when the weather is cold, though lenses can turn foggy.

Elsewhere, Dr Patrick Magee recently stressed to readers of The Advertiser that they need to practise the same hygiene and care standards with coloured contact lenses as they would for ordinary ones.

by Martin Burns


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