World Blindness Awareness Month

October is observed as World Blindness Awareness Month to draw attention to the estimated 314 million people in the world who have severe visual impairments and the 39 million people who are completely blind. This month has been observed for several years now and has not only expanded people’s awareness about visual impairment but also has helped connect blind people with the resources they need and has helped raise money for organizations that support the visually impaired. It’s a month that can be observed by people who are visually impaired, by their families, and by people simply wanting to show their support.

The History of World Blindness Awareness Month

It’s currently unknown when this month was created, who created it, or where it originated. We believe that it was first created by the World Health Organization, but we’ve been unable to locate any evidence that supports that assertion.

Important Facts About Blindness

Now that we’ve addressed the core purpose of World Blindness Awareness Month, we’ll switch gears and talk a little bit about some of the facts about blindness that we’ve learned. We think most people will find the following facts quite informative.

  • Approximately 90% of visually impaired people in the world live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Blindness due to uncontrolled diabetes and age-related causes is on the rise.
  • Approximately 80% of blindness in adults is preventable or treatable.
  • The major causes of blindness in children are vitamin A deficiency, cataracts, and retinopathy of prematurity.
  • Approximately 1.4 million children under the age of 15 years are blind.
  • Half of all childhood blindness can be prevented by correcting abnormalities at birth, such as glaucoma.
  • Only about 15% of people who are blind see nothing at all.
  • Most people who are blind can still perceive varying degrees of light, some colors, and/or some shapes.
  • People who are blind are just as likely to have vivid dreams as those who are sighted.
  • Approximately 70% of blind people in the U.S. suffer from Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder — a result of their circadian rhythm being out of alignment.

Observing World Blindness Awareness Month

World Blindness Awareness Month can be observed by attending a webinar, seminar, or conference on the subject, or by seeking out more information online. People can also improve access for the visually impaired in their businesses or host a fundraiser to raise money for various organizations that support research into blindness. And of course, people can also use the hashtag #WorldBlindnessAwareness to spread the word about this month.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday
Health & Body