Our Cause

About avoidable blindness

A major cause of blindness is the simple lack of an eye exam and a pair of prescription eyeglasses.

Around the world, an estimated 285 million people live with visual impairment. A startling 90 percent of these live in developing countries.

In Canada and other developed nations, there’s help for people struggling with vision problems; if you have inoperable blindness, you can lead a meaningful life. But in developing countries, where health care is scarce or unaffordable, losing your sight is far more disastrous than simply not being able to see.

In developing countries, sight is life. Loss of sight can have devastating consequences on individuals, families, communities and entire countries.

Why is blindness so prevalent in developing countries? There are many causes, including poverty, inadequate access to clean water and malnutrition. In parts of the world where it’s a struggle to simply survive, many people have neither a healthy living environment nor access to affordable medical care. If living conditions threaten sight, it’s often impossible to prevent or treat vision loss. People who live in India, Africa and South America are five to 10 times more likely to go blind than those living in developed countries.

There is good news: an astonishing 80 percent of blindness can be prevented or cured. This is what is known as “avoidable blindness.” With your generous support, we can end avoidable blindness!

Find out how you can give the gift of sight

To learn about the most common causes of avoidable blindness, follow the links at the side.