Activities and performance can be greatly altered by poor eyesight for both children and adults. Just as children cannot succeed in school, adults with vision frailties struggle with the very basics of life. For adults, the gift of sight facilitates being productive in their daily work outside of the home as well as in their family life. Even the simplest of tasks will be enhanced with clearer vision.
Eyesight is essential to leading a productive, fulfilling life. Sadly, those with vision challenges in developing countries are often misdiagnosed as having attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, epilepsy and other conditions. Because of such misdiagnoses, these individuals are often ostracized from society. Having a large population with uncorrected vision problems has a severe impact on the productivity of individuals, their family, their community, and the overall GDP of a nation.
The gift of sight facilitates being productive in their daily work outside of the home as well as in their family life. Even the simplest of tasks will be enhanced with clearer vision.
Poor vision keeps people trapped in poverty. The simple act of giving people access to First Sight glasses helps to improve and safeguard the livelihood of thousands of workers and improve the futures of countless children.
Huge economic gains could be made if eyeglasses were provided to approximately 245 million people in need, according to research published in the international public health journal, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
“The true cost of providing eyeglasses to meet this global burden is unknown,” Dr. Smith said. “Eyeglasses are a low-cost intervention, however, many less economically developed countries lack basic infrastructure for distribution and training and have insufficient equipment and personnel to provide eyeglasses to those in need.”
A recent study conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa found that more than 80% of the population between the ages of five and 93 years who needed eyeglasses had never had an eye examination. Another study found that 90% of the people seeking eye care in poverty-stricken areas in Sri Lanka similarly had no previous eye care (Brien Holden, “A Blindness and poverty: a tragic combination Clinical and Experimental Optometry”).
Researchers estimate that the global productivity loss due to uncorrected visual impairment in people aged 16 to 50 years is $121.4 billion annually. “If each affected person was provided with appropriate eyeglasses, we estimate that there may be a net economic gain, even if up to $1,000 was spent per person to do this,” said Dr. Tasanee Smith, from the Bloomberg School of Public Health (USA). Dr. Smith worked with researchers from the International Centre for Eyecare Education (Australia) and Africa Vision Research Institute (South Africa).
Women still have a difficult time getting eyeglasses in some societies – More than half the people suffering from poor eyesight are women. In many societies, because of affordability, men are often favored to receive eyeglasses over women. First Sight makes it affordable to have the entire family – men, women and children – receive customized eyeglasses.