Most of us consider our vision to be our most important sense. We use our eyes to see our loved ones, to do our jobs, to learn in school and to see the beauty of the world around us. The second Thursday in October has been designated ”World Sight Day” by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). This day calls attention to the importance of our most precious sense, our vision. The IAPB has data and projections into the future about vision issues affecting our aging world population The evidence shows that vision impairment will increase in the coming decades.

Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, as well as problems with eye teaming and focusing are some of the many issues that affect our ability to see clearly and comfortably day in and day out. Even refractive errors, which cause us to need to wear glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, can limit vision and how we function in our daily lives. These eye care issues impact the well being and health of every age group. So What can you do? Ask yourself when was your last eye exam? How recently did your family members, your friends and colleagues have their last eye exams?

This World Sight Day take the pledge to have an eye exam every year and encourage others to do the same. Plan for your next eye examination. Be sure everyone in your family and your circle of friends, especially those whose vision is vulnerable like students, the elderly, and those with diabetes, have annual eye exams too.,

Vision First! On World Sight Day 2019, October 10th, the call to action is to find solutions to insure that every one, everywhere has access to good sight. More than 3 out of 4 people with vision difficulties have avoidable vision impairments. More than a billion people cannot see well simply because they don’t have access to glasses. What can be done to help people? The non-profit organization Optometry Giving Sight provides the means to train men and women across the globe to provide vision and eye health care in their own communities. The doctors and staff of Horizon Eye Care support Optometry Giving Sight with annual contributions. For more information go to

Join Horizon EyeCare Professionals, your Owatonna Vision Source, on World Sight Day, to help find the solutions to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to sight. Let’s pledge to make Vision First!

Dr. Beth Gilthvedt, optometrist, has practiced in Owatonna for over 30 years and, with Dr. Nick Vincelli and Dr. Penny Vizina, is an owner and partner at Horizon EyeCare Professionals, Owatonna Vision Source. Vision Source is the nation’s number one network of premier, private practice optometrists. Founded in 1991, The Vision Source network includes more than 4,600 doctors in over 3,300 locations in all 50 states and in Canada.

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