By Evelyn Usman
As the world marks the World Sight Day, WSD, on Thursday, the Nigerian Optometric Association, NOA, Lagos State chapter, has said 75% of eye problems were avoidable.
The association cautioned Nigerians against sharing their eyeglasses, face masks and face shields, as part of the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19, reminding that the pandemic was real.
In a statement made available to Vanguard, the association’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Emmanuel Okoye, explained that the WSD was an international day of awareness on avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
However, the optometrist lamented, activities lined up for its celebration were shelved because of the pandemic.
The focus on this year’s WSD themed: “Universal Eye Health: Hope in sight, according to him, was to raise public awareness on eye care in the COVID-19 pandemic, as a major public health issue.
He said: “More than 75 percent of visual problems are avoidable. 2.2 billion people globally are either blind or visually impaired, more than 55 percent of them need glasses to see.
“COVID-19 pandemic is real. Obey all public health control measures and guidelines.
“You can contact COVID-19 through your eyes. Therefore, do not touch your eyes or face with unwashed hands.
“Use a clean face shield in addition to a clean and properly worn face mask when in public places. Do not share your eyeglasses, face mask or face shield with another person.
“Report any form of redness of the eyes to the nearest eye clinic to you.
“COVID-19 should not stop you from seeking eye care as your eye doctor has put safety measures in place. Do not patronise quacks for your eye care.
“See your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Let’s join hands together to eliminate avoidable blindness by checking our eyes regularly.
“COVID-19 is not a death sentence. Therefore, do not be afraid to get tested,” he admonished.