To celebrate World Optometry Day, here’s 10 facts you probably didn’t know about eyesight

The 23rd of March marks World Optometry Day.

The day is celebrated around the world to create awareness about optometry as a profession. For us, it provides an opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible eye care our staff and our partners provide to people in the Pacific. Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about eyesight for World Optometry Day:

1. The first vision aid was invented around 1000 AD. The tool was called a reading stone – a small glass sphere that was placed on top of small letters and texts to magnify them for easy reading

2. Singer and songwriter Sir Elton John has a personal glasses collection that boasts more than 25,000 pairs and growing.

3. If the human eye were a digital camera it would have 576 megapixels, while a top of the line digital camera can only reach 50 megapixels.

4. Yes, you can sneeze with your eyes open and no, your eyes won’t fall out.

5. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke was born with his left eye fused shut. Doctors believed that the eye was paralysed, so he wore an eye patch as a child and has had over 5 surgeries on his eye.

6. Ommatophobia is the fear of eyes. The origin of the word ommato is Greek, meaning eye, and phobia is Greek - meaning fear.

7. The eye has over 2 million moving parts.

8. Since 2016, Sightsavers has been auctioning off celebrity glasses on eBay donated by famous faces. Among more than 50 celebrities involved are actress Meryl Streep, Beatle Ringo Starr, pop sensations and Rita Ora, Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson.

9. Out of the 7.3 billion people on earth, 36 million people are blind and 1 billion people have near-vision impairment.

10. Globally, it's estimated that 4 out of 5 people who are blind don't need to be. Eye conditions like cataract and diabetic retinopathy can cause sight loss and blindness even though they're treatable or preventable.

The Foundation is putting an end to avoidable blindness in the Pacific. We won't stop until our Pacific neighbours have permanent access to quality eye care. Find out how.

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