World Sight Day

Insisting on the importance of early diagnosis, having confidence in treatment and the possibility of visual rehabilitation would lead to improved quality of daily life.
Federico Bartolomei

Last Thursday, October 13th, we celebrated World Sight Day. The annual event, initiated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, is traditionally celebrated on the second Thursday of October and is meant to draw the country’s attention on the importance of the precious asset of sight and the need to protect and care for it at every stage of life. On this occasion, the Cavazza Institute in collaboration with the Bologna Chapter of the Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted organized a conference aimed at the media and citizens during which were discussed the main eye diseases, the importance of early diagnosis, the adequacy of treatment and visual rehabilitation. The latter topic is still little known but of great importance for any visually impaired person to recover satisfactory autonomy in the activities of daily life through the adoption of specific aids.

Poster of the World Sight Day 2022

Throughout the day, a camper equipped as an eye clinic was in the inner garden of the Baraccano in Bologna, the venue for the meeting, to provide citizens with the opportunity to undergo free vision screenings. So what are the main signs and symptoms that may raise concerns about visual impairment in children or adults?


To answer this question, we interviewed Dr. Ciardella, Ophthalmologist and Director of the Operating Unit of Ophthalmology at Policlinico S. Orsola Malpighi in Bologna. “In children, it is good to observe whether they experience difficulty in seeing or grasping objects, or problems with their orientation skills in bright or dim light. The presence of crossed eyes or a white glare in the pupil, observed perhaps by looking at a photograph, should always be assessed by an eye specialist. Even in the absence of problems, an exam is advisable at three years of age and then repeated at around 6 years old before school begins. In adults,” Ciardella continues, “an alteration in the macula could cause patients to perceive distorted images. They may notice it casually by looking at bathroom tiles or stripes along the asphalt while driving. The same pathology could result in reading difficulties. Seeing bright flashes in the temporal side of the visual field (in the right side for the right eye, and in the left side for the left eye) could warn of a possible risk of retinal detachment. Usually this phenomenon is reported when entering a dark room from a lighted room or when driving at night. The presence of moving bodies and ‘eye floaters’ are also always worth investigating during a visit with an eye specialist. Obviously, if there are systemic diseases such as diabetes, it is good to have periodic checkups because of the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Cataracts, on the other hand, produce blurred vision over time. Colours appear less vivid, tending to brown, and it is possible to be dazzled by the glare of the sun.”


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