Here you can find out about some of the eye conditions and causes of blindness that Sightsavers helps to treat, what we’re doing about them, and how you can help.
In 2017, Sightsavers helped to provide more than 316,000 cataract operations.More about cataracts
The condition is often thought to only affect older people, but in developing countries it’s a huge problem for children too. Cataracts are thought to cause up to 60 per cent of blindness in parts of Africa, and 20 million people worldwide are blind because of the condition.
Sightsavers distributes spectacles and helps to train optometrists to diagnose vision problems.More on refractive error
They include myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism (caused by an irregularly curved cornea) and presbyopia (a normal ageing change where the eye is no longer able to focus at close range). These eye conditions can be particularly problematic in poorer developing countries, where those affected may not be able to afford sight tests or spectacles.
Sightsavers’ work focuses on treating and preventing five neglected tropical diseases.More about NTDs
NTDs are most prevalent in remote rural areas, urban slums and in conflict zones. They can cause severe and often lifelong physical impairment and affect some of the world’s poorest people, trapping them in a cycle of poverty and social isolation. The work of Sightsavers and partners shows that these diseases can be prevented, treated and eliminated.
Our eyes are responsible for four-fifths of all the information our brain receives.More about our eyes
These include glaucoma, which is caused when the eye’s drainage becomes blocked, leading to pressure that can damage the optic nerve. Our work also covers diabetic retinopathy, which affects the blood vessels in the back of the eye.