NEW YORK—The 21st anniversary of World Sight Day has arrived and today, Oct. 14, millions around the world have pledged to support the global #LoveYourEyes campaign designed to build awareness for the need for eyecare and access to adequate eyewear for more than one billion people. As of VMAIL's deadline, the International Agency to Prevent Blindness (IAPB) reported that more than three million people have committed to get sight tests for World Sight Day as the global pandemic takes a toll on global vision. Eye tests have been carried out at landmarks around the world including Mount Everest, Gateway to India, Santa Barbara beach, Tower Bridge, and more to raise awareness.

Joining the international initiative, EssilorLuxottica is rolling out its first campaign as a combined company to raise awareness about poor vision among children. The company has collaborated with renowned Australian artist and illustrator Karan Singh to create bold, colorful and eye-catching visuals to highlight and reinforce the importance of eye health.
"With 170 years of expertise in vision care, EssilorLuxottica has taken on the responsibility of leading the fight against poor vision and its consequences on individuals and society at large. Millions of children around the world still lack access to vision care, which jeopardizes their future by reducing their ability to learn, be safe and fulfill their potential. As an example, with half of the world’s population expected to be myopic by 2050, EssilorLuxottica believes the mobilization of all industry players is needed to raise awareness among parents and children, the first crucial step to fighting this epidemic," the company said.

To this end, the Group’s first common World Sight Day campaign aims to draw parents’ attention about the importance of regular eye exams early, and throughout their children’s lives, to help them thrive and achieve their dreams for the future. Pivotal to EssilorLuxottica’s campaign is the PutVisionFirst website which offers visitors the possibility to learn more about the importance of good vision for children’s health and future, as well as to take action through an accessible online vision-screening test.

In parallel, the Group’s optical retail brands, including LensCrafters in North America, Salmoiraghi & Viganò in Italy and OPSM in Australia, will participate in this mobilization by running a dedicated consumer campaign featuring works from the same artist.

“By collaborating with renowned artist Karan Singh for this impactful campaign, EssilorLuxottica reaffirms its commitment to bringing good vision to everyone and helping people see more, be more and live life to its fullest," commented Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica. "As a global leader, we have the responsibility to do the heavy lifting in building a brighter future for future generations. This starts with raising global awareness about the importance of regular vision screenings and concrete initiatives to improve access to vision solutions. With these creative campaigns, we are taking another step forward to enable the adults of tomorrow to pursue their dreams without being limited by poor vision,” the two executives said. 

"While 1 in 7 people around the world lack access to vision care, many of those underserved areas are in our own backyard,” Fabrizio Uguzzoni, president of EssilorLuxottica Wholesale North America, told VMAIL. “For decades, we have been leading the fight to improve access to vision care and drive awareness around the importance of eye exams, especially among children. It is a 365 days-a-year effort with all hands on deck, mobilizing our philanthropic teams wherever they are needed and having our passionate employees weave our mission into everything they do. In order for us to succeed, every day must be World Sight Day.”

Karan Singh added, “I have been deeply inspired by EssilorLuxottica’s powerful ‘Put Their Vision First’ call-to-action and, through my art, I have tried to deliver a similarly strong message about vision care." EssilorLuxottica’s philanthropic partners, including the Essilor Vision Foundation, Vision For Life and OneSight, are also deploying a range of local initiatives to ease access to screening and raise awareness on poor vision internationally.
The Essilor Vision Foundation rolls out a number of initiatives in France, China, the U.S., Latin America, and India: from providing vision screenings and eyeglasses at no cost to children in need, to organizing fundraising campaigns and dedicated classroom events in local schools, like the Kids Vision Fest in the U..S or an educational 3D book distribution to pupils in China. EssilorLuxottica’s initiatives on World Sight Day are part of the Group’s comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility roadmap, in which the elimination of uncorrected poor vision by 2050 represents a key ambition. 

CooperVision is also taking part around the world. The company's initiatives include a new video on the myopia pandemic among children and its increasing prevalence and severity. In the video, Dan McBride, president of CooperVision, and Juan Carlos Aragón, OD, president of CooperVision Specialty EyeCare, further discuss the company’s extensive myopia management portfolio, as well as its partnership with the World Council of Optometry to help drive a standard of care for myopia management.

In addition, a World Sight Day social media takeover today will see posts going out across CooperVision’s global Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn channels. Social posts will be composed of a series of assets from The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), including a call to action to focus global attention on vision impairment in the spirit of this year’s theme “Love Your Eyes.” 
To raise advocacy, awareness, and knowledge of the importance of proper eye health services in schools, CooperVision has made a $40,000 investment to support IAPB’s 2022 forthcoming Focus on School Eye Health Initiative, which is composed of a series of webinars, events, blog posts, and video content. And, in keeping with the company’s long-standing tradition to raise money and awareness for World Sight Day among employees, several CooperVision offices around the world are hosting events such as virtual bingo, a run/walk/cycle challenge, and raffles.

J&J Vision has conducted its second comprehensive and large-scale annual Global Eye Health Survey, revealing that people aren't taking proactive measures to keep their eyes healthy, even though sight is the sense most people fear losing. Globally, most adults, 70 percent, don’t plan to get their eyes examined this year, despite acknowledging the critical importance of eye health.

This year's survey reveals misbeliefs about vision correction options for aging eyes, the intersection between eye health and beauty, and the high potential for missed early intervention for children with vision correction needs. Serving as the cornerstone of J&J Vision’s Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, the survey was launched in advance of World Sight Day in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of getting an annual eye exam, both for adults and children alike.

"At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are committed to changing the trajectory of eye health—which starts with getting people to their annual comprehensive eye exams,” said Shlomi Nachman, company group chairman, cardiovascular and specialty solutions group and Johnson & Johnson Vision. “This year’s survey shows that, globally only 3 in 10 people have scheduled or plan to schedule an annual eye exam as eye care offices have reopened. With the Prioritize Your Eyes campaign and the annual eye health survey, our goal is to educate on the importance of getting to your eye care professional regularly—for the sake of your vision and your overall health.”   

The survey reveals more than one-third believe their vision has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic. 

Survey results show that although three-in-four (75 percent) parents indicate they believe it is more important for their child to receive an eye exam than it is for them—and the majority (61 percent) of parents indicate they’re concerned about their children being diagnosed as nearsighted (myopic)—only one-quarter (27 percent) plan to schedule an annual eye exam for their children.  J&J Vision has created an infographic with the highlights of the Global Eye Health Survey.

SynergEyes, the contact lens company, will be letting ECPs know that for each lens ordered between Oct. 14-31, SynergEyes will donate to Optometry Giving Sight. Bob Ferrigno, president and CEO, said, "As part of our mission to provide life-changing vision correction products along with exceptional customer experiences, I want to personally thank you in advance for your support of this cause." More details about how people can help give sight to those in need is posted here.

ECPs and optical retailers around the U.S. and the world are also taking part. New York-based Optyx is honoring World Sight Day, with a social media campaign, where they will encourage people to take a photo with a hand love heart on your eyes, tag @onesight @Optyxnewyork #LoveYourEyesChallenge & #ShareThe Love on October 14, in an effort to spread awareness of blindness and vision impairment as a significant global health issue and share ways to prevent blindness. Every post made will prompt a donation from Fidelity Life Insurance. Throughout October, OPTYX will also be making a charitable donation and giving complimentary eye exams to those in need, with their nonprofit community partners on Long Island and in New York City.

VMAIL has reported on several multi-pronged World Sight Day 2021 initiatives, including updates this week plus planned programs from the IAPB #Love Your Eyes Photo Competition, the Restoring Vision/Visibly/New Globe Efforts and an overview of IAPB and its partners' global push to bring awareness to eyecare during today's World Sight Day activities.