Home | Articles | World Braille Day 2023

By Dr Rashmi
Published on 27/12/2022

Overview

The most precious gift from God is the ability to see this colorful and beautiful world! Sadly, not everybody in the world can see it. However, in 1829, Louis Braille made a great gift to his blind society by inventing braille. Every year on 4th January, World Braille Day commemorates the birth of its inventor, Louis Braille.

World Braille Day: Power of Knowledge!

The aim of World Braille Day 2023 is to raise public awareness about the value of braille as a medium of communication for the blind and partially sighted people. Braille is a tactile representation of numerical and alphabetic symbols, in which letters and numbers are represented by six dots. There are also mathematical, musical, and scientific symbols. This day aims to raise awareness about the human rights of the blind and partially sighted individuals.

Living with vision loss

Some types of visual loss can cause blindness, which can significantly impact a person's life. Many people with vision loss live productive lives with meaningful connections, and this can be through braille!

Braille is a tactile writing framework that allows blind and partially sighted people to read by touch using raised dots. Braille readers have the same access to the written word as sighted readers and can read about the rest of their lives.

Blindness is one of the worst fears that patients have suffering with eye problems. Understanding the causes, symptoms, preventive actions, and possible treatments are the first step in slowing down the entire process. Around 2.2 billion people worldwide have near or distant vision impairment.

Let's understand the type and who is at risk for vision loss!

Risk factors for vision loss

People living in developing countries with less access to medical facilities are at high risk of vision loss. Other risk factors include:

  • Stroke
  • People undergoing eye surgery
  • Exposure to sharp objects or toxic chemicals
  • Eye infections
  • Uncorrected cataracts
  • Uncorrected refractive errors
  • Accidents or trauma
  • Poor nutrition and hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Family history of blindness
  • Premature birth and successive poor prenatal care
  • Old age
  • Comorbidities (like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, and cardiovascular disease)

Know the types of blindness

Blindness affects people across the world. The most common of them are color blindness and night blindness-

Vision Loss: Symptoms

  • Double vision
  • Sudden sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Decrease in vision
  • Seeing halos or rainbows around lights
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Eye pain
  • Eye discomfort while sitting and carrying out daily activities.

Can vision loss be prevented or avoided?

Depending on what is causing the vision loss, it may be possible to prevent it. Preventing type 2 diabetes, for example, may help you avoid diabetic retinopathy. Wearing polarized sunglasses when outside may help you avoid cataracts. However, one cannot generally prevent age-related eyesight loss.

Our eyes require adequate protection from dangerous radiation and chemicals. Wearing sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection, goggles to guard against chlorine contamination while swimming, and avoiding activities such as welding machines can help to protect the eyes.

Dealing with vision problems

The primary doctor can refer patients to eye specialists who can help with eye problems. They are as follows:

  • An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor who treats various eye diseases that are causing vision issues. They are licensed to practice medicine and surgery.
  • An optometrist, who will manage the eyesight issues. They recommend the need for glasses, contact lenses and prescribe optical corrections. They do not perform eye surgeries.
  • A physical therapist assists people with balance and walking issues, as well as educates them on how to use a cane if necessary.
  • An occupational therapist will help people with everyday chores and educate them on how to use optical aids.
  • A social worker or therapist can help anyone dealing with the emotional aspects of visual loss.

This World Braille Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about issues affecting the visually impaired. The invention of braille has improved the lives of many individuals who are visually impaired or blind, and it promotes equality.

Raise awareness about braille and vision loss so everyone can enjoy this beautiful world.