National Eye Care Month is celebrated every year in January for one reason: caring for our eyes. Our entire body is one remarkable macro-organism that is still not fully understood by doctors and scientists. Every organ has a unique function, and although it is hard to determine which organ is the most important one can easily say that eyes serve a very important purpose i.e., to see! So to cherish our eyes, one must care for them, and voilà, the National Eye Care Month is there to serve this need.
History of National Eye Care Month
The human eye is complex enough to demand specialized attention from experts and specialists in the field. Most parts of our body have the tendency to self-repair themselves to a certain extent. Our eyes are one of the few organs that are very sensitive to exposure and can be damaged if not taken care of properly. The oldest accounts of eye care or treatment of eye-related conditions come from Ancient Egypt (1500 B.C.) in the “Ebers Papyrus.” This is a collection of the medical texts compiled by the Egyptians of that time. From those texts, many scriptures were found that talked about herbal medicines for the eyes.
From Egypt, this knowledge spread to Ancient Greece and Rome, from where the next big scientific and medical development on eye care emerged in Medieval Arabia. Arabian scientists and polymaths have worked a great deal on developing instruments to assist eyesight. They also laid the foundation for ophthalmology as it can be found in the texts of Hunain Bin Ishaq, and Ibn e Al Hassan (Alhazen). From these texts, the later scientists from Europe have developed the modern medical sciences which deal in eye care and treatment of eye diseases. Most notable among modern medical experts are Theodore Leber, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Charles Kelman. There have been many other experts in this field, but the thing they all have critically united on is caring for the eyes. Our eyes are a blessing, and we have been blessed with the ability to see. With all the beauty in this world, what good would it be if one was not able to witness it? Imagine a person who was blessed with the ability to see, but lost it because they did not care for it. Or just learn from those who are visually impaired, ask them about their challenges.
This month serves as a reminder to cherish our vision. We must not take our ability to see for granted, and take care of the very organ that makes it possible. In this regard, National Eye Care Month, or simply Eye Care Month is a month to care for our eyes, at least during this month.
National Eye Care Month timeline
The “Ebers Papyrus” is a compilation of texts from ancient Egyptians, who use herbal medicine for eyes and related diseases.
During these 700 years, scholars from Arabia make advancements in this field and lay the foundations for modern sciences.
Many notable doctors in the field of medicine, especially in ophthalmology, come forward in Germany, such as Hermann Von Helmholtz.
Sometime in the last decade, the I.C.O. along with other international associations begin celebrating January as National Eye Care Month.
National Eye Care Month FAQs
What eye care awareness holidays take place in January?
Braille Literacy Month and Glaucoma Awareness Month are also celebrated, and this month has World Braille Day on January 4.
When is National Eye Exam Month?
In August, observe National Eye Exam Month by learning about ways to keep your vision clear and healthy. As we age, getting a baseline eye exam can detect early signs of disease or damage to your eyes.
When is Eye Care Awareness Month?
Eye Care Awareness Month is commemorated from September 20 to October 17 to raise awareness about the importance of eye health, specifically the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness.
How to Observe National Eye Care Month
Go for a check-up
This month, this is for sure, that many eye care hospitals and clinics will be offering discounted appointments for eye checkups. So why not avail of the discount and benefit from it by getting your eyes and eyesight checked?
Give your eyes some rest
Myth or not, your eyes do need rest. People might say that it is their function to see, so why not use them to see. But never forget that excess of anything can have adverse effects. This month, try to give your eyes a break from excess mobile phone and computer usage and instead go to a park and relax your eyes.
Spread awareness about eye care
Organize an event and invite an ophthalmologist to talk about eye care. Encourage your friends and family to attend the session and to learn as much as possible about eye care. You never know when this awareness helps someone with an eye problem and saves their eyesight!
5 Facts About The Eye Everyone Should Know
Focuses on 50 different objects every second
You may not realize, but your eye focuses on approximately 50 objects every second.
A myriad of different colors
A normal eye can distinguish between around 10 million different colors.
Complexity second only to the brain
The most complex organ after the brain is the eye, with a bundle of one million nerve fibers.
Most of your learning
80% of all that you learn is obtained through your vision.
Eyes can’t be transplanted
Your eyes cannot be transplanted as they are connected to the brain via the optic nerve – once severed, they cannot be reconnected.
Why National Eye Care Month is Important
Aren’t your eyes important to you?
To be honest, everyone knows how significant eyes are to them, but most of us are negligent of caring for them. To anyone who knows the value of eyesight will care for them, and those who do not know this can benefit from this month to at least care for their eyes during this month.
A day is too little time to develop a habit
Caring for the eyes should not be a one-time thing but a daily routine. Celebrating a day for eye care is not sufficient. It takes at least a month to develop a habit and during this week, constant reminders of caring for the eyes can possibly work for many people to develop this habit of eye care.
The more, the merrier
If the message reaches a good majority of people, many would want to go for a check-up and start their eye care routine. In this regard, a month-long campaign on awareness movements, and discounted sessions for a month perfectly fit the bill.
National Eye Care Month dates