Something as simple as a pair of well-fitted glasses can alleviate all sorts of visual impairments and make people’s everyday lives easier. This can be achieved with standard lenses costing just a few dollars – a price that many people can afford. The biggest challenge is that there are simply not enough eye care professionals who are qualified to fit glasses. With its e-learning courses on refraction and vision correction and online knowledge databases, ZEISS is striving to facilitate access to key information in countries that offer very limited training opportunities to optometrists and opticians.
An equally important aspect of preventing blindness is providing people in all regions of the world with access to good eye care. The diagnostic, treatment and training centers which ZEISS sponsors as part of the VISION 2020 initiative make an important contribution in this respect.
In 2013, the fourth of these diagnostic, treatment and training centers for eye care opened its doors in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción. The IAPB Center of Excellence Latin America, which is sponsored by ZEISS, trains doctors in the use of modern equipment and applying the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating eye diseases. It places a particular emphasis on cataracts and glaucoma, two of the most common causes of preventable blindness.
These centers enable local people to benefit directly from the latest innovations in ophthalmology. For example, they provide training on how to diagnose and treat glaucoma at a very early stage before damage to the optic nerve has occurred. And they provide access to the latest techniques for identifying the most frequent cause of blindness worldwide – cataracts – which can then be treated using modern methods of cataract surgery. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that impairs vision.