World Retina Day Date in the current year: September 29, 2024

World Retina Day World Retina Day is observed annually on the Sunday of the last week of September. It was created to educate people about the importance of retinal health and highlight the challenges that people living with retinal conditions face on a daily basis.

The retina is the innermost layer of tissue of the eye. It contains two main types of photoreceptor cells, rods and cones. Cones provide color perception, while rods are responsible for monochromatic vision. The function of the retina in the human body is similar to that of the film or image sensor in a camera; it processes the information gathered by the photoreceptor cells and transmits it to the brain via the optic nerve.

The retina is crucial for normal clear vision, and any damage to this part of the eye may result in visual impairment. There are a lot of disease and disorders that may affect the retina, including cone-rod dystrophy, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, retinoblastoma, and many others.

The most common degenerative diseases of the retina are macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, results in blurred or absent vision in the center of the visual field. Although this condition does not cause complete loss of vision, it can make it hard to read, drive, recognize faces, and perform many other daily activities.

Retinitis pigmentosa is an umbrella term for a group of genetic disorders that are characterized by night blindness (nyctalopia) and the loss of peripheral vision that may result in tunnel vision. The symptoms of the condition usually have a gradual onset and typically begin in childhood, as opposed to macular degeneration, which usually occurs in older people. Retinitis pigmentosa is a progressive disease that currently has no cure.

World Retina Day is coordinated and promoted by Retina International, a global umbrella organization of patient-led foundations and charities from more than 40 countries that was created to promote retinal research and to ensure universal access to diagnosis, treatment and care for millions of people all over the world affected by retinal degenerative diseases.

World Retina Day events raise awareness of retinal degeneration and its effects on eyesight and quality of life, the challenges that members of the visually impaired community face every day, the importance of regular eye checkups, and the crucial role of research, innovation, access to healthcare and support services in improving quality of life for those affected by retinal degeneration.

You can get involved in raising awareness of the importance of retinal health by participating in one of the World Retina Day events or organizing an event of your own, donating to an organization that supports people affected by retinal degeneration or funds retinal research, or posting on social media with the hashtag #WorldRetinaDay. If you or a loved one have been affected by a retinal degenerative disease, you can share your story online, but only if you’re comfortable with it.

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World Retina Day, international observances, international awareness days, retinal degeneration, retinal health