Many think the problem only affects developing countries.

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans are unaware that lack of access to vision care and eyeglasses is a significant issue in the U.S., according to a new study.

People tend to believe the problem only affects developing countries such as Rwanda, Nicaragua and The Gambia, according to the findings.

The study, which examined Americans’ perception of undiagnosed vision impairment, was commissioned by OneSight, which is an independent nonprofit founded by Luxottica Group, and independent research firm Wakefield Research in honor of World Sight Day 2016.

One in seven people around the world lives without access to an eye exam or pair of glasses, according to OneSight. In the U.S., one in four students has an undiagnosed vision problem significant enough to impact academic performance.

While they may not be aware of how many people in the U.S can’t receive an eye exam or pair of glasses, Americans can imagine the practical and emotional consequences of lacking access to clear vision. When asked what issues they may face if they had visual problems that kept them from seeing clearly, 60 percent said that they would lose their independence and many fear that it would impact other aspects of their life, including being less productive at work or school (41 percent), earning a living (43 percent) or facing new medical issues (31 percent).

Respondents also believed they would feel limited (41 percent), depressed (34 percent) or helpless (33 percent).

On World Sight Day, Oct. 13, OneSight launched its #UNBLUR campaign to show firsthand what lack of access to vision care looks like and how a pair of glasses can have a life-changing impact. According to a press release: “From Australia to India to South Africa, OneSight is igniting a global movement to #UNBLUR Life by driving advocacy and funds to help provide eye exams and glasses to the 1.1 billion people across the world who need glasses, but lack access.”

OneSight encouraged people to join the global #UNBLUR movement by:

  • Donating $10 at www.onesight.org/donate; $10 can help provide a pair of glasses to a person in need.
  • Watching and sharing the #UNBLUR 360 virtual reality video at www.onesight.org/unblur to see how clear sight can empower someone to reach their full potential.
  • OneSight also held an #UNBLUR Twitter party on Oct. 13.

“At OneSight, we’re doing everything we can to #UNBLUR Life for the 1.1 billion people who lack access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses,” said Mony Iyer, OneSight’s executive director. “We’ve seen firsthand how clear vision has the power to unlock potential and change how someone sees their future. We know that access to vision care can become readily available to every community and country and we will not stop until the world can see.”

Other brands supporting the #UNBLUR campaign include Glasses.com, LensCrafters, Oakley, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut, and Target Optical.

The survey included 1,000 U.S. national representative adults ages 18 and up. It was conducted Sept. 13-19 using an email invitation and an online survey.

Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18 and older.

Additional survey findings:

  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans (56 percent) would miss seeing their family member’s or friend’s faces the most if they had impaired vision.
  • Four in 10 Americans (41 percent) say they would miss nature or scenery.
  • Nearly one in four (23 percent) fear they would lose social connections like friends and family members.
  • Only 9 percent of people say they would miss interactive technologies such as social media or video games.

For more information on #UNBLUR visit www.OneSight.org/unblur and www.facebook.com/OneSight.

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