How this teenager's unique initiative is spreading awareness on eyecare

To see is a gift and protecting the vision has become Dubai-based student Noah’s top priority as he strives to raise awareness on the importance of eyecare


Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Thu 13 Oct 2022, 10:03 PM

Noah — a Grade 10 GCSE student at DESC — is passionate about economics, science, fitness, music and gaming. The mission of eye -care was triggered by a trauma injury to his eye when he was just two-and-a-half years old, leaving him with only partial vision in one eye.

The trial-to-triumph journey for seven years made him patch his good eye, ensuring that his weaker eye doesn’t stop sending visuals to the brain. Noah is conscious and aware of the gift of sight and is an ambassador for proper eyecare and screening to ensure that students and kids look after their vision proactively.

“According to WHO, 3.3 billion people are expected to suffer from myopia by 2030 and this is a shocking number. We need to take steps to manage this crisis as eyesight is our window to the world and lifestyle and technology addictions have accelerated the impairment of vision amongst most societies,” he said.

Noah is actively championing an Eye Screening initiative being led by Dubai Health Authority in collaboration with Aster Opticals and Aster DM Healthcare, to screen eyes for children in schools as a lot of kids are not wearing the right prescription glasses or even wearing glasses despite refraction needs

“We are working with schools to create widespread awareness on the same. The response is very positive. The schools have been very forthcoming to ensure that kids have an opportunity to test their eye health in an easy manner at school with this initiative,” said Noah.

“We believe the future lies in children and the vision of the eyes and the realisation of the vision for personal goals and community goals are closely connected. Therefore, the hope is to cover as many schools as possible within the city and then extend the initiative to outside Dubai too if there is interest to support and participate.”

Aster optometrists will be conducting the eye tests in the school premises. If there is a need to consult an ophthalmologist for any further investigations or screening, these will be supported and arranged by Aster DM Healthcare.

Many people suffer from dry eye due to prolonged hours spent in front of screens and extreme weather conditions in the UAE. The high amount of screen time is associated with dry eyes as watching screen for longer durations lowers consumers’ blink rate, resulting in disturbance of the tear film. Dry eye can cause severe discomfort, resulting in stinging or burning eyes, and can adversely affect the inner parts of the eye, tear glands, and eyelid, according to a recent a research report from Research and Markets.

The UAE eyecare market is projected to grow at a formidable rate during the forecast period, 2023-2027. The market growth can be attributed to the rising incidences of cataracts and other eye-related disorders. Besides, the growing personal disposable income of the population and the increasing expenditure capacity of consumers are propelling the growth of the UAE eyecare market. Continuous research and development activities to find new drugs and increase the potency of existing medicines are some factors adding to the market growth. High-end investments by the market players and the growing adoption of spectacles as fashion accessories are reasons contributing to the growth of the UAE eyecare market.

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