By Ahmet Abdulaziz……..

As part of the International White Cane Week, once again the need to give special care to our eyes, and to give a better position to the blind in our social lives, has been emphasised.

The second week of January every year has been marked as the White Cane Week.

Blind people have used canes as mobility tools for centuries, but it was not until after  World War 1  that the white cane was introduced.

In 1921 James Biggs, a London photographer, who  had become  blind after an accident, painted his cane white to be easily recognised  while out of his home.  The French Society for the Blind, gave the first two white canes to blind people on 7th February 1931. From that date the white cane has become a universal symbol for the blind.

In the TRNC, Associate Doctor Erol Dulgar of Near East University, in a press statement emphasised the need to give special care to the health of our eyes, which are one of the most complicated organs of the human body.

He said that there are many factors causing visual loss, and hereditary retinal disorders, chicken pox, retardation of visual sensory nerve, congenital cataracts and glaucoma, small or no eyeballs are among these factors.  An eye tumour is due to pigment deficiency of the skin, hair and eyes are white, premature birth, sudden tremor during the birth or without oxygen, newborns who have experienced jaundice during phototherapy of the baby’s eyes enough, (meningitis), traumatic disease and lack of vitamin A can also cause vision loss. Subsequent visual loss includes cataract, eye sickness, yellow spot disease, retinal tear,  advanced diabetes mellitus, work and traffic accidents, toxic gases and methyl alcohol, eye inflammations, Behçet’s disease, brain tumours, multiple sclerosis eye-eye examples can be shown.

He recommended that everyone must carry out a regular eye check after the age of 40.