Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), the world leader in lighting, has today released findings that reveal that almost two third of Indians agree that poor light quality is detrimental to eyesight but just one fifth (21%) will actually take corrective measures such as buying light bulbs that are comfortable for their eyes. The survey also highlighted that for most Indians, eyecare is not treated at par with skincare and other health issues such as managing one’s weight and fitness levels.
The study conducted amongst 9,000 adults across twelve countries including India, also revealed uncomfortably entrenched mindsets with about half of the Indian population compromising on their eyesight by prioritising price (50%) and durability (48%) of bulbs over eye comfort, while making purchase decisions for light bulbs.
The situation is quite alarming considering the invasion of digital technology in our lives translating into longer screen exposure times, with almost 70% of Indians surveyed spending more than 6 hours a day in front of a screen and a similar number complaining of eyestrain! This also comes at a time as myopia hits record levels globally, with the World Health Organization predicting that one in two people will be short sighted by 2050, a vision emergency of sorts, in the not too distant future!
Ophthalmologists understand the gravity of the situation and are pulling out all stops to sensitise the general population to step up on their eye care quotient. “There is a continued need to educate the public about eye care. As part of our commitment to the community at large in raising awareness on this issue, the All India Ophthalmological Society has developed a number of proactive community oriented programs, guidelines and resources to enhance ophthalmic education amongst the public. We also strive to ensure access to high quality eye-care for everyone irrespective of the paying capacity of the patients. Towards this goal, all our 20,000 odd members are working hard to preserve and restore vision for Indians” remarked Dr. K. S. Santhan Gopal MD(AIIMS) FRCS(Edin), FRCOphth(UK), Kamala Nethralaya, Bangalore and President, All India Ophthalmology Society.
“Quality lighting is not only related to longevity, but is also incredibly important when it comes to ensuring our eyes aren’t strained and feel comfortable,” explains Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and MD, Philips Lighting India. “Crucially, people should choose high quality lamps that are comfortable for their eyes. This is fundamental to what our team of scientists do, working tirelessly to develop quality and industry leading lamps that consumers love, which are easier on the eyes.”
However, despite these efforts, attitudes towards eye care lag abysmally in India. In fact statistics tell their own story. As per the findings of the study, 44% of Indians don’t visit an eye specialist on a regular basis while about three fourths of Indians on an average use weight (73%) and fitness (60%) as overall indicators of health. Clearly, eye care does not rank at par with other perceived health metrics.
The study of over 9,000 adults across twelve countries – India, China, USA, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and Turkey– becomes even more relevant given the dire situation. It was commissioned to explore how quality LED lighting can help ameliorate the eye comfort problem amongst consumers.