Insight E-Newsletter - May 2012


Welcome to the May edition of “Insight”! In this issue, we talk about ways you can show your Shades of Fun while protecting your eyes this Vision Health Month and all year round. Next, we look at CNIB’s top tips for protecting against eye injury, and reveal three critical reasons for adults to get regular eye exams.

Image of DATA Group of Companies staff How will you show your shades of fun?

Shades of Fun, now in its third year, will be returning to offices, homes and classrooms across the country to spread the word on the importance of protecting your eyes and to raise funds in support of CNIB services. 

The event is a unique fundraising campaign held in celebration of Vision Health Month that engages Canadians of all ages from coast to coast to raise funds throughout the month of May. 

Each year we’re amazed and delighted at the creativity and level of commitment shown by participants though their fundraising events.

Last year, enthusiastic staff from The DATA Group of Companies showed their support by donning their sunglasses in 16 offices across the country. Each office was given a photobook to fill with pictures of employees wearing their shades, with prizes going to the best single photo and best group photo. One staff member even designed and auctioned off sunglasses outside her cubicle to raise extra funds for the cause.

Employees at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. also donned their best smiles and sunglasses at their head office in Dorval, Quebec, raising funds and awareness for the cause by selling sunglasses during Vision Health Awareness Day – an event organized by Novartis to educate colleagues about vision and eye health. 

“Not only did it provide the opportunity to raise awareness about the need to protect eyes from damaging UV rays, we were also able to raise funds for CNIB’s vital services for Canadians with vision loss,” says Karen Chow, National Stakeholder Manager, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

Over a thousand schools across Canada have also expressed an interest in participating in this year’s event, which in addition to raising funds also teaches kids about ways they can protect their eyes.

No matter who you are or where you call home, you can participate in Shades of Fun and make a difference for Canadians with vision loss in your community. So join us in celebrating this May, grab your shades and have a great time for a good cause

As part of our Shades of Fun campaign, CNIB is calling on all Canadians to don some virtual shades and post their fun photos on Facebook and Twitter through the use of a newly developed app called “Show Your Shades!” The app is available on our Facebook page and at​.

For more information on how to get involved or for great fundraising ideas, visit


Eye injuries more common than Canadians think

Image of mother and daughter wearing sunglasses

According to a new CNIB study, the incidence of eye injuries in Canada is extremely high, with an estimated 720,000 Canadians having sustained an eye injury in the last year that required medical attention. Many people may believe eye injuries only happen in industrial settings – where machines or chemicals are involved. But in reality, over two thirds of eye injuries occur outside of a work setting. Eye injuries can cause serious vision loss or even blindness, but most can be prevented. So people really need to think about protecting their eyes better not only at work, but also at home and while playing sports.​

Here are CNIB’s top tips for protecting yourself against eye injury at home and in the workplace. 

  • Several unforeseen hazards occupy the home every day — many of which can be prevented by something as simple as wearing protective eye wear or safety goggles. The best safety glasses are those that are made with polycarbonate lenses and are Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified. 

  • When uncorking sparkling wine or champagne, point the bottle away from you — eye injuries sustained from champagne corks are among some of the most frequent in Canada. 

  • Be sure to wear eye protection when working with tools around the house; pieces of wood, metal or plaster may also easily cause an eye injury.

In the yard

  • Many eye injuries occur while working in the yard by debris thrown up by mowers, overgrown tree branches, or while trimming the hedge. Wearing safety glasses that double as sunglasses will provide you with maximum protection from these hazards.
  • Ensure your sunglasses block more than 99 per cent of ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB). 

At work

  • Many workplaces have strict eye safety protocol, in particular for occupations such as welding and laboratory work. Ensure you follow eye safety protocols and use your safety glasses consistently. If you’re a welder, consistent use of safety goggles will protect your eyes from harmful radiation that can enter the side of a loosely held helmet. If you’re a chemist, safety goggles should be used at all times. 

Visit the Vision Health Month website at to learn more about protecting your eye health.


CNIB-University of Waterloo study reveals alarming need for regular eye exams

Image of Dr. Craig Woods screening Walter Gretzky’s vision at CURES launch. Photo courtesy of Brian Thompson.

One in six Canadian adults could have vision loss and are not seeking treatment, according to a new study conducted by CNIB and the University of Waterloo School of Optometry


The Canadian Uncorrected Refractive Error Study (CURES) was conducted in Brantford, Ontario, chosen since its population is very similar to that of other cities in Canada. A group of 768 residents between the ages of 39 and 94 were invited to attend a vision screening by an eye doctor at the local CNIB office. The findings reveal three very important reasons for adults over 40 to get regular eye examinations. 

  1. Many Canadians could be seeing better than they do today.

    One in six adults (17 per cent) over the age of 40 had vision loss, and most of them (70 per cent) could be corrected with eye glasses or contact lenses. 

  2. Getting an eye exam can detect both sight loss due to uncorrected refractive error and eye diseases that could lead to permanent blindness.

    Half the 768 study participants hadn’t had an eye exam in the past two years. The study found that participants who had a longer time lapse since their last eye exam were more likely to have vision loss. 

  3. Even if you do have good vision, it doesn’t mean that you might not have an eye disease.

    Eye disease was detected in one third of the participants, many of whom had normal vision. 

Experience the world through the eyes of people experiencing eye diseases with CNIB’s iSimulator, a new iPhone app developed by CNIB to provide users a way of experiencing vision problems through our four eye diseases: Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, and Age-related Macular Degeneration.



Velocity lightweight sunglasses more than just a fashion statement, $14.05 (Sold Separately) 

Photo of Velocity lightweight sunglasses

Sunglasses are a wardrobe essential along with shoes and handbags, but it’s easy to forget they also serve a more important purpose: to protect our eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. Velocity sunglasses boast a modern design featuring a black frame with lenses that curve around the eye socket to exclude ambient light. These lightweight lenses come in dark grey and high contrast yellow, and meet CNIB’s recommended 99 per cent UVA and UVB protection.



Monthly Donation

Monthly Giving - Become a Partner in Vision

Researchers estimate that more than one million Canadians are living with vision loss today. As a Partner in Vision, your generous donation of $10 or more a month will help people who are blind or partially sighted build the skills, confidence and independence to enjoy life again – to see beyond vision loss. Become a Partner in Vision

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