Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

The Kidneys and Eye Health: World Kidney Day: March 14, 2024

Each year World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness of kidneys to overall health and to lessen the incidence and impact of kidney disease and related health problems internationally. The theme for 2024, “Kidney Health for All,” highlights the importance of ensuring that all those impacted by chronic kidney disease (CKD) have access to medical breakthroughs that can prevent or delay disease and reduce complications. Among the health problems, a close association exists between renal/kidney and eye health. People with CKD are at risk for eye problems and vision loss, particularly those with diabetes or high blood pressure. Eye problems experienced among those with kidney disease include dry, red, and sore eyes; retinopathy, damaging blood vessels in the retina; and an increased risk of glaucoma. According to a study reported on in Science Direct, individuals with CKD “were three times more likely to suffer from visual impairment than persons without CKD.” Increasing severity of CKD, a complication of long-term diabetes, heightens the odds of vision impairment. Eye disease and CKD also share risk factors, including age, smoking, hypertension, and diabetes, to name a few. Early detection and treatment of eye disorders can reduce vision loss caused by eye disorders. Regular eye exams can help to “slow or stop more damage from eye disease, and even prevent blindness.” For additional information about WKD and to gain access to the banner, flyer, position paper, and other campaign materials, visit the webpage for World Kidney Day 2024–Kidney Health for All. Read more about kidney disease and eyesight in the following articles: from Science Direct on the Increased Burden of Vision Impairment and Eye Diseases in Persons with Chronic Kidney Disease-A Population-Based Study; from the National Kidney Foundation on  Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Your Eyes; and from the Review of Optometry on The Eye/Kidney Connection.