World Retina Day: History and Retina Facts You Didn’t Know

2021-09-22 | By Orcam Staff

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World Retina Day: History and Retina Facts You Didn't Know - OrCam

World Retina Day 2021 is coming up on the 27th of September, and it’s time to learn about this day. On Sunday, the last week of September, World Retina Day is observed by many people. The main goal of the day is to find a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa and its associated illnesses since the retina is a very thin layer on the eye that has an important function in vision.

Brief History of World Retina Day

Officer George William Gutteridge of the Essex Constabulary stopped a vehicle on a rural road near Stapleford Abbot in Essex around morning on September 28th, 1927. He has found two men inside that appeared to be up to no good. As he was taking their information, the driver fired a shot to his head from 10 inches away. The driver (according to the other man) then got out of the car and said to the stricken officer lying on the ground, “What are you looking at me like that for?” whereupon he again shot him through both eyes.

Murdered Policeman
Essex police officer PC George Gutteridge, circa 1925. Gutteridge was murdered by Frederick Browne and Pat Kennedy in 1927. The investigation into his murder proved a landmark in forensics as it was one of the first in which ballistic evidence was pivotal. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Essex police officer PC George Gutteridge, circa 1925. Gutteridge was murdered by Frederick Browne and Pat Kennedy in 1927. The investigation into his murder proved a landmark in forensics as it was one of the first in which ballistic evidence was pivotal. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The murderer fired two shots into each eye because he believed a popular belief that the last image retained in the eyes of a dead man is his death. It was subsequently learned that the occurrence in question was only a portion of the main narrative. Morris Cowley was the doctor who owned the car, and it was stolen from him by a thief to be modified and sold later. The murderer abandoned the vehicle on Brixton back road after the attack, and it was where the police discovered it.


Dr. Lesley Frederikson, national director of the New Zealand Association of Optometrists said “We’ve learned a great deal more about retinas in the 76 years since that grisly murder – too late to help George, but enough to know how vital a role they play in our sight and how important it is we look after them”. As a result, the holiday is observed to emphasize the significance of the retina in our lives. World Retina Day is focused on seeking a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa and allied diseases. 

How to Protect Your Retina & Eye Health

Did you know that there are over 100 million people around the world with retinal diseases? Did you also know that these diseases are one of the leading causes of blindness? This is why it’s important to learn about your eyes!


Today, there are many different things you can do in order to help protect your retina. First of all, make sure that you visit an optometrist regularly for eye exams and glasses. Also, make sure not to smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol since these habits put the health of your vision at risk.


As well as this, be careful when using electronic devices like tablets or cellphones because they tend to emit blue light which our retinas aren’t very good at processing over time. Doing any sort of physical activity will also improve blood flow throughout the body including near the eyes which is another way that we can prevent diseases such as macular degeneration (AMD).

Fact #1 Retinitis Pigmentosa affects one in every 4000 people

Retinitis Pigmentosa causes the retina to slowly get thinner and thinner until it can’t work anymore. This is a condition that both children and adults can get. Despite the fact that this illness is not as prevalent as other eye diseases such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, it affects a large number of people. Retinitis Pigmentosa is a rare, inherited disease in which a person’s eyesight deteriorates over time. They may have trouble reading, seeing, or recognizing faces because of it.

Fact #2 Vitamin A slow Retinitis Pigmentosa

Although Retinitis Pigmentosa is an incurable disease, there are many treatments that can help you retain your eyesight for as long as possible. One of the most recommended methods to slow down this illness is through taking Vitamin A supplements.


Vitamin A slows down the Retinitis Pigmentosa because it’s a carotene. Carotenes are dietary pigments that give plants and fruits their characteristic color. We can find Vitamin A naturally through eating fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, mangoes, cantaloupe, and royal jelly. If you’re not into those foods then it’s best if you take these vitamins orally.

Fact #3 Hereditary Condition on Both Eyes

The most common cause of retinal degeneration is having faulty genes inherited from parents who also had defective versions of those genes. If one parent has good vision but the other does not then their child may end up with Retinitis Pigmentosa because they got bad copies off them both. It’s critical to keep track of your family tree in order to identify all eye-related hereditary diseases and initiate treatment.

Fact #4 Assistive Technology is Important for Retina Diseases

People with Retinitis Pigmentosa are often unable to see or recognize faces, read text, watch television, and drive. However, there is hope in the form of assistive tools for people who suffer from degenerative vision loss.


OrCam, the leader in artificial intelligence assistive devices for people with visual impairment, blindness, and reading difficulties, is offering OrCam MyEye. This advanced tool helps low vision people to be more independent in their daily activities.

OrCam MyEye for All Retina Degenerated Patients

OrCam MyEye is a device that helps people in their daily activities including shopping independently, reading a book, newspaper, or from any digital surface. It is a tiny wearable device that can be attached to the user’s eyeglasses, which have a camera and other sensors. You may issue voice commands to the OrCam MyEye to read-only portions of a document that interest you, such as reading just numbers on a sheet of paper. Now is the time to learn more about OrCam MyEye!